*THE HOLLEN SERIES*
*👁🗨COFFEE AND PAPER👁🗨*
When I saw him in the kitchen preparing
breakfast I wanted to tell him. I had to tell him
what I heard last night, but when he told me
about the paycheck, my mind state changed. I
was so looking forward to buying some new
stuff, from un-derwear to clothes to getting a
new hair-do; so I let it be.
And Sharon was sort of scary with her judging
eyes, sharp mouth and long nails. She would
[email protected] me back to Africa if I had told him about
her conversation. Besides, it wasn’t my
business. Mr. Hollen was capable of taking
care of himself and his relationsh!pwas above
my pay grade.
The next day I looked at my paycheck. I
wanted to cash it out so badly. One thousand
dollars in just one week was indeed generous.
I didn’t make that at Carl’s Cafe in a month.
I found Halley in the backyard watering the
“Um, Halley,” I began. I was still mindful of
how I approached her. “I really want go to the
bank and cash this so I’m taking my half day
“I think I’ll come too.”
“Okay, but… Uh.”
“Relax, Emma. Mr. Hollen isn’t here and there
isn’t much to do. We can take a half day
together. I’ll get my bag.” She moved towards
Did she seriously want to go out with
me? Halley? That was very unexpected.
Luis took us to a near-by bank. I loved how
the mansion was situated between nearly
everything we could nee-d: supermarkets,
clothing boutiques– affordable and not-so-
affordable, hair salons, movie theatres, stores,
parks, clinics and health centres, [email protected], a
museum, malls and churches.
“After this we’ll go shopping,” Halley said
softly as we cashed in.
The car was parked on the street and Luis
followed at a close but respectable enough
distance behind us as our personal b©dyguard.
“Is he obligated to do this?” I asked.
“Yes. Whenever we leave the mansion. It’s just
“Oh, okay then.”
Halley led us to Sisters, a fashion boutique
with a wi-de range of accessories and different
styles in clothing.
“Try this on, Emma.” She handed me an off the
shoulder black dress and ushered me into a
I took off my over-sized dress and tried on the
new one. Halley’s mouth dropped open when
she saw me in it. “Emma, you’re beautiful. Why
do you cover up yourself like a saint?”
The dress did fit me beautifully so I took it to
“Lets go to the hair salon now. We have to do
something about that abomination on your
“Are we going into transformation mood
today?” I asked as I tried to match her pace
out the boutique.
“Nope, just you,” she answered without looking
back at me.
“What would you like to do to your hair today?”
the hairstylist asked.
I looked at Halley and she smiled back. “A
relaxer,” she answered for me.
“Okay. Lets get started.”
Halley ushered me into a chair and the stylist
started on my hair.
My hair went from n£¢k length to mid-back in
a matter of minutes. She gave me ti-ps on how
to care for my now relaxed hair, and what she
explained made me regret having a relaxer, but
my hair was more manageable and looked
After my hair was finished and the hair
maintenance lessons were over, I got a free
makeup application on my face.
“Emma, re-move your [email protected] and change into
the dress now because we’re going to the mall
I changed in one of the rooms in the hair salon
and it felt magical, like when Cinderella’s fairy
godmother changed her rags into the beautiful
ball go-wn. Halley’s eyes popped again. She
paid for the service, took my hand and we
walked towards the car, laughing as if we had
been best of friends since forever.
“I nee-d you to do one more thing Emma.”
“What’s that Halley?”
She snatched my [email protected] and threw them out
of the car’s window as the it pu-ll-ed off the
“Halley, what the hell!”
“Would you relax. We’re going to the mall. I’ve
got a friend there. She’s an eye specialist.
We’ll get you some contact lenses instead of
that ugly pair of magnifying [email protected] you wore on
“Why are you being so nice to me now, is
there a catch to this?” I had always been
curious about her ‘niceness’.
“No catch. I know I was a bit-ch before, but
we’re a team now. Agnes had a good talking
to me before she retired.”
“Retired? Mr. Hollen fired her!”
Halley laughed. “No, he didn’t.”
She explained what Agnes had told her three
months prior about early retirement so she
could spend more time with her grandchildren
and have her own life. I’d cursed Mr. Hollen in
my mind for nothing and I, now, regretted it.
“We’re here,” Halley opened the door and
ushered me out, once again, and we stood in
front of a hvge mall.
“These are the best kinds, they’ll work like
magic once they’re in your eyes,” the eye
specialist said as she showed me how to
in-sert the contact lenses.
The contacts felt strange on my eyes but my
vision was much clearer than it had been with
the [email protected]
“What if I forget the take them out and I fall
asleep?” I asked with concern.
“That’s okay, Emma. You could sleep with
those on. You just may not want to make a
religious habit of it, but a few times won’t
“Affirmative. I don’t kid.”
“Thank you so much.” I paid for it and she
gave me a free pair courtesy ofMr. Hollen.
“I nee-d to get myself a dress now, Emma,”
Halley said as we rode up an escalator. We
entered a clothing store and Halley took a
dress off a rack and went into a changing
“What do you think?”
“You look amazing, what’s the occasion?”
“We’re going to a [email protected]”
I’d never been to a [email protected], well except for the
one Carl threw at the cafe to [email protected] his last
birthday, and I was on duty in my working
clothes. I’d never actually dressed up and
attended a [email protected]
“Lou, can you make one more st©p?”
“That’s my job,” he answered in a stunned
He was a built guy with a bald head, always
dressed in a full suit and tie but he never wore
a smile, well I’d never seen it– the average
solider. I was certain he was armed and
trained to defend himself and those he had to
“Drop us off at Saint Street, then you can head
back to the mansion.”
“I can’t comply with that Miss. Halley.”
“You could make an exception. We’ll be gone
for a while. We’re attending a friend’s birthday
“Then I’ll wait until it ends. I can keep to the
car but I can’t leave without the both of you.”
“Fair enough, Lou. Thanks.”
We arrived at an average-sized house. The
backyard was decorated with lights and music
systems. There were tables covered with drinks
and snacks. Young adults were dancing and
grooving with each other to the music. Halley’s
eyes scanned the crowd.
A guy walked over to our direction. “Hey, I
thought you wouldn’t make it. Who’s this?” His
eyes were on me.
“This is my friend, Emma. Emma, this is my
b©yfri£nd, Matt.” She pu-ll-ed him in for a hvg.
“Happy Birthday, baby,” she squealed and
handed him a small box.
He opened it in front of us and revealed a
Rolex with diamonds around its face. Our pay
was generous but it seemed like Halley had a
spending habit. How could she afford a Rolex
A bitter feeling [email protected]£ over me. Could it be one
of Mr. Hollen’s?
*THE HOLLEN SERIES*
*👁🗨COFFEE AND PAPER👁🗨*
She had to be out of her mind to even think
about stealing one of Mr. Hollen’s watches. I
didn’t want either of us getting in trouble with
him so I pu-ll-ed her aside.
“Halley, are you crazy? plea-se tell me that
wasn’t Mr. Hollen’s Rolex. He would skin you
“Emma, would you relax. How crazy do you
think I am? I wouldn’t steal from him.”
“Well, where did you get the Rolex?”
“It’s a knock-off I purchased in Chinatown.
Matt thinks it’s real, but how the hell am I
supposed to afford that? Now can we just
enjoy the [email protected]?”
I’d never danced before so I just watched at
Halley and her b©yfri£nd.
A guy walked up to me and said hi. He was
very handsome and looked around my age,
maybe one or two years older. He had a
Mohawk haircut, which complimented his
handsome face. He was lighter than I was in
complexion with light brown eyes and thick
“Hi,” I replied, tucking my hair behind my left
“I’ve never seen you around before. Are you
new in town?”
“Who are you here with? A b©yfri£nd?”
I laughed; if only he knew. “No, I’m here with
my friend, Halley?”
“Halley. That’s whats up.”
“You know her?”
“Yeah.” He was sipping from a red cup. I
@ssumed it was alcohol, maybe a beer.
Halley [email protected]£ between us. “Hey Max, long time
no see.” She hvgged him.
“Hey Hal, what’s good?”
“I’ve seen you alre-ady met Emma.” She was
smiling at me and wi-nking.
I rolled my eyes.
“Here Emz,” she handed me a cup that
contained a strong aroma of alcohol.
“Halley, I don’t drink.” I pushed the cup back
into her hand. She shook her head and glared
sourly at me.
“Emma, don’t be a [email protected] pooper. It’s just a
“I don’t drink. I don’t like alcohol.”
“Emma, come on.”
I took the cup from her and sipped. Max made
an air toast gesture to me and I gave him a
small smile, but I had a feeling that something
weird was going on. I pretended to drink but
just let the contents t©uçh myl-ips and move
back into the cup. I hated the taste of all
alcohol. I couldn’t un-derstand why people
drank it. It was no good for one’s b©dy and, if
you have too much, you [email protected] out and wake up
with an unbearable headache the next day and
your stomach feels like it’s tied in a knot. Why
put yourself throu-gh that?
I walked up to a tree and emptied the beer. It
was then that I noticed something else,
besides the beer, fell out.
What the fu…, what’s that?!
I stared at it. It was a small red pill which
hadn’t completely dissolved. I picked it up and
wra-pped it in a makeup tissue I’d gotten at the
salon then stuck it into my purse. I wanted to
leave immediately. I went to find Halley.
I found her dancing like a str!pper on her
b©yfri£nd. She didn’t look like herself– like the
way she looked when we first got here.
“Halley, I think we should leave,” I whispered
to her so that Matt wouldn’t hear, but the
music was a bit too loud and her head was
spinning too much. “Halley!” I shouted. I
wanted to shake the hell out of her.
“Hey, what’s your problem? She’s with me.
She’s fine!” Matt shouted back.
“She’s not fine. Look at her. I think she had
too much to drink!” I snapped at him.
“Emma, dance… with… me,” she stammered
between alcohol induced hiccups pu-ll-ed me
I lost my footing but recovered quic-kly. “What
the hell Halley? We nee-d to leave now.”
“Why?” She hiccuped again.
I whispered into her eyes, hoping she would
hear me. “I think someone is trying to drug
“Huh?” she asked as she danced and smiled.
“The both of you are not going anywhere,” Matt
said as he moved between us.
He started pu-lling Halley towards his house
and she was just laughing and squealing like
an idiot. I figured she had to be extremely
high. Halley didn’t smile or laugh that much. I
wanted to yell for help, knowing what could
happen to her, and me, then I remembered that
Luis was just outside, parked on the street. He
couldn’t see what was going on in the yard
because of the tall broad fencing.
I looked around for the other guy, fearing that
he would gr-ab me next. Max wasn’t in sight.
He was talking to another girl un-derneath a
tree. I took the opportunity to rush for the
gate. I ran straight for the car and pounded on
the driver’s side window. Luis rolled down the
[email protected] “What’s going on?”
“I think Halley’s been drugged. She was pu-ll-ed
into the house!” I was speaking so fast and
was alre-ady emotionally in tears.
With that, Luis got out of the car. “Get in the
car and lock the doors. Don’t open it unless
you see me coming back with her!” He made a
beeline for the entrance to Matt’s gate.
I got into the car and locked it. I peered
throu-gh the windows, waiting in panic.
In less than a minute, it seemed, he was
carrying a [email protected] out Halley over his shoulder.
I unlocked the car and opened the door. He
placed her in the backseat then got into the
driver’s seat. He started the car and drove
towards the mansion while on the phone. It
sounded like he was speaking to a doctor
because he was describing Halley’s current
state. I pu-ll-ed her head onto my [email protected] to elevate
her just in case she puked. Her eyes were shut
and w€t and she was gro-an ing like she was in
pain. She seemed to be coming down with a
fever now. I recalled the pill I saw and what I
did with it. I took it from my purse, still
wra-pped in the tissue.
“Mr. Luis, I think I may have something
useful.” I [email protected] it to him and he took it
without taking his eyes off the road.
We arrived at the mansion fifteen minutes
later. He carried Halley inside. I wondered why
he didn’t just take her to the hospital instead;
we’d [email protected] one on the way. She looked
terrible; we should have gone to the hospital.
This was crazy.
“Why don’t we just take her to the hospital, she
could be in real danger here!” I shouted. I
couldn’t hold back the anger because it was
ins-en-sible to carry her to the mansion without
seeking medical attention for her.
“You’ll un-derstand,” he answered simply .
My eyes caught the flashing red light outside.
A medical team was at the mansion. They
rushed in and took over the situation. She was
carried into a room that I had never seen
before but it was located on the first floor and
designed like a room normally found in
The doctors took Halley’s temperature, drew
her blood and checked her vitals. I was
ushered outside of the room after I started
crying again. Luis [email protected]£ out with me.
“Are you alright. Did you drink anything too?”
“No, I only took one sip. I don’t like alcohol.” I
wiped the tears.
“She’ll be alright. Just so you un-derstand, Mr.
Hollen doesn’t allow any of his employees at a
public hospital. He has a team of pri-vate
doctors and nurses that come to him instead.
That way, scandals are prevented and the
problem is kept between him and the doctors.
In this case, where Halley had been drugged,
this could have gotten out of control real quic-k;
headlines like: ‘Maid Drugged at Mansion for
Lay’ or ‘No Work, No Drugs’.” His eyes were
glued into mine, “Although it would only be
rumors and lies, we prevent it where we can.”
I could never get use to that kind of life. Mr.
Hollen was like royalty, everything was done
for him and revolved around him. It was nice
that he looked out for his employees as well.
He really wasn’t selfish; he had a warm heart.
Others might just worsh!ptheir money while
their employees could go to hell, but it wasn’t
like that with Mr. Hollen and I was definitely
My mind drifted back to him. I wondered what
he was doing in the Bahamas right then. Was
he having fun? I gave a small smile just
thinking about the k!ss, though he said I was
to forget it ever happened.
“Will he find out about this?” I asked,
remembering that we shouldn’t have been out
in the first place. We were supposed to be
indoors, not going shopping and a [email protected]
“Yes, he’ll know. I can’t hide something like
My heart raced around my che-st. Oh God. He’ll
be so mad about this.
*To be Continued……