Mail Order Bride, Romance, Part 3
Ana is still being harassed by her housemate’s friend Elise. Surely she wouldn’t have gone this far?
Ana gets invited to live in the UK with Mr Townsend. They met through an internet agency, but instead of a happy marriage, Ana is put to work in the household. Ana and her housemate Luther become closer and they even share a kiss, but then Elise steps in.
Life had returned to normal, for as far as you can speak of normal, with Ana only having been in the country for a meagre two weeks.
The kiss never happened. At least, that’s how both Luther and Ana dealt with the situation. They avoided each other’s company.
When Elise came over, the woman who hated Ana so much, Ana also wisely kept her distance. The woman had visited Luther several times the past week. Every visit, she made snide remarks about Ana and ‘her type of girls’ when Ana was well within earshot.
Ana continued doing her cleaning duties. It gave her a certain sense of satisfaction that she could keep a house clean. It was a sensible way of making yourself useful, instead of what Elise did: begging for attention in a man’s house and insulting his housemate.
Maybe Ana was just a tad clumsy. She was cleaning the windows on the first floor. She glimpsed down in the garden. Mr Townsend was in deep conversation with the witch Elise. Ana could recognise that annoying flirtatious giggle from anywhere. She gasped as suddenly Elise planted her lips on the man’s. Luther seemed just as surprised and reluctantly responded to the kiss with his eyes wide open.
From her position on the French balcony, Ana turned and accidentally tipped water from the bucket. Elise shrieked in fright as the water splashed on her head, drenching her from top to bottom. She spluttered and looked up angrily at where the water had originated.
“Sorry!” Ana shouted as she waved one hand to acknowledge her mistake.
She could be imagining things, but it looked like Luther had a slight smirk around his mouth. By chance, he had only been hit with a few drops.
“You stupid wench! See, she’s not even suitable for doing chores. Get me a towel,” Elise demanded.
“Let’s go inside, get you cleaned up, and we’ll have a drink,” Luther spoke calmly.
Elise was still shaking her head and snorting as she entered the house.
Ana smiled to herself. It had been an extremely satisfactory experience. It had served her just right.
The following day, right after Mr Townsend had left for work and they were done cleaning the breakfast dishes, there was a loud banging on the door.
Ana paused her cleaning for a moment. Somehow the hairs on the back of her neck rose. Her fears came true when, as soon as Betsy opened the door, six uniformed men stormed in.
“What is this?” She asked in shock. “Who are you?”
“Immigration officers! Everybody stay where you are!” the front man shouted.
Ana blanched. She didn’t think she was illegal, but maybe something had gone wrong with her visa. She froze until one officer approached her.
“Who are you? Show me your passport!” The woman ordered.
“No, I don’t know. Ya ne znavu.” In fright, Ana switched back to her mother tongue.
“There’s no excuse! Show me your ID.”
The women began studying the other items in the room. She picked up a few and checked the bottom as if looking for hidden contraband.
Ana was nearly in tears. She honestly had no idea where her passport was. Mr Townsend had taken it from her to keep it safe, but she didn’t know where it was.
“Where you from?” The woman asked without looking up from inspecting the items in the room.
The officer shook her head and scoffed.
“I should have known. Those are always the worst. Well, no luck for you this time, missy. I hereby arrest you for an unlawful stay in the United Kingdom without a visa and for refusing to show identification. Turn around.” The woman clipped Ana’s hands together in handcuffs and pushed her out of the room.
They walked through the house until the officer had found her superior.
“Cap, I found one illegal. I’m taking her in for booking.”
“Good work. We will finish the sweep and follow soon,” the man answered.
The female officer pulled on Ana’s upper arm and brought her to the vehicle outside.
“Please open the door, Robby. I got one.”
“Nice,” Robby replied with an appreciative smile. He unlocked the door, helped Ana safely inside and closed the cage door after stepping out.
Ana could not believe this was happening. She thought she had done things the right way. She could have travelled to the UK saying she was going to visit her cousin Raya. But instead of taking that route, she had gone to the agency and found a match in Luther. She really didn’t know what had gone wrong. Her head sunk. Her time in the UK may have been difficult and not what she had expected it to be, but this couldn’t be the end. She wasn’t done yet.
Her mind reeling and tears fuzzing her vision, she stared listlessly out the window when they drove off to the police station. England looked a lot like Russia and yet was so different on many things. She had thought she’d have the time to explore it all. And now here she was: arrested by the police and likely on a plane back to Russia later that day. Where was Mr Townsend? Surely he could help her and cut through the red tape.
When they arrived at the police station, Ana was taken into custody. She felt every bit a criminal when she had her fingerprints taken and even a mugshot. She kept shaking her head while muttering, ‘this is a mistake,’ but even she realised that was the same thing every person in her situation would say.
They put Ana in a small cell by herself. Forlornly, she sat down on the bench and pulled up her legs. She rested her head on her knees while hugging herself. This was a true nightmare. Even being brought here to clean rather than to start a life with Mr Townsend was better than this. At least she had been free. Even though she was new to the country and didn’t have many options for going out, she was still a capable woman. She would never sit still and stare at the blank wall in front of her.
She didn’t know how much later, but she was taken from her cell to a small interview room.
“So, you’re from Russia? Do you speak English?” The woman who had first ‘discovered’ her sat in front of her, filling out forms.
“I speak little English.”
The officer sighed. “Read this, and please say you understand it. I don’t want to have to search for the Russian translation or hire an interpreter.” She shoved a piece of paper over the desk. Ana took it and read it closely.
“Yes, I understand.”
“Thank heavens. Please write down at the bottom why you chose to travel to the UK and what your plans were for during your stay.”
Ana hesitated. “I don’t write well in English.”
The woman threw her head back and sighed. “Of course, you can’t write. But you can read?”
“I can write,” Ana replied forcefully. “But not English letters. I can write this in Russian for you.”
“Calm down, missy, or I’ll book you an even earlier flight back to your beloved Russia. Can you type?”
Ana nodded. That was how she had first communicated with Mr Townsend, after all.
The woman opened a new tab on the computer and shoved the keyboard toward Ana. “The full story and the truth, please.”
“Yes, of course.”
Ana thought a little about what she was going to write. She would tell the truth, naturally, but how to say it so that this angry officer would understand it and not make her fly home tonight?
‘In Russia, I was poor. I could not find work for enough money. I went to agency to help me find husband in England. Mr Luther Townsend liked me, and I liked him, so he bought ticket for me. I stay with him. I hope we marry.’
Ana stared at the screen. Would this be enough to make sure she could stay in this country, at least for now?
“Is done,” she told the woman.
“Are you sure this is what happened?” She said after glancing at the document.
Ana nodded confidently. “Yes, this happened.”
The officer read through the text again. “You know lying is bad and could send you to prison?”
“Is not a lie.”
“And making up names could get you into trouble too. Where did you get that name from?”
“Yes, Luther Townsend. I was at his house when you arrested me.” Ana replied somewhat cautiously. What was wrong with his name?
The woman scoffed and rolled her eyes.
“That’s probably what they told you to say. Friends with Luther Townsend. I bet your cleaning agency would want this to be the truth. Marrying some rich dude instead of having to do the work.” She shook her head. “I can tell a liar from miles away. But you’re doing this to yourself. Back to the cell now while we investigate your ‘story.’” She emphasised the final word, making it clear she thinks it’s bollocks. She brought Ana back to the holding cell.
Ana laid out long on the bed. She had done what she could. The story she had typed was the truth. She hoped the woman would really investigate and call Luther. And she hoped he would still want her back and not use this opportunity to send her home to Russia so he could share his life with Elise, mnb, the witch. Ana closed her eyes and folded her hands. She began praying God would guide this in the right direction. If He had brought her here, surely she still had some purpose to fulfil?
Pozhaluysta, Bozhe, pomogi mne
Please God, help me