That night, I slept very badly. For one thing, Leo II wouldn’t shut up, which led to increased doubts about his partridge-iness. I mean honestly, do partridges make noise? What are they supposed to sound like? For that matter, does anyone even know what a partridge looks
Anyway. Leo II’s screeching voice finally gave out somewhere around 4am, and I managed to catch a few precious zzzz’s. I woke up late, with a headache, to a totally different sound.
Someone was… running the vacuum cleaner??
I jumped out of bed in a hurry, threw on some clothes and grabbed the baseball bat that, amazingly, lay under my bed in spite of the fact that I don’t even play baseball. I crept to the stairs and stood on the landing, listening carefully. Yes, that was definitely the vacuum. I had not been hallucinating after all. But… why? What was going on?
Why on earth would someone break into my house to clean? I glanced around. Ok, sure, it had been awhile since I’d given the place a good scrubbing—or a bad one, for that matter—but was it really so dirty that they felt they couldn’t even rob
it before they tidied up a bit?
Well, it was hard to keep being afraid of someone who was, technically, doing me a favor—whoever they were. As I stood there trying to figure out what to do, the blaring strains of the Mexican Hat Dance cut through my concentration and scared me half to death before I realized it was my cell phone ringing, back in my bedroom. I scrambled back to answer it before the intruder noticed anything. The screen was flashing with my true love’s phone number. I snatched it up and hit the answer button.
“Hi there princess,” said my true love.
“Hey,” I whispered urgently. “There’s someone in my house! And they’re cleaning!”
“Oh good,” he said. “That means they’ve arrived!”
“What? Who’s arrived? What are you talking about?”
“The cleaners. I sent them. Hey listen, I have to run, but I just wanted to make sure they were there. I’ll catch you later, ok? Kiss kiss.”
“Wait, what…” I began, but he had already hung up.
I stared at my phone. I was really, really
starting to worry about my true love.
I looked out my window, and saw a white van in my driveway with the words “We Ken Clean” on it, thoroughly outraging my finely tuned proofreading sensibilities so that I completely forgot to be afraid and became annoyed instead. Still gripping my baseball bat, I marched downstairs and into the kitchen, where a man in a black-and-white striped sailor shirt and a red beret was unloading the dishwasher, and another man in the same attire was tsk-tsking over the dying plants on the windowsill as he watered them.
“Ahem,” I said.
Both men looked up. “Enchante
, mademoiselle,” the first one said, putting the dish he was holding on the counter, before coming over to me and kissing my hand. I frowned and pulled my hand back.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“We are ze cleanairs,” he said. “My name is Ken.”
“As is mine,” said the other man, bowing.
“And mine,” said a third man, who came walking in just then. He must have been the one vacuuming, I thought. He was also wearing the same style of clothes.
“Well, that explains the van,” I muttered. Then I raised my voice and asked, “What are you all doing here?”
“Of course we are cleaning, mademoiselle!” The first man, who was apparently the spokesperson, looked offended at my stupidity.
“I can see
that you’re cleaning
,” I snapped. “I meant, why? And how did you get in?”
“We are told to clean, we come and clean,” Ken #1 said, with a haughty sniff. “Your true love, he gives us ze key.” I opened my mouth to protest, but Ken #3 cut in before I could say everything that was on my mind—which, right then, was an awful lot. “Yes, and he told us to give you this also,” he said, handing me an envelope.
I took it from him, and went into the living room to open it privately, leaving the three French Kens still polishing up the kitchen. I opened the envelope, and found... a gift certificate to a local day spa, along with another note from my beloved:Frogg Princess,
Saw this and thought of you!
I laughed. He was listening after all! What a surprise.
Ken #2 was suddenly standing next to me. “You go and have fun today,” he said, pushing me gently toward the door. “We take care of everything.”
“No no, there is no ‘but’! That is why your true love got you this gift! Go now! Relax! Have fun!”
And suddenly I was standing on my porch with my carkeys in my hand, the door shut behind me.
If you think it’s crazy that I’d go off to a day spa and leave a bunch of strange men in my house cleaning it, you are absolutely right! But I don't care. I did anyway. This is my story and I can do what I want to.
Besides, if nothing else, it was a chance to get away from Leo II...