"Go away," she screamed and stomped on the ground in frustration. The little fists clenched, a red head of anger and eyes that shot fire. If looks could kill, that fire had long since consumed him and turned him into a pile of ashes.
"You shouldn't be here, this is my room!"
"Stupid bitch, little pest your mother didn't teach you any manners. It's time young a tone lower."
He didn't have much good in mind and no matter how small she was she was flawlessly on to him. Mum thought he was a friend, a child's best friend, flexible, creative, and kind.
"There will be a new babysitter living with us," she had said, "you will have a lot of fun together. He draws well like you and knows magic tricks just like that man in the circus."
When the babysitter came, she immediately felt uneasy. He was a strange man and why did he pretend to know her?
"Mummy, please stay," she begged her mother as she clung to her, "can't you stay with me this first time, just this once?"
She could not say she was scared and dared not look at the babysitter standing there with a grin on his face.
Mum hesitated but she went anyway. The man said she did not need to worry.
"She still needs to get used to a new face, feel free to go to work," mom's new friend had said. It did not get any better. He kept making feeling her uneasy. Why did he always look at her with that strange look on his face?
Work, Mum always had to work but still, there was never enough money. Everything is so expensive, Mum had said, most of what I earn goes to rent. I wish there was someone to share the costs and burdens with, but there is no one."
She was still small but her mother had said this at least a hundred times.
Now, suddenly that someone showed up. Someone that mum said was a friend and her new nanny. He sat on their sofa and turned on the television without asking. He ate with Mum and her breakfast and dinner and cleaned the table. He looked in all the cupboards and drawers as if he was searching for something while he ate Mum's bag of chips and drank her juice. He shared nothing with her, did not play with her but watched her closely.
She noticed he kept writing something in a small book. When mum was home and had to work when she got out of school and had to go to bed.
"You don't have to help me," she said, "I can change my clothes and brush my teeth." Angrily, she closed the bathroom door in front of him and put the hook on it.
Furious, he banged on the door and she sat anxiously in the corner next to the washing machine. What if the hook broke? Mum never allowed her to lock the doors.
Finally, the monster on the other side of the door quieted down. Did she hear his footsteps disappear or was he still standing behind the door thinking about how to break the door?
She hesitated, opened the tap, and brushed her teeth while standing on the stool in front of the sink. An angry face looked at her from the mirror.
"I can make him angry too you know," she said to her reflection.
A deep frown appeared on her forehead as she pondered. No, she would not take off her clothes but put on her nightshirt over her clothes. If that creepy friend of mum looked at her or touched her she felt exposed enough.
Carefully she filled her plastic cup with water. What if he wanted to poison her? She did not eat anything he gave her. Mum had always told her not to accept anything from strangers, no food, no drink, no balloons, ball, no animals or other presents. The man in their house was a stranger and scary besides. Why hadn't Mum seen that she knew all about people, didn't she?
Gently, she tiptoed down the corridor into her bedroom. She could walk as softly as a mouse, the teacher at school had told her. She had gleamed with pride when the teacher had told everyone to do exactly as she did. Silently she snuck into her room and breathed a sigh of relief and then she saw him. He was standing behind the bedroom door and grinning at her.
"It's bedtime young lady and today you are going to be nice to me for once. You better do your best or I'll kill that silly mummy of yours!"
He lashed out at her but his hand caught wrong and in his fall, the glass jar of marbles fell to the ground.
It infuriated her, the marbles Grandpa had given her.
She screamed, shrieked, grabbed marbles off the ground, and kicked in his face. Like a wild animal, she went wild. He was not sure if she had heard him, but he would tame that wild animal.
"Go away, this is my room, can't you read!"
She screamed and her fists dropped on him as he tried to get up. Those damn marbles and that glass. Furiously, he crawled over the threshold as she slammed the door behind him.
Elthbeth's room was written on the paper on the girl's door. He would teach that Elthbeth a lesson she would never forget, but first, he would get that mother of hers out of the way. A mother who works need not have a child, he thought grimly. Working mothers have no use for their children they are just incubators. The offspring was meant for men like him.