Darkness was all that surrounded me. I sat inside a darkened house that, to passers by, seemed abandoned. I had no family. My father was some well-to-do, elite member of society. My mother, a harlot, who had taken ill and died. Now, I sat alone, quietly huddled in a darkened corner of the room. My name is Annabelle, or Anna for short. I was no older than eleven. Wavy, copper hair that looked unkempt reached just past my shoulders, my pallid face held no rosy hue that a young girl like me should have had. My amber eyes appeared empty. Even for a girl so young, my eyes had the same void stare that someone of greater years would have had. My cream colored dress was now tattered and dirty looking from being alone for so long. Since my mother was not a relevant part of society, nobody came to check on us. They had no idea that the woman lay dead in the next room, her body beginning to fester, nor had they any idea that she had a child. Funny how society works, isn't it?
One day however, my prayers had finally been answered. A tall man with slick, black hair and a pale face came to the house. His curiosity had grown from his passing by it on his way to work. He had approached the door to surprisingly find it unlocked. As he walked around, inspecting the building, he saw my huddled form in the corner of the room. I looked afraid, but was internally thanking the Lord that finally someone had found me. This man was Damien Winthrop. Damien worked in a law firm in the heart of London, but lived just outside the East End. Never had he imagined to find a young girl inside this run down house. He approached me, not wanting to frighten a child who looked so disheveled. "Hello.. How long have you been here?" Damien questioned, but I looked at him, afraid. Even though he had found me, he didn't seem like the kind sort. What I mainly noticed were his eyes. The little light that shone in through the dusty window showed deep set, dark eyes that looked cold and stern. With his height above me, he looked very intimidating. He realized that and crouched down to my level. He asked me again, "How long have you been in this house, Miss?" I blinked a couple times before answering, "About six months, S-Sir..." "And where is your family?" I looked down, obviously saddened. "My mother is dead... I don't know who my father is." Damien's expression softened slightly, even though you couldn't tell it. "Why have you not asked anyone for help?" Damien tried to move closer to me, but I drew back, my small voice trembling, "People here turn me down. I've tried to ask for help, but everyone I asked just looked the other way." My story tugged at the heart, even at the heart of stone cold Damien. He held his hand out to me, "I know you don't know me, but I can't leave you here. Why don't you come live with me?" I looked suspicious. The man before me looked menacing and cold. But his gesture showed otherwise. I had no where else to go. If I stayed in that house, I would die. I gave him a small nod and hesitantly took his hand.
Months passed and I became like a daughter to Damien. Once he brought me home, he let me get cleaned up and even bought new dresses for me! I looked better than I ever had before! To Damien's surprise, I was a very well mannered girl who also found a love for reading. I had taught herself after finding one of his collections of books. Just because I was the daughter of a prostitute doesn't mean that I can't have good manners. After a year, our bond had grown stronger. Suddenly, out of the blue, a new woman appeared at the door. The woman had platinum blonde hair, ice blue eyes, and a kind looking face. She was dressed in the finest clothes. The tone of her voice was sweet, like dripping honey.
I stood behind Damien, and the beautiful woman smiled at me. "Good evening to both of you," she said to us, "My name is Angelique Williams. I am Anna's long lost aunt." I looked up at the woman in shock. So I did have a family... "Come in, please," Damien invited her in. Angelique removed her plumed hat once she entered the door. "I've come to raise Anna and train her how to be a proper lady," Angelique said with a smile. Both Damien and I looked saddened by her statement. Damien didn't want to give me up and I didn't want to leave. But this woman was my family. Damien kneeled down in front of me. "Anna.. You don't know how much I care for you. You're like a daughter to me.. But Ms. Williams is your real family. You be good for her, alright?" I nodded with tears in my eyes and hugged him. Once I had gotten all of my things together, I bid farewell to Damien and rode off with my aunt.
Once we had arrived at Angelique's extravagant house, I lugged my things inside. Angelique stood with her back to me. "W-What do we do now, Aunt Angelique?" I asked, looking up at the taller woman. Angelique spun around and smacked me across the face. A bright red mark soon appeared on my cheek and Angelique looked condescendingly down at me. It stung both my face and my heart. "You will address me as Madam. Until you learn the proper manners for a young lady to have," she grabbed my slender wrist and dragged me to a small room, tossing me inside, "you will remain here. There are books on etiquette. Learn them if you want to be worthy to be in my presence." Angelique turned on her heel and exited the room. Before the door slammed, I could make out my aunt muttering "bastard child." I glanced around the tiny room with one window and an old bed. Soon, night began to fall. Darkness was all that surrounded me. Now, years later, remember what my mother once told me when I was a small child. Be careful who you trust, for the devil was once an angel.