Corinne locked the door and drifted into slumber.
Early the next morning, Corinne was woken up by one of the maids knocking on the door. “Miss, I was told by Mister Jeremy to hand you your clothes! Miss!”
The noisy voice woke Corinne up before she could even get enough sleep. Unfortunately, though, she did not have any choice because she was living under someone else’s roof. There was nothing she could do except to get up, open the door, and take the clothes that the maid wanted to hand over to her.
After bathing and changing into her clothes, Corinne decided to head out of the room and get something to eat. Alas, a basin of smelly cold water was splashed all over her.
Moments after, she heard laughter.
Her eyes were blurred by the smelly water, and she was unable to make head or tail of what was going on until the majority of the water flowed down from her head. In front of her was an unknown girl who was about her age. The girl had put on exquisite makeup, and she seemed to be a haughty personality judging from the somewhat arrogant smirk on her lips.
Several of the Holdens’ maids surrounded the girl like stars around the moon, and one of them was holding an empty water basin in her hand. It was pretty obvious that the smelly, dirty water had been splashed all over Corinne’s body.
Corinne frowned slightly, blinked her eyes to get rid of the water from her wet eyelashes, and looked at the unknown girl calmly. She then asked, “Who are you? And why did you splash that water all over me?”
The girl had applied the latest lipstick on her lips, and they parted open slightly as she raised her neck proudly, saying, “My name’s Francine. I’m the Holdens’ young miss, and Jeremy’s my brother!”
It turned out that the girl was Corinne’s ‘sister-in-law’! Corinne cocked an eyebrow and asked, “So, why did you splash the water on me?”
Francine raised her chin and looked at Corinne with contempt. “I did so you’d know your place! Don’t get the false impression that you’ll become the young madam just because you’ve married into the family! You’re not fit for the role!”
Corinne frowned. “You say that, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m your brother’s wife…which makes me your elder sister-in-law! Don’t you think it’s unbecoming for you to do what you just do to me?”
Francine laughed and chided, “Sister-in-law? Pfft! Don’t think too highly of yourself! My brother didn’t even sleep with you last night. How could you have the audacity to call yourself my brother’s wife when he slept alone in another room on his wedding night? I’ll be honest with you, my elder brother only married you to appease my grandfather, who is currently ill. By the time he recovers from his illness, you’ll have to leave us right away!”
Corinne was speechless, but at long last, she understood why Jeremy was so eager to get married.
Francine warned again, “Don’t even think about wanting to rely on my brother. He’ll never fall in love with a woman like you! You’re his wife in name only, and you’re nothing in the eyes of our family. You’re lower than a servant, even! My word is gospel whenever my brother isn’t here, and you need to abide by the rules, understand?”
Corinne nodded earnestly. “Understood. I’ll remember!”
Corinne’s cowardly expression was a delight to Francine’s eyes.
“At least you’re learning. Know your place from now on! Let’s leave, girls. I have a manicure appointment today, and the manicurist will be here soon…” Francine said as she was about to leave with the maids.
“Wait!” Corinne called out.
Francine stopped and looked at her impatiently. “What’s wrong? Do you have any objections?”
Corinne smiled. “No, Miss Francine. It’s just… I only got married yesterday, and I’m not really sure what the rules are. Could you explain them to me? It’ll go a long way in helping me remember your rules.”
Francine was stunned for a moment but soon cackled in disdain. “Women who come from poor backgrounds like you are always the most obedient! Well, since you asked, I’ll give you a rough idea of what to take note of! Listen carefully, then. You’d better be on your best behavior.”
“Umm, okay, wait a minute…” Corinne humbly asked for advice. “Miss Francine, my memory isn’t very good. Could you come to the room with me and go over everything from the top? I’d like to write down exactly what you say on a piece of pen and paper.”
“Ugh, that’s so troublesome!” Francine was a little peeved, but since she was not about to give up on an opportunity to set the rules, she reluctantly followed Corinne into the room.
To her surprise, the door slammed shut as soon as she walked in, and Corinne locked it right away.
The maids did not manage to follow them in and ended up getting locked outside. Following a brief episode of bewilderment, they heard Francine’s screams from within the room and knocked anxiously on the door. “Miss Francine? Miss Francine?! Is everything alright?”
Once Francine entered the room, Corinne grabbed her hair and dragged her into the bathroom, all while she screamed in horror, “Ah! What are you doing?! Let me go!”
Corinne grasped Francine’s hair with one hand, clamped her wrists with the other hand, and pinned down Francine’s flailing arms. “Tell me, what did you just splash on me?” demanded Corinne.
She looked like a demon at that moment, and Francine finally realized that Corinne’s obedient-looking demeanor earlier was nothing more than a facade.
Francine could not help but feel a chill in her heart. “It’s… It’s water left behind in the kitchen after some fish were gutted!”
“Oh, is that right?” Corinne pursed her lips and smiled. Seconds later, she dunked Francine’s head into the toilet bowl.
Francine tried shouting, but her shouts turned into mere gurgles after her face was submerged underwater. 30 seconds later, Corinne pulled her head out and asked, “How does that feel, Miss Francine?”
Pale-faced and disheveled, Francine said, “H—How… How d—dare you do this to me! You…”
Corinne shrugged indifferently. “You started it, and I’m just getting even. Since you poured fish-gut water all over me, it’s only fair that I let you have a taste of toilet water.”
‘This woman is insane!’ Francine then frantically shrieked, “Gah! I’m the Holdens’ young miss! My brother loves me dearly! Where did you get the guts to treat me like this?!”
Corinne ignored her and said, “I couldn’t care less that you’re the Holdens’ young miss. Your brother married me so I could become the Holdens’ young madam, not your punching bag. Remember what happened today, and don’t ever mess with me anymore!” Another round of head-dunking ensued, and it ended with Corinne shoving away Francine.
Francine raised her head abruptly and gasped for breath. She felt so disgusted by what happened that she nearly burst into tears.
That was the first time Francine ever experienced such humiliation. She propped herself on the toilet bowl and retched several times before gritting her teeth and threatening Corinne, “Just you wait, Corinne! I swear I’ll get my brother to divorce you!”
Corinne smiled. “Is that so? That’s wonderful news! Thanks in advance for your help, Miss Francine!”
Upon seeing Corinne’s nonchalance, Francine felt as if her threats had fallen on deaf ears and were practically useless.
After dragging Francine away and shoving her out of the room, Corinne took off the smelly clothes and went to bathe.
There were no other clothes available for her to wear, and she was forced to step out of the bathroom wrapped only in a bath towel. At that moment, she glanced at her cell phone on the bedside table and saw that its screen was flickering.
It was a call from Corinne’s colleague, Joanna Johnston.
As soon as Corinne answered it, she was greeted by Joanna’s anxious voice as she said, “Bad news, Corinne! Something big happened at the company! You need to come here, quickly!”