Sarah grew weary, and isolated as her husband was constantly absent. She saw very little of him, and when he was home, he would be in a nasty mood, as he occupied his time in his study, reading the newspaper. The routine never altered as Philip hated any slight change to it. She only became aware of this one night when they retired to their bedroom.
Sarah took no notice that the fireplace had not been lit, nor was bed had been turned down as it had been every night. She believed Philip would take care of the fireplace as Sarah got ready for bed, but she was wrong. Philip’s visage contorted in ire in a blink of an eye.
“AKI!” He hollered in his deepest, and loudest voice. “AKI, COME HERE!”
Within minutes, a fretful Aki entered the room.
“WHY ISN’T THE FIREPLACE LIT!” He yelled at her. “WHY ISN’T THE BED TURNED DOWN! WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME!”
Aki was obviously shaking in fright, and tried apologizing, but stuttered and stammered to get the words out.
“Must I remind you what happens when nothing is in it’s place!” Philip went on.
Aki shook her head.
“Haruki, sick,” she tried to explain, but it only seem to anger her Master.
“How many times I’ve told you to not bother me with your excuses!” Philip chided her. “I can’t seem to trust you sometimes! Do wish to for me to send you back, is that what you want?”
“No, I won’t forget!” pleaded Aki. “Don’t send me back.”
Aki rushed to the fireplace, and began to light it.
“Don’t let me repeat myself,” he shook a menacing finger at her. “No hurry up and get out! I’ve had enough of your mishaps.”
Sarah held back the urge to say something. She had never seen Philip this angry, but Aki knew his anger, and she feared him so. Aki quickly dashed, and quietly made her exit. Philip resumed to sitting in his armchair next to the fireplace, lit his pipe, and leaned back. Sarah, didn’t say a word, and went to bed.
It wasn’t the last time Sarah became a witness to Philips’ brash treatment towards Aki, as she did everything she could to please him. One evening during supper, Aki was late on serving the meal, and Philip had grown frustrated with her. He yelled at Aki, who tried everything to mend her mistakes, by the end she was crying. When Sarah tried to speak up, Philip stopped her.
“This is Aki’s job,” Philip told Sarah. “She knows when supper is set. She has no excuse to be late. Now, enough, I don’t want to hear it.”
Sarah didn’t say no more.
During the rest of Philips’s stay, Aki flubbed to many times, angering her master. Sarah had tried again to intervene, but Philip was having none of it, became more hostile towards Aki.
“Darling,” Philip told her. “This is between me and Aki. It doesn’t concern you.”
“But it does,” Sarah retorted.
Philip faced her directly, and in his full height, stared directly into Sarah’s eyes and told her again that it didn’t concern her. Sarah became frightened, and backed down. She had seen Philip’s ire, and she was scared to push any further.
There was another incident that Sarah was witness to. Days before Philip was to leave, she had taken a stroll through the gardens one morning, and decided to head upstairs for a nap. She was turning the corner when she saw a dismayed Aki standing in front of her room, the door wide open. Sarah was going to say something, but before she could she saw Philip behind her, pulling her inside as he closed the door. A chill ran down Sarah’s back. Something was amiss, and the way Aki stared at her, with pleading eyes, made her feel uneasy.
Afraid and confused, Sarah ran out, and as she organized her thoughts, a sudden feeling of betrayal came over her. She was angry at Philip, he hadn’t had been honest with her, bringing her to this place away from her sister. Sarah, couldn’t push back her tears, and wondered what was to become of her.