Chapter 1: How it all started
Sitting in the hall, looking around, George got even more impressed by the surroundings. Until entering this paradise he hadn’t know this kind of thing still existed. The house, situated in the middle of the commercial centre of town was completely surrounded by a large walled garden. The hall was large, furnished with splendid antiques and oriental carpets, but wasn’t overwhelming. The house was impressive but at the same time very attractive, charming even.
A couple of minutes before George had been standing in the street in front of the simple metal door in the large wall. The doorbell had been answered almost immediately. As usual the voice had sounded somewhat metallic and because of the noise in the busy street he hadn’t understood what had been said.
-Can I help you?
-Oh, sorry. It’s regarding the classified ad: “Free boarding in exchange for help in the household”.
There had been a short silence and then the buzzing sound of the door opening.
-Come on in.
It had seemed that the voice had sounded somewhat amused. But he didn’t have time to wonder why since upon pushing open the metal door he had immediately been flabbergasted by what he had encountered. He had entered a large shaded garden with a splendid lawn leading up to a large house. Closing the door behind him he immediately had sensed the calm. It was as if he had entered an oasis in the middle of the madness of the city.
As he was walking towards the house the front door had opened and a very attractive figure had appeared in the door opening. As he walked towards her George had been struck as by lightning when suddenly he had recognised the girl. She was a freshman in the university he attended and when he had seen her for the first time a couple of days before he had been awed. He had never experienced this before but it had been love at first sight. He hadn’t had the occasion to approach her and to his despair he hadn’t seen her again after that one time. And here she was now, smiling invitingly at him.
-Looking for a room?
-Yes. Is it still free?
-I guess. I think the offer only appeared this morning.
-I know you. I saw you at the university.
-Did you? What a small world, isn’t it?
-My name is George.
She had stretched out her hand.
-I’m Nathalie. Well George come in, I’ll see if my mother is free to receive you.
And here he was waiting now. He was just wondering what took her so long when Nathalie came back.
-Mother will be ready in a few minutes. She has asked to show you the room in the mean time and she wants you to talk to Julia, my oldest sister, first. All right?
George followed her up the majestic stairs, when she smilingly looked over her shoulder.
-You know this add was intended to attract girls. The person who occupied the room until now was a girl. I had some trouble convincing mother that in this time of equal opportunity we shouldn’t discriminate.
-My argument that Andrés could use some help in the garden from time to time convinced her more.
-I see. Who is Andrés?
-Andrés and Carmen are our housekeepers.
They had arrived on the first floor.
-Here my parents and my three oldest sisters have their quarters. The rest of us have our rooms on the second floor.
Opening a door she revealed another flight of stairs. Less majestic bust still quiet large.
-The rest of you? How many are you?
-6 girls in all. So on the second floor there are rooms for the boarder, my two youngest sisters and myself.
The room was very spacious and light and had its own completely equipped private bathroom. From the windows he could almost oversee the complete garden. Nathalie was standing beside him what made his heart beat faster, showing him the tennis court, the swimming pool, the garages with the apartment above which Carmen and Andrés lived.
-What do you think? Interested?
-That’s no question. This is paradise.
He didn’t add that even if the room, the house, the garden would have been completely unappealing he still would have been interested just to be with her.
-The ad said it was free. What’s the amount of work I’m expected to deliver? 24 hour slavery?
-Let’s go and look for Julia, she’ll explain.
He followed her down the stairs.
-Are you sure this is paradise? Living under the same roof with 6 girls I mean?
-I suppose I’ll survive
-Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. The six of us can be really overwhelming.
George had had quiet some girlfriends before but this time it was different. This time he knew he really was in love.
-I’m sure I can handle it. It can’t be that bad. If I remember right you told me you are the youngest one, didn’t you?
-No, I’m the oldest of the younger ones.
George looked at her in a puzzled way.
-Let me explain. Julia is 24. She is immediately followed by the twins who are 23. Then there is a gap of 6 years and then there is me, I’m 18. Next you have Emily who is 14, and finally Benjamin who is 11. And when there is a man in the house we all go crazy.
-What about your father?
-Most of the time he is absent on business trips and when he is home he lives pretty much his own live. Don’t get me wrong. He is very impressive and at the same time adorable. We all respect and love him very much, but I guess that’s the way he manages to live with 7 women.
-And don’t your older sisters bring boyfriends to the house?
-Hardly. A number of years ago Julia did a couple of times but we used to tease them so much that she gave up. I guess we turned her into a lesbian. And the twins don’t need anyone.
-Maybe I should reconsider.
-I warned you. No, I’m kidding. I’m sure you’ll love them all. And what I said about Julia isn’t fair. She doesn’t have much time for herself. My mother is so absent minded that it’s really Julia who is running the household.
In the mean time they had reached the first floor again and Nathalie asked George to wait while she entered in one of the rooms. Again it took more time than he had expected, but after a couple of minutes he was invited to enter. The room was very large, with high ceilings and was richly furnished. After she had presented him to her sister, Nathalie left the two of them alone.
The interview with Julia took quite some time. First she explained that the housekeepers Carmen and Andrés had been working for the family for ages. A couple of years ago it had become necessary to give them help since they had become a little too old to do the complete household on their own. The house however, big as it was, never was conceived to house 6 children and personnel. That’s why they hadn’t looked for a servant but for a “guest” who would help out a couple of hours a day. With the previous boarder it had worked out very well. She had completely shared the family life, in fact she had become a very good friend. Carmen and Andrés had continued to do almost all the normal household tasks and the boarder had helped out mostly with all kind of special chores. Even if she had been working at least 15 hours a week she had had time to pursue her studies, even going to all her classes.
He had to understand that for the family it was extremely important that the new boarder would fit in. In this sense she was preoccupied with the fact that he was a boy. She agreed with Nathalie that a boy had advantages since Andrés clearly could use a hand in the garden but still they had to take into consideration that this was an exclusively female household, or almost. She had gone on asking him a lot of questions about himself, his family, his studies, etc. Finally she had proposed to present him to her mother. While they were going down they met Nathalie who gave him an inquisitive look. George had lifted his shoulders to indicate that he wasn’t sure. His encounter with the mother had been very short and cordial. She had immediately told him to call her Elisabeth and with a clear sense of humour had warned him they formed a strange family. After a couple of minutes she told him that for her he was very welcome but that Julia wasn’t completely convinced.
He was told to wait once more in the hall. A few seconds later Julia came to confirm they were inclined to give him the room but she wasn’t convinced yet. Would he be willing to come over and stay with them for a day, for instance the coming Saturday?
Of course he was willing.
-OK, then we’ll expect you the day after tomorrow. Let’s say around 11? Would that be OK?
-Saturday at 11 I’ll be here. It was a pleasure meeting you and I’m sure I’ll adapt myself real fast to this family. Looking forward to it.
At that moment Nathalie had joined them and she seemed satisfied with the result.
-Now, you’ll excuse me but I’ve a lot of work waiting. Nathalie could you be so kind to show George out?
They walked together through the garden. When they had reached the door she kissed him good bye
-I’m glad you convinced them. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun.
-I haven’t won yet.
-Saturday is no problem. You just join in with what the rest of us do. I’m sure you’ll do fine. See you Saturday.
Two days later George made sure that he presented himself right on the hour of 11. It was again Nathalie who opened the door. She was wearing a short night dress and looked even more charming than two days before. Kissing him she excused herself for not being dressed yet.
-On Saturdays we always are a little bit lazy.
-That’s fine with me. You look very pretty in night dress.
At that moment two girls came storming into the hall.
-Oh George, meet Benjamin and Emily. Calm down you two and say hello to our new boardster.
The two girls erupted in laughter and still giggling greeted him.
-Let’s go and meet the rest.
They passed through the house and went outside to the patio where Elisabeth, the mother, and Julia, both properly dressed, were still sitting at the breakfast table. He was invited to take a cup of coffee which of course he accepted. At that moment Martha and Maria, the twins, came out. Both of them wearing shorts. They were tall, long legged and very good looking. George couldn’t help thinking his luck didn’t stop. This was an extremely good looking family. After they had greeted George without showing much interest the twins asked if anybody cared joining them for a game of volley ball. Nathalie immediately agreed.
-Give me the time to get dressed and I’ll join you.
Running away she turned for a second to George.
-You’ll play too, won’t you?
Before George could answer the two smaller girls who had joined them on the patio indicated they wanted to play too, to which Julia immediately responded telling them to go change themselves because otherwise they would ruin their pretty summer dresses. At that moment she looked at George and noticed he wasn’t really outfitted to do sports either, wearing nicely ironed light coloured summer pants.
-You have something to change?
-I’m afraid not.
-Come along, let’s see if we can find something.
He followed her upstairs where they entered one of the rooms. Noticing two beds he assumed this was the twin’s room. Julia went through the wardrobe and after a few seconds took out a pair of shorts and a polo-shirt.
-Try those. I’m sure they’ll be all right. I’m going to see if I can find a pair of dad’s sport shoes. I’ll be back in a minute.
Looking at the lavender coloured shorts George at first didn’t want to try them on. They were very short with a high waist, closing with a zip on the side. He thought he would look silly wearing such a girl’s model but realising his room could depend on it, he changed his mind. Being rather short and slim, the shorts fitted him perfect, the short pipes fitting tightly around his legs. The polo shirt, pale blue with a small collar and puffy white rimmed sleeves, was a little short but otherwise fitted quiet well too. He was looking at himself in the mirror, not knowing what to think of it, when Julia came in.
-Nice. You look charming don’t you think? What size are your shoes?
She handed him a pair of tennis shoes and white socks.
-Those are 41. With the socks you’ll be all right I guess.
When he came outside the girls, all of them wearing shorts now, stopped playing and started laughing. Martha was the first to comment.
-Wow. You look sexy baby.
-Too much hair on his legs, commented her twin sister.
Seeing he didn’t know how to react Nathalie came to his rescue.
-I think you look quiet charming. Come on let’s play.
He joined them and was soon completely absorbed by the play forgetting completely about his outfit. It was obvious that the girls played often. Playing with Nathalie and Benjamin against Emily and the twins he had a very though and enjoyable game.
After finishing the game they sat down on the patio and chatted for a while until Julia came looking for George to present him to Andres and Carmen. George wanted to change into his other cloths first but Julia told him it didn’t matter and that the couple was waiting for him. Neither Carmen nor Andres blinked over his outfit and received him very cordially. The next hour they showed him around explaining the different aspects of the household in which he eventually would be expected to help.
Lunch was very informal. George helped Carmen to bring some cold food and bread to the patio and everybody served himself. The conversation turned to what they were going to do after lunch. All the girls seemed to have something planned except for Nathalie and Benjamin.
-George, do you play tennis?
-I love to but I’m not very good. And you?
-It’s my favourite sport but I hardly get any chance to play since except for dad nobody in this household likes to play.
-I do, intervened the youngest girl.
-I’m sorry Benjamin, you are right and you are becoming quiet good at it.
The 11 year old girl beamed with pride.
At that moment Carmen came out and started cleaning the table. George immediately stood up to help. Cleaning up, including putting everything in its place took some time and when he returned to the patio George discovered that all the girls had disappeared. Just as he was thinking he could go upstairs to change Elisabeth looked up from the paper she had been reading. Immediately George was captivated by her charming and entertaining conversation. The two of them really enjoyed themselves and were laughing heartily when Nathalie found them.
-Having a good time?
She was wearing a very short printed cotton dress that seemed kind of infantile to George. The dress had a small round collar and short sleeves. It fastened with a short row of buttons in the back and with a sash that was knotted in a bow in the waist. The body fitted tightly over her small breasts. It had a loose hanging skirt that was so short it barely covered her panties. It looked a little incongruous on an 18 year old but George found her very appealing
She couldn’t hide that his remark pleased her very much. Turning a little red she smiled radiantly.
-Thank you. Mom, Dad is on the phone. He expects to be home in a couple of hours but he wants to talk to you.
As the two of them remained alone George asked her how he was doing.
-I told you, you would do fine. But George, there is something I have to tell you. You see, Emma, – the previous boarder – she really was a sweet girl, but she was very close to Julia. For me she always remained an intruder in our second floor kingdom, the kingdom of the “small ones”. Do you promise me you will try to fit in with the 3 of us upstairs?
-Not too fast George. I think you don’t really realise what I’m expecting of you. I guess I’m really a strange person. There is a part of me that doesn’t seem to want to grow up. I like wearing children’s cloths, playing children’s games. You see?
George wasn’t too sure, but he still didn’t hesitate.
-Whatever you want.
-Emily, Benjamin and I have always loved playing together but lately Emily has more and more been occupied with other things. You think you’ll enjoy playing with us?
-I told you, whatever you want.
Nathalie kissed him on the forehead.
-I knew it from the first time I saw you that you were different.
They remained silent for a while, until Julia came to the patio.
-Not really. Want to do something George’
-I don’t know. Care for a game of tennis?
-Great. Let’s see if you are really so bad.
-l’ll have to borrow a racket.
Before Nathalie could respond Julia was reacting:
– That’s not the problem George
Nathalie glanced at Julia, ,but the older girl did as if she didn’t notice:
-I’m afraid we are kind of formal in this family. Only complete white dress is allowed on the tennis court.
-Come on Julia, why can’t he play as he is?
-You know your father insists.
Nathalie seemed to hesitate a moment but then smiled broadly.
-All right. George it seems you won’t escape. Let’s go and see what we can find.
Not quiet sure what to expect this time he followed Nathalie inside.
-Well George, beginning to realise how strange this family really is?
-I’m not complaining.
They had arrived on the first floor and George found himself once more in the twin’s room. Nathalie handed him a white polo-shirt which fitted him even better than the blue one. But then, without comment, she gave him a short tennis skirt.
-You can’t be serious?
-Come on George, don’t spoil it. Except for my crazy sisters nobody will see you anyway.
She gave him a warm smile and, after a moment of hesitation he took off his shorts. Just as he was closing the skirt Benjamin busted into the room. Looking at George she started laughing.
-So Julia did tell the truth. It looks good though. Except for the hair on your legs.