January 18, 2018
By Anonymous

I’ve taken care of the Ivanov family my whole life at their estate many miles outside of Moscow. Before me, was my father and when he died I took his place as the butler. I’ve lived with the Ivanov family my whole life dedicating every minute of everyday to waiting on Madam Adeline and her three children. They are the closest I’ve ever had to family yet they never thought the same. When I was young they would shut doors and talk in hushed voices when I was nearby but as I grew older these tactics were no longer needed. I could no longer hear most of what they were saying, even if I could I couldn’t keep up. They discussed politics as if they mattered which they simply didn’t. Times where no longer the same, this even I could see. They frolocked about in their expensive dressings and jewelry, pretending that they could hold on to this status but they were slipping. The day finally came when the family fell for good.
I woke from a nap to find the whole family gone. It seems I forgot today was moving day. I grasp the front door handle and pull but it refuses to budge, remaining locked. They’ve gone, they’ve left me, after all my years of service those incompetent children left without giving me a second glance. Madam Adeline is probably wearing a light overcoat instead of her fur coat, so typical of her generation to forget such simple tasks. My strength is waning as I sit down. My body is a weight pulling me down, and I don’t have the energy to think of those ridiculous children any longer. As I lay down my mind drifts off to the events leading to the selling of the precious estate.
The family could no longer afford to live at the estate, that much was obvious. Everything went downhill once the serfs were freed. Like fools the family continued their luxurious living and I for some reason was foolish enough to stick by their side. I tried to remind them of the old days, and the importance of the estate. “The trees were always calm, strong... They knew the way,” I would say to them. They didn’t understand they never would they simply shook their heads and continued chattering. The trees never spoke to them as they spoke to me. Sadly they have forgotten the way and can never find it again. The only thing to remind us of the better days was that old estate.
They never listened, “be quite Sanders,” they would say. Never listening to my tales of the old days, the way things should be. They just continued talking, their voices at a ridiculously low volume no person in their right mind could hear. It never mattered what they thought of me I did my job, and they focused on their silly little lives.
When Sir Anton took the estate that was it. There was no going back he was going to chop down those proud trees and all they stood for. As the day to leave grew closer the family stuck me with their silly nurse, expecting that the faithless twit would take care of me. No surprise there, she left me along with the rest of the family. Here I remain in the silent house free from their exhausting complaints and chitter chatter, but I can’t help but feel faint. I surrender to the darkness as my eyelids slowly lower. My body sinks into the chair and I feel peace at least. I can hear the wind from the estate whisking past my ears, oh how I’ll miss those glorious trees once I get out of this house, but perhaps I’ll just lay here longer. I haven’t had a well deserved break in 87 years. I guess it’s no surprise the family got rid of what was holding them back. They left the old estate because it was no use to them anymore and perhaps they now thought of me the same way. My energy slowly drains out as I feel darkness envelop my tired body.

The author's comments:
This story reflects the fall of the Russian upper class during the turn of the 20th century and their separation from those who serve them.

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