Jane’s employers plan a luxurious holiday away, tagging her along to look after their children. While they promised that they would take care of all the expenses, it is only when they return home that they demand that Jane play her part and pay for her plane tickets. But Jane won’t give up that easily.

“Jane, can you come into the living room?” Mrs. Smith called out, her teaspoon clinking as she stirred sugar into the cup of tea Melanie, the helper, had just given her.

A fancy teacup with a gold spoon | Source: Midjourney

A fancy teacup with a gold spoon | Source: Midjourney

I was tidying up the playroom.

“Now, please,” she added.

Her tone was sweet, but something felt off. I walked into the living room, trying to keep my nerves at bay.

“Sure, Mrs. Smith. What’s up?” I replied, wiping the disinfectant onto my jeans.

A children's playroom | Source: Pexels

A children’s playroom | Source: Pexels

She was sitting on the couch, perfectly poised as always. Not even a strand of hair out of place. Mr. Smith was seated beside her, his phone in his hand. He gave me a tight smile.

“Jane, we need to talk about the vacation.”

A woman sitting on a couch | Source: Pexels

A woman sitting on a couch | Source: Pexels

I nodded, curious.

We had been home for two days now. Back from our trip to the seaside, staying in a luxurious resort. It was almost the break I needed, minus the fact that I had the Smiths’ three children, and their friends, the Johnsons’ two sons to care for as well.

A woman holding a baby at the beach | Source: pexels

A woman holding a baby at the beach | Source: pexels

I was just doing my job in a fancier location.

“Of course,” I said. “It was a lovely trip. Thank you again for inviting me.”

“Yes, well,” Mrs. Smith started. “We need to discuss the plane tickets. When will you be able to return the $1000?”

I blinked. I was sure that I had misheard her.

A person holding a boarding pass | Source: Pexels

A person holding a boarding pass | Source: Pexels

“Sorry, $1000? For the tickets? What?”

“Yes, for the tickets, Jane,” she spoke slowly as if I was stupid. “We spent a lot on them, and we thought you’d be grateful enough to pay us back.”

My heart raced. I didn’t have that kind of money to spare. I was their full-time nanny, with a mother to care for at home.

A sick woman blowing her nose | Source: Pexels

A sick woman blowing her nose | Source: Pexels

“But you told me that everything was sorted. You said, ‘Don’t worry about it, Jane. We’ve got it all covered.'”

Mrs. Smith’s expression hardened. Mr. Smith gazed at me.

A man in a suit | Source: Pexels

A man in a suit | Source: Pexels

“That was before the Johnsons refused to sign a business deal with Craig. That was the entire purpose of the holiday. Mr. Smith and I needed to woo them. So, there’s no need to seem generous now, Jane. You have exactly one week to return the money, or it will be taken from your pay.”

A person signing a document | Source: Unsplash

A person signing a document | Source: Unsplash

I was stunned. The room felt like it was spinning.

“But… I can’t afford that, Mrs. Smith,” I admitted. “Most of my salary goes to the rent at home and my mother’s medication. I can’t take that away from her. And you didn’t mention anything about paying you back!”

A person taking medication | Source: Pexels

A person taking medication | Source: Pexels

“That’s not our problem, Jane. One week,” Mr. Smith reiterated, reaching for a croissant from the tea tray left for Mrs. Smith. With a wave of his hand, he signaled the end of the discussion.

That night, I sat in my tiny room a few feet away from the Smiths’ house. I was seething. How could they do this? I needed a plan, and I needed it fast.

Croissants on a plate | Source: Midjourney

Croissants on a plate | Source: Midjourney

Then it hit me: the Smiths cared deeply about their social standing and their reputation.

“Of course, that’s all they care about,” I muttered to myself as I brushed my teeth before bed. “But I can use that to my advantage.”

A woman brushing her teeth | Source: Pexels

A woman brushing her teeth | Source: Pexels

The next day, after I dropped the kids off at school, I created a fake email account. I drafted a polite but detailed message about my experience, making sure to be clear without naming any names.

But there were enough telltale signs pointing to the Smiths, from their cars to the kids, to the gold facial appointments that Mrs. Smith bragged about.

A woman getting a gold facial | Source: Unsplash

A woman getting a gold facial | Source: Unsplash

Thereafter, I sent it to the key people in their social circle, including the other influential families that the Smiths wanted to be in league with.

“I just don’t understand what they want from us,” I overheard Mrs. Smith say into the phone later that day. “Eva asked me if everything is true, but I don’t know what she’s talking about.”

A person using a laptop | Source: Pexels

A person using a laptop | Source: Pexels

A few days later, the gossip started spreading. The Smiths’ dirty little secret on how they treated “their staff” was out, and naturally, their reputation took a hit.

Mrs. Smith called in a masseuse to soothe her muscles.

“Just let them into the spa when they arrive, Jane,” she said. “I need all the help I can get.”

A woman getting a massage | Source: Pexels

A woman getting a massage | Source: Pexels

Later that day, when I went to pick the kids up from school, the other nannies were hanging about, waiting for the bell to ring.

“Did you read the email about the Smiths?” one of the nannies said. “Jane, are they really like that?”

I nodded.

A group of women standing together | Source: Unsplash

A group of women standing together | Source: Unsplash

“They’re good parents, but they’re horrible people,” I admitted, not wanting to give away that I was the person who sent out the email.

“How long will you work for them?” another asked me. “I couldn’t live or work under those circumstances. Rich people need to learn that respect for them is earned, too.”

I smiled.

A smiling woman | Source: Pexels

A smiling woman | Source: Pexels

The nannies went back and forth as we waited. And through their chatter, I discovered something interesting about Mrs. Smith.

Turns out that my employer had a habit of “borrowing” items from her friends and never returning them.

“An entire Gucci handbag, Jane,” Mina said. “Mrs. Smith asked my ma’am if she could borrow it for a fundraising gala two months ago.”

A black Gucci handbag | Source: Unsplash

A black Gucci handbag | Source: Unsplash

“That’s ridiculous!” I said, shocked. “I didn’t know that she was capable of that sort of thing. But she doesn’t like me getting too close to her things anyway.”

A few days later, Mrs. Smith held one of her ladies’ luncheons. It was a monthly event that she loved hosting, but this time it was only two weeks into the month.

A menu on a plate | Source: Midjourney

A menu on a plate | Source: Midjourney

“I need this to go well, Jane,” she said as I cut fruit up for the kids. “So, you need to attend it. The kids will be at school. Everything will be catered for. Just walk around and talk to the women. Make us seem human.”

I knew that she was puzzling. She must have heard more than enough through the grapevine.

Sliced fruit on a chopping board | Source: Midjourney

Sliced fruit on a chopping board | Source: Midjourney

During the event, I walked around as requested of me. But I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip. And I had nothing to lose. The Smiths were probably going to fire me at the end of the week when I couldn’t make the $1000.

“We’ll deal with it, darling,” my mother coughed into the phone when I told her the truth of the matter.

A person covering her mouth | Source: Pexels

A person covering her mouth | Source: Pexels

At the luncheon, I walked around, casually mentioning to the ladies how much I admired Mrs. Smith’s collection, making sure that I spoke to Eva, Mina’s employer.

“Mrs. Smith has a stunning handbag similar to yours,” I said. “Gucci. Did she lend you this one? She’s always telling me that she lends her things out because she has so much.”

A woman wearing a Gucci bag | Source: Pexels

A woman wearing a Gucci bag | Source: Pexels

Eva looked at me over the top of her champagne glass.

“Is that so, Jane?” she asked, her eyes narrowing.

Whispers started circulating. By the end of the luncheon, Mrs. Smith’s reputation for borrowing without returning was the hot topic.

A woman holding a glass of champagne | Source: Pexels

A woman holding a glass of champagne | Source: Pexels

The next morning, her friends began asking for their things back.

Mrs. Smith was mortified.

During dinner the next night, Mr. Smith called me to the table, asking me to join them.

“Thank you, but I usually wait for Ivy and Melanie to eat,” I said politely, mentioning the chef and her helper.

Food on a table | Source: Unsplash

Food on a table | Source: Unsplash

“No, sit with us,” he insisted.

I obliged.

Despite his tone, I hoped that maybe he was going to tell me that the money could be forgotten. And that everything would return as normal.

“It has come to my attention that an anonymous email has gone out,” he said, cutting into his steak.

Steak on a board | Source: Pexels

Steak on a board | Source: Pexels

“A disgusting email,” Mrs. Smith added, taking a long sip of her wine.

“Did you have anything to do with it?” he asked me, his eyes trying to coax a confession out of me.

I shook my head, looking down at my plate.

“Then that settles it,” he said, knowingly. “You’re dismissed. You can pack up and get out tomorrow.”

A woman holding a glass of wine | Source: Pexels

A woman holding a glass of wine | Source: Pexels

I did exactly as I was told and moved back home. A week later, Mrs. Johnson called me.

“Jane, can you come over for tea?” she asked warmly.

“Of course, Mrs. Johnson,” I replied, curious about the nature of the invitation.

A woman holding her phone | Source: Pexels

A woman holding her phone | Source: Pexels

As we sat in her luxurious living room, she looked at me with genuine concern.

“I heard about what the Smiths did to you. It’s disgraceful.”

I nodded, trying to keep my composure.

“Well,” she continued. “We’ve decided to cut ties with the Smiths entirely. And we’d like to offer you a job. Better pay, better working conditions. We could use someone like you for our kids.”

A living room | Source: Pexels

A living room | Source: Pexels

I was stunned.

“Of course!” I exclaimed. I needed the job desperately.

“You’ve earned it,” she smiled. “The boys loved having you watch them during the holiday. And somehow, you got Jonathan to eat his peas!”

I don’t know how the Smiths reacted to me working for the Johnsons, but I hoped that they felt betrayed.

A young woman with a little boy | Source: Unsplash

A young woman with a little boy | Source: Unsplash

What would you have done?

If you enjoyed this story, here’s another one.

I Overheard My Husband Telling His Friends That I Look Worse than His Ex – The Lesson I Gave Him Is Just Crazy

Still basking in her honeymoon glow, Jane is more than ready to begin her new life as a wife. But when she overhears a conversation between her husband and his friends, she discovers that her husband is as shallow as they come. Will Jane conform to the ideal woman Wayne wants, or will she leave?

A man laughing | Source: Unsplash

A man laughing | Source: Unsplash

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