Empty Promises

Photo prompt: © Fatima Fakier Deria


He came down to find the kitchen cold. The coffee machine bereft of beans, the range orphaned of the pan that sizzled on it every morning as far back as he could recall. His lunch boxes waited on the table, naked in their transparent emptiness.

He was sure that the vacant orange juice glass was put on them just to spite.

He never believed her that she’d up and leave if he kept ‘forgetting’ her papers. He never thought she’d have anyplace else to go. But there he was. Alone. The servant that had been a fixture for him, gone.



For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers


45 thoughts on “Empty Promises

  1. Na’ama Y’karah,

    Put me down for another “serves him right.” Glad she had enough self-respect to leave him on his own. No doubt he’s shocked. Perhaps he’s learned something about using people. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Rochelle! I’d like to think that she’d planned for this a long time (after all, he would not take care of the papers she needed … so she must’ve had to find other ways to do what was necessary, for it certainly showed her cared naught about what SHE needed …). And I hope she’s left for a far better life … As for him? I don’t much care if he eats out of a can for the near future … 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I would think you are thinking correctly … and … while not many like to think of it, this kind of slavery – especially via trafficking in undocumented persons — is not unheard of in ‘developed countries’ where slavery is supposedly outlawed.
      I hope she’d left after making a good plan for a time, and that she’s moved into more respectful circumstances. …

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the ending… might have caused me a twist in my neck from the redirect 😉
    Serves him right and all we can do is wish her luck. As you mentioned in a comment above, she must have planned this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed! And … if he was holding her papers from her on purpose, because it worked for him that she could not leave … all the more reason (and kudos to her) for her to work on a plan to leave anyway, and do so. As she maybe did.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Shades of labor trafficking. Once the visa lets them enter the country with their “employer” the state department forgets about them. Maybe she met someone who knew how to get her to help while she was out buying supplies for the household. Good story, Na’ama.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, shades of the too many who live in the shadows and some of whom do not have even the freedom to leave. Unless they find some help to better their circumstances. I hope she did find a way, given that he certainly was not interested in changing a status quo that worked for him even if it did not at all work for her.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda! I admit a bit of intent behind that ‘plot twist’ … And … because the realities of some of the lesser seen members of society – be it those who are married and taken for granted, or have had little choice in the realities they live.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It could be all manner of possibilities, one of them being that she was an essentially trafficked person (as happens to too many people in service, who come into the country with ‘papers’ that their ’employer’ takes or holds on to or lets expire … making the domestic basically a slave who cannot leave … It takes great courage to find ways to do so, especially after many years, though some manage to find a way out.
      And yes, even if less exploitative relationships, if deals aren’t upheld, relationships cannot be healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If she was in a bit of tight spot with her papers, and perhaps fewer options outside of her current employment, I admire her self respect in leaving a job that didn’t respect her. Hopefully, she had something better waiting for her. Good twist with the servant at the end too.

    Liked by 1 person

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