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The Pillow Fort

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Andy Sachs was slumped back against the cushioned seat in presidential suite watching the twins bicker between each other over which movie to watch that night. Bringing her mug up to her mouth, Andy slowly nursed her coffee all the while carefully watch the kids.

This was to become the routine for the week at this hotel. Emily goes off with Miranda to some extravagant fashion event and Andy stays behind to supervise two twelve year olds. Admittedly, at first, Andy was excited to stay behind in the hotel. This meant she didn’t have to remember all the names of Miranda’s acquaintances and whisper them in her ear the whole evening, but it quickly became obvious that she and the twins just didn’t get along.

It’s not that Andy hadn’t tried to get along with the twins, but Miranda had left strict instructions every night that they couldn’t leave the hotel unless it was on fire and so every night Andy was doomed to be blamed by the twins for their lack-of-fun in the near future.
Andy started to think about life in New York, or rather specifically the nice bottle of wine and her apartment with a double bed and no kids’ part of her life. Lost in thought, Andy didn’t realise Caroline stomping across the room towards her, or was it Cassidy?
Shaking herself out of her musing she looked back at the twin, flashing a rather forced smile that came up nowhere near her eyes. When sitting down Andy was eye level with the girl in front of her.

“Hey what’s up kiddo?” Andy tried, although she didn’t expect an answer as the girls had been ignoring her the whole evening.

“Um, h-hi,” started the girl “We were wondering if you wanted to, err, play with us, I guess?” The twin adverted her eyes looking at her feet, feeling decidedly embarrassed. Shocked, Andy just stared dumbly at the girl, trying to get her brain to work again so she could reply. When Andy didn’t immediately answer the girl tried again looking back at her sister for help.

“Look we’re bored, you’re bored. We can’t go outside and there’s nothing on TV, so we’re stuck with reading a book or watching a movie and we were wanting you to join us, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to but…yeah you can.” Sheepishly turning away the girl started to head back to her sister when Andy replied.

“Mmmm… I like myself a good book, but watching a movie is always fun” Andy mused out loud having recovered from the initial shock. Retuning the girls own smile Andy set her coffee down and allowed herself to be dragged by the hand to the other side of the large suite toward the other twin. Leaning over both girls Andy saw the final pile of DVD’s that the girls couldn’t decide on.

Pointing to her favourite of the lot, Andy picked up the DVD and set up the TV in silence, not trusting herself to speak. Honestly Andy was amazed she hadn’t stuttered or started babbling in front of the girls remembering that that was one of ‘Miranda’s rules’ she had left; that along with no sugar after six o’clock. Turning she saw both Twins sitting in the couch leaving a gap in between them their hands giddily patting the spot they had left for Andy with identical mini megawatt smiles. In return Andy gave them her first genuine smile that night she settled between them and pressed play.

Half way through ‘The Shawshank redemption’ both girls gathered closer to Andy, resting their red heads on her shoulders. Enjoying the extra warmth Andy put her arms around both of them to make them more comfortable. When the movie was finished both girls were already asleep in Andy’s arms on the couch, snuggled close to her. Chuckling to herself Andy carefully bundled the first twin into her arms, cradling her like a baby and carried her to her bed. By the second trip Andy was so grateful they the twins were small and light for their age otherwise the second twin, which Andy decided was probably Caroline, would have been dropped unceremoniously on the floor.

On the Second night, Andy was once again invited to watch a movie, this time ‘it’s a wonderful life’ in the evening with the girls and wholeheartedly accepted. After the movie finished Andy ushered the girls into their respective beds and let them sleep.

On the third night, Andy started to urge the twins out of their shells by talking causally about safe topics like school and their friends back in New York. Andy realised that these girls really weren’t the little monsters that they were thought to be. Whilst very similar, Cassidy had more freckles than her sister and usually only went along with Caroline who was the more confidant of the two.

What Andy did realises was that both girls were extremely shy when around adults and that they really didn’t like many of Miranda’s acquaintances, those they didn’t like, or those they thought were only using their mother, they hated, and thus were rude and played tricks on them. Admittedly, it made sense to Andy why the girls were so nervous around the adults in their life. They were all very successful and would often look down on them as a means to get to Miranda.
Of course they never told Miranda this. They confessed that they never really did much of anything with their mother, and she certainty never played games with them or watch movies like Andy did.

With a new resolve to get to know these girls better, Andy started coming up with a plan as ‘Star ship Troopers’ played on the giant flat screen and the girls snuggled in close.
In the early morning on the fourth day Miranda had told Andy that she wouldn’t be back to the hotel until 2 am as she knew she would. ‘Perfect!’ Andy thought ‘Now let’s see if I can find what we’re going to need’.

Throughout breakfast on Thursday, Andy was practically buzzing with excitement as she made Banana pancakes with the wins. She loved spending time with the girls even though they had only recently stated talking the twins liked Andy back just as much. The twins could also see that Andy was radiant with joy. Turning to each other and communicating in silence, which Andy had dubbed their ‘Twin speak’ Cassidy was elected as the spokesperson.

“Err, Andy?” asked Cassidy

“Yeah…” Andy turned around to pick up the pancake mixture and started frying up the pancakes as they spoke.

“Why are you so happy?” Cassidy asked.

Turning around to face the girls Andy dished up the last batch and leaned back against the counter, schooling her features to try and hide her giddiness.

“Do you guys wanna build a pillow fort?” she asked, already betting that they would both jump at the opportunity. When both girls just stared unblinkingly back at her like she was crazy, Andy feared she’d read them all wrong. Just as she really was starting to get nervous and was about to suggest something else that they could do both girls let out a decidedly girly squeal of delight.

“Oh my God, YES!” they chorused jumping up from their seats to sandwich Andy in two miniature bear hugs.

They spent the rest of the day calling up room service again and again for pillows, duvet and sheets and assembling their fort in the middle of the room so they could still watch TV from inside. When they were done they had a very sound structure, considering it was a pillow fort. They had arranged the high backed couch and chairs to be the rear end of their fort and had staked pillows and blankets up to 6-feet high at the sides with a this sheet over the top.
The fort was large enough for all three of them to lie down comfortably together with an amazing open view of the TV out at the front of the fortress. During the day, they had decided to watch the entire Jurassic Park trilogy in one sitting that night in their Stronghold

By the evening the floor had been blanketed with the remaining sheets and pillows with bowls of Popcorn strategically placed around the fort for easy access. They all settled in together and happily immersed themselves in the dinosaur world. All three were fully engrossed with the final moments of Jurassic World 3 that none of them heard the telltale signs of Miranda’s return to the hotel suite or the door clicking shut behind her followed by clacking on the hardwood floor by her 4-inch heels until she stopped right in front of the forts entrance just as the closing credits began.

“Miranda!” squeaked Andy as she nervously fumbled around trying to untangle herself from the nest of sheet and pillows. “You’re b-b-b-back early.” Andy stuttered out of pure fright at the flesh melting glare Miranda was directing her way.

“How observant of you Andrea” Miranda drawled. “Would you care to explain what you are doing in that horribly colour coordinated pillow fort? Honestly I would have thought even you could see that Seashell white doesn’t go with the beige or the floral.”

“hummpf…” Andy swallowed her tongue. She had been expecting Miranda to ask why they were on the floor, or why the girls weren’t in bed since it was obviously past their bed time, not about colour coordination. Although, trust Miranda to take that into account when building a pillow fort. Andy had no idea why but in the mists of her confusion she found the idea of Miranda knowingly building a pillow fort very amusing.

Glancing behind Andy recognised two equally confused faces staring back at her. Facing Miranda again, all Andy could do was stand there, her jaw flopping open and closed like a goldfish dumbstruck, as Miranda gradually pursed her lips.

“Go to bed now my darlings.” ordered Miranda never once taking her eyes off Andy. Grumbling, both twins quickly hugged Andy’s waist wishing on all their lucky stars that she wouldn’t get fired.

“Bye Andy, please don’t leave.” whispered Cassidy and Caroline together, fully aware that their mother could hear every syllable.

Left alone with the Dragon Lady herself under her force ten glare she reserved for the lowest vermin Andy began to visibly tremble. Stuttering incoherently Andy blinked back unshed tears that burned in the backs of her eyes.
“M-m-mm-ur-and-d-d-a p-please do-d-d-don’t-t…” Andy could hold back her tears any longer. She really really didn’t want to get fired, she loved basking in Miranda’s presence and she had just started to get along with the twins.

“Andrea,” hushed Miranda in a soft silky tone that Andy had never heard before. “You disobey my wishes and regularly disappoint me and yet… you Andrea appear to get on well with my girls.” Lips now un-purses stated to twitch upwards in a lazy half smile whilst Miranda thought.
“Understand this Andrea, my girls are the most important thing to me so it’s a good thing they approve of you otherwise we would have had a very difficult future ahead of us. Book a table for two tomorrow at that lovely, romantic Italian place we passed when we arrived for 8 o’clock, private corner booth. Wear that black Valentino number I liked so much on you.” Breezing passed Miranda allowed her nails to light graze over Andy’s exposed right shoulder.

“Oh and do try not to be late, you know how much I hate to be kept waiting.” She called back, closing her bedroom door behind her with a soft chuckle, leaving Andy staring after her frozen still. ‘I have a date with Miranda Priestly’ she thought. ‘I have a date with MIRANDA PRIESTLY!’

“Oh Gods help me” she smiled.