What everyone knows about the Montgomery Mansion in my neighborhood is that it has three stories, a balcony, four white, stone pillars, and two live oaks on either side. Its four acres of land are perfectly manicured; no weeds, no secrets. And everyone knows it’s for sale. The whole town has been to the Open House and toured the mansion, knowing full well they cannot afford it. Everyone knows its aging master of the house, Carl, has been sick for the past three months and has been confined to the house the whole time. He was not allowed any visitors. Everyone knows that his wife, Beverly, is in the newspaper every other week for fund raisers, dealings with the Board of Education, and interviews with the superintendent. Last week the house and land was put up for sale after Carl was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night. He was then transferred to a different hospital two states away early the next morning. No one could confirm which hospital Carl had been admitted to.
But what I know about Montgomery Mansion is what is underneath its polished wood floorboards. I worked for Beverly every day, doing her laundry, cooking her dinner, and keeping her secret. I know what was in the basement freezer for three months. I know what happened in the middle of the night last week. And that beautifully mowed lawn has a patch of fresh dirt for a reason. No one knows where Beverly went to last week, and she hasn’t been seen since. But I know she’ll be back on the front page soon.