Publish Novellas 12 June 2022
EPISODE 2 – FIRST WEEK
Consuela navigates pretentiousness, injury, sick dogs, emergency medical visits and domestic cleaning.
De la Vega Friday Morning
So far, Consuela has managed well from Monday through Thursday. Friday through Sunday present the most challenges. Señor De la Vega lives the closest to her villa so it make sense to begin her day there. She scoops up any dog poops in the yard before taking Lucia and Reno on a walk around the grounds. When she returns, they enjoy a good brushing.
This Friday is the first sign of task migration. Señor De la Vega asks Consuela to bathe both dogs. Consuela dons a waterproof apron and gloves. An extra hour cuts into the traveling time to her next appointment.
Ramirez Friday Noon
Since Consuela began working this assignment on a Monday, she did not have opportunity to plan and prep weekly meals for Señora Ramirez. So during the first week, the house staff continue serving meals. This gives her chance to see what her client likes and how much she eats.
Because of the extra work from Señor De la Vega in the morning, Consuela arrives at Señora Ramirez 20 minutes late. So she will work until 14:50 (2:50 PM) to make up for it. Consuela gets the tray from the kitchen and serves lunch with fruit, crustless roast turkey sandwich triangles, a bowl of soup, 8 ounces of juice, and a cup of tea. She also has three prescription pills. Señora Ramirez eats about 70 percent of her meal.
After clearing away the tray, Consuela helps Señora Ramirez to the bathroom and gives her some privacy. While there, Consuela changes the bedding. Then she heads to the groggy daughter’s boudoir with a plastic bag to gather debris from the floor.
“Do you mind not running the vacuum?” asks Victoria. “I have a hangover.”
“I can use a broom but I may not get up all of the rose petals.”
“Yeah, you may need to pick them up with your hands… I just love rose pedals. They make me feel like a blossoming flower….” Victoria turns everything into a topic about herself.
“Brad told me I am the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. I asked if I was better looking than women in the movies and he said I was far more so. He was so shocked when I told him that I am an actress. Did you know I am an actress?”
“Yes, you are lovely. Where do you keep the fresh candles?”
“Look inside my walk-in closet. Do you see all my lingerie? What do you think will look good on me today?”
“Any of them will do fine. I don’t see the candles though.”
“I must have run out. Ask Maria in the kitchen where she keeps them.”
“All right, can I get you anything else while I am down there?”
“Bring me up another bottle of champagne and have a glass with me. I can show you how to put on makeup if you like.”
“No thank you, I have a busy schedule. But I will bring up a bottle with a hand mirror.”
When she finishes her shift, Consuela hopes that she will never allow wealth to make her become so self-absorbed.
Garcia Friday Afternoon
After checking in at the estate, Consuela drives the Range Rover to both schools and picks up the three children of Señor Garcia. Graciela has to write an essay that is due on Monday. Santiago and Alejandro have soccer practice.
Consuela must first get everyone home for a snack. Fortunately, she does not need to prepare it. But she must administer time to make sure they eat and get to their appointments.
While eating, Consuela brainstorms with Graciela over how to best outline her school report. She then asks her to work on a draft while she takes the boys to soccer practice. This last task is most challenging because she cannot control the coach’s time.
Today, Alejandro gets injured when another boy accidentally kicks him in the knee. So he is on the sideline with an ice pack while his brother finishes practice.
Back at home, while bending over to help Alejandro into his bed, Señor Garcia walks up behind Consuela, pressing against her to make contact below the waist. She tries to focus on elevating the foot and situating the ice pack before turning around.
While giving a stern look to Señor Garcia, she asks, “Can you please assist on the other side of the bed?”
As he walks around the bed, he asks, “What happened to my little Alejandro?”
“It was an accident. In a scuffle for the ball, another kid kicked me in the shin,” Alejandro says.
“Do you need Consuela to stay with you through the night?”
Incensed that the father is assuming her availability, Consuela interjects, “I think he will be all right with an over-the-counter pain reliever. There are three more ice packs in the refrigerator. Leave each on his leg for no more than 20 minutes. One of his siblings can replace it every hour to reduce the swelling.”
“How does that sound Alejandro? Would you prefer that she take you to the hospital for an X-ray?”
“No, Padre, I think she is right. If I am unable to walk tomorrow, I can get it checked out,” Alejandro replies.
By now it is time to followup on Graciela’s homework assignment. Consuela excuses herself, not at all happy with her employer’s behavior.
“Hello, Graciela. Can I see what you have come up with?” asks Consuela.
With excitement, Graciela responds, “I decided to write about the difference between American and Spanish football. One section has the statistics for injuries. Then I compare the uniforms. I explain scoring of goals. Then I end with profiles for top-rated players.”
“That seems very comprehensive. If I could suggest one thing, you might include salary comparisons of those top-rated players.”
“Sure, that’s a good idea.”
“I can’t wait to see how that turns out. Save me a copy to read on Monday afternoon upon my return. I need to get going. It’s a long ride home.” As Consuela concludes, she is startled to see Señor Garcia standing at the door when she turns around.
“Consuela, I appreciate your help today. Can I offer you a ride home?”
“No, Señor. I assure you, that won’t be necessary. Thank you for the offer. Good night.”
De la Vega Saturday Morning
It’s a new day. Later tonight, Señor De la Vega is hosting a party so there is much activity on the grounds. Builders are erecting tents while caterers decorate and prepare food.
When Consuela arrives, Lucia, the listless female dog is vomiting and panting excessively. Señor De la Vega wants Consuela to take Lucia to the veterinarian. So he gives her the keys to a car specifically for such purposes.
The vet puts Lucia in a cool area with a fan and administers electrolytes. Consuela phones Señor De la Vega from the doctor to say that the dog will be fine. Lucia had what appears to be a heat stroke.
Señor De la Vega tells Consuela to have two dog houses with air conditioners delivered. After she returns with the dog, she cleans up the yard and brushes both animals before leaving.
Ramirez Saturday Noon
Señora Ramirez is feverish and not hungry. Consuela phones her physician. The doctor asks, “Has she taken her medicine today?”
“She normally has three pills with her lunch. But she won’t eat.”
“Have her take the pills with juice, now,” the doctor suggests.
“Okay. Please hold on,” says Consuela. “She just took them. How long do I wait?” At that moment, Señora Ramirez vomits up the pills. “She just spit them up.”
“I will meet her at the hospital and send an ambulance. Will you be there?”
“Yes, I guess so.”
Consuela rides along in the ambulance and then lingers in the waiting room while the doctor performs tests. After two hours, he comes to tell Consuela that the prescription requires adjustment. She is stable and ready to go home after another hour of favorable observation.
“Should she eat anything when she gets back home?” Consuela asks.
“Yes, but just liquids today. A light soup or tea may be all she will tolerate.”
Consuela phones the daughter, Señorita Ramirez, with an update on her mother’s condition. Consuela’s day concludes at 18:30 (6:30 PM), which is four hours beyond her normal Saturday schedule. This is the same time her weekdays conclude.
Fortunately, there are no other clients to see this evening. But she has an hour-and-a-half metro ride back home to Barcelona. This was supposed to be her personal time for the week. After eating her own late-night snack, Consuela falls asleep on her large, comfortable bed.
De la Vega Sunday Morning
This is the morning that the luxury dog houses arrive. So Consuela must take initiative and suggest a location for the installers. It looks like Lucia is doing much better this morning. Though it’s not her day to care for the dogs, she brushes them before acclimating them to their new abodes in the kennel area.
Consuela is part of a team of 10 workers cleaning up after the Saturday night gala. They fill dozens of bags with litter, wash hundreds of glasses and small plates before vacuuming. Then Consuela cleans three of the guest bathrooms. Even with the assistance, the task is enormous.
Often there are overnight guests to round up, feed, and send on their way. One of the perks of after-party cleanup is the abundance of leftover food. Workers tell Consuela that she is welcome to help herself. “We all take food home to our families.” As tempting as is sounds to ease her Sunday afternoon workload, Consuela declines.