Publish Novellas 15 June 2022
EPISODE 3 – SECOND WEEK
Consuela prepares a week’s worth of meals, feeds the bedridden, deals with sexual harassment, and babysits children.
Sunday Meal Prep
Consuela leaves to go shopping before doing her food prep. She needs to make and freeze single servings of at least two soups. The butcher slices enough roasted turkey and chicken for sandwiches on Monday and Tuesday. So they will be fresh throughout the week, she arranges for delivery of deli meats, fruit, and bread on Wednesday and Friday.
For her own lunches, Consuela vacuum seals frozen fruits and nuts that she can blend as smoothies. She also portions out sandwich fixings. With newfound knife skills, she slices carrots and celery to pack in water. She also peels and separates the beans of edamame to snack on. Consuela portions some nuts and whole-grain crackers as well.
The most labor intensive part of the meal prep is the soup. She decides to prepare small servings of chicken with brown rice, minestrone, and potato corn chowder. For instructions, she enlists the advice of her own chefs.
De la Vega Monday Morning
Consuela can ignore the pomposity of the wealthy. It is how she herself was raised. But Señor De la Vega is obsessed with his expensive pedigree dogs. So Consuela must take extra care to keep them healthy.
This morning has an unanticipated twist. Lucia is in heat so the dogs are mating. Señor De la Vega tells Consuela to oversee the activity.
“Shouldn’t a professional breeder do this?” protests Consuela.
“I have already phoned. He will arrive in two hours. Until then, watch them.”
“You want me to watch your dogs have sex for 2 hours?”
“Is that a problem?” asks Señor De la Vega.
“No, Señor. I am just confirming your instructions,” Consuela replies as she ponders her role if the dog was in labor.
When the breeder arrives asking questions about how long they have been stuck.
Consuela responds, “I didn’t know I was supposed to use a timer. You’re the expert. I have to go.”
Ramirez Monday Noon
This is the first day that Señora Ramirez gets a taste of Consuela’s cooking so she is a bit anxious. After washing up, she puts on a chef’s apron. When she left on Saturday, Señora Ramirez was on a liquid diet.
Consuela had a courier deliver everything in the morning so it could be refrigerated. As she walks into the kitchen, the normal chef and server are standing against the wall, watching. They have necessary utensils laid out and a pot on the stove to warm the soup.
“So, what type of tea does Señora Ramirez prefer?” asks Consuela.
“Earl Gray, Señora. It is next to the tea kettle.”
“Perfect. Is Señora Ramirez eating solid foods today?”
“Wonderful. I think avocado on toast will go well with the minestrone but since I have the meat, I will make her a sandwich while the soup warms up.”
With the extra prep, Consuela serves Señora Ramirez at half past noon. “I hope everything is to your satisfaction today. These are recipes made by my own hands.”
“It all looks nice,” replies Señora Ramirez.
“You appear much better today. How are you feeling?” asks Consuela.
“I feel stronger.” Sipping some soup, Señora Ramirez continues, “This is exceptionally, good. I may need to replace my chef,” she says with a smile.
“That might be a bit premature. You still need to make it through a week of lunches. Make sure you take your medications with the hand-squeezed juice.”
Consuela is happy that Señora Ramirez enjoyed her cooking. Señora Ramirez now asks for a back massage. Then Consuela pays antipathetic tribute to the pretentious daughter before leaving to her next appointment.
Garcia Monday Afternoon
When Consuela picks up the children, she sees that Alejandro is using crutches.
“There is no more throbbing and the swelling is minor. Padre exercised extra precautions. A doctor took X-rays and bandaged it up. I don’t mind since the girls at school were giving me sympathy kisses.”
While driving back home, Consuela converses with them. “Well, I am happy you are mending well, Alejandro…. Graciela, can you read to me your report?”
“I don’t want my brothers to hear. Can I share it when we get home?”
“Of course,” Consuela replies while driving up to the mansion.
The staff has snacks waiting for them. While eating, Consuela goes over each of their new homework assignments to see if they understand them well. While the staff clears the table, Señor Garcia walks in and puts his hand on Consuela’s shoulder.
“I want to thank you for assisting my children. They seem to adore you.”
As he pulls her in for a tight embrace, Consuela struggles to get free. In the kerfuffle, one hand uncomfortably cups her side boob and his other gropes her buttock. Forcing an arm free, Consuela slaps Señor Garcia in view of his children and staff. When he releases her, she distances herself.
“The children may be fond of you, but I do not tolerate insubordination. You dare to strike me in front of my family? Your work is done. Get out of my house!” shouts the embarrassed Señor Garcia.
Alejandro tries to intercede to no avail. Consuela is eager to leave, but as she walks towards the door, Señor Garcia collapses on the floor. Graciela cries out to Consuela, “Something is wrong with Padre! Help him!”
Consuela believes it to be a ruse that puts her in close contact with him again. But she runs over to check his pulse. Then she says, “He is alive. Phone an ambulance. Does anyone recall if this has happened before or if any of his prescriptions can help?” No one seems to know.
From the floor, Señor Garcia reaches up to Consuela’s shoulder, pulling her closer as he speaks in an undertone. She thinks to herself, ‘If he tries to kiss me, I will slap him again while he lays on the floor.’
“What is it, Señor Garcia?”
“Look after my children while I am at the hospital,” he says.
So although she was just fired, he wants her to remain throughout her shift until he returns from the hospital. Despite her diminished compassion for him, she gains an opportunity to read Graciela’s school report. So she agrees to watch over the children. When the ambulance arrives, the ambulatory son, Santiago, goes with his father.