Publish Novellas 19 June 2022
EPISODE 4 – OVERNIGHT
Interaction with an employer gets out of hand, leading to emergency protocols that Consuela does not anticipate.
Consuela helps the two children to their rooms. Alejandro has seen this behavior and outcome before. His tutors never last beyond two months. Though worried by his father’s health, the groping embarrasses him. So Alejandro faces the wall until Consuela turns towards the door.
“You’re not going to leave us too, are you?” he shouts while holding back tears.
“I love being with you children. But your father has already terminated my employment. It seems that I received a reprieve only due to unfortunate circumstances. When he returns, I will graciously take my exit. Come now, Graciela. Let’s leave Alejandro to himself,” Consuela says.
In the girl’s bedroom, Graciela expresses concern over her father’s wellbeing, “Will he be all right?”
“He is in good hands with the doctors. If there are any updates, your brother, Santiago will phone.”
“You may be the first person to ever strike my father—at least that I have seen.”
“I am sorry you had to witness that. As a young lady, you must establish firm boundaries to maintain your self respect. Do you understand?”
“Sí, Señora Consuela?”
“If you don’t mind, I am still very interested in reading the football report you submitted today.”
“Sure…. Here’s a copy. Please read it aloud so I can hear it too.”
After completion, Consuela commends Graciela on her sentence structure and story development. “I didn’t know that a story about football could be such a page turner. You even alluded to your brother’s injury in comparison to more severe ones in American football.” They both smile, as Consuela asks, “Have you thought about becoming a writer?”
“Perhaps in my later years I will write my memoirs,” Graciela replies. “What about you?”
“Well actually, I enjoy reading… and I plan to begin my first book.”
“Really? What’s it about?”
“I don’t want to spoil it. In fact, I have not even prepared the outline. But it is an exciting goal for this year.
“Perhaps you should start your new homework assignment. With so much going on, I can write a note to your instructor if you have difficulty concentrating. Just do your best. I will phone your brother at the hospital to see how he is holding up.
“Hello, Santiago, how are you feeling? Any word on your father yet? …Okay, keep me apprised of any changes if you can.”
After another two hours, Santiago phones to say that doctors want to keep his father overnight so he needs a ride home. Consuela conveys the news to his siblings before going to retrieve him.
When they arrive home, Graciela asks, “Consuela, will you stay overnight?”
“I am not prepared to sleep here. I don’t have a change of clothes or anything.”
“We have a guest room. There are pajamas, robes, toiletries, and perhaps a few outfits in your size.”
“Honestly, I prefer not to be here when your father returns.”
“But you promised him you would watch us until he gets back.”
“What is today…? Monday. I need to get up very early and be all the way in Barcelona by 8:00.”
“You can use the Range Rover. Dad prefers to drive his Ferrari.”
“But he fired me. You were there.”
“Circumstances change. He needs you again,” reasons the adolescent girl.
“Why does it feel like I am talking to a lawyer? I can’t just take your father’s car in the morning before anyone wakes up. I wasn’t even planning to return here tomorrow. If I take the car, I must bring it back.”
“All right. I thought you cared about us. If you are comfortable leaving hormonal teens unsupervised to do who knows what, you can leave.”
“Okay, enough with the guilt trip. I will stay but be gone before breakfast. Now show me what outfits I might wear for my morning appointment.”
De la Vega Tuesday Morning
Consuela driving up in a new Range Rover does not escape the notice of staff workers and Señor De la Vega.
“Perhaps I am paying you too much. Who knew you could afford such a vehicle?” he says.
“It belongs to another client who let me borrow it today so I would not be late.”
“Your attire suggests you may have come from his home this morning, no?”
“I won’t dignify that with a response,” Consuela replies.
The clothes she is wearing are business casual. This is not quite the attire for picking up poops and brushing dogs. Ignoring the innuendos, Consuela puts an apron over it to keep clean and finishes her work.
Then she takes a piece of fruit from the counter since she couldn’t pack a lunch this morning. Then she drives to her next client.
Ramirez Tuesday Noon
Arriving at her next appointment, she washes up and heads to the kitchen. The staff tries to be as helpful as possible without interfering. Everything she used before is readily available.
“Thank you for setting things out. Today, I will warm up the potato corn chowder.”
The staff smiles, knowing that they prepare each meal fresh daily. Consuela gets everything on the serving tray and asks for the required medications before heading into the room.
Señora Ramirez lights up when she sees Consuela. “Let’s just see what you have prepared for me today.”
“You know, Señora, you have very capable chefs in the kitchen.”
“A little change of pace is good now and then, especially since I rarely frequent fancy restaurants.”
“I would hardly compare my lunches to fine dining,” Consuela humbly replies.
“It is fine enough for me.”
“Thank you, Señora Ramirez.”
After lunch, Consuela continues with the remaining chores until it is time to return the Range Rover. But she hesitates. “Should I first pick up the children from school?” She decides to drive there to see if they are waiting for her.