• Michelle Fix

Chapter 3 - Clara

“Paola! Paola!”

Good lord, what did Clara want now. She took so much time to manage. And every time Paola went back to check on her, she was on her phone to Paraguay talking to her family.

“Yes, Clara! I’m in the front room, what do you need?”

“Come to me!”

“In a minute. I’m in the middle of something.”

Paola was not in the middle of something, but Clara didn’t need to know that. If Paola jumped every time Clara yelled to her, it would become a very bad pattern. It’s like training a dog. You have to set rules and boundaries. Hmmmm. I wonder if I should get a clicker, she thought.

Walking back to the alterations space from the front room office on the third floor, Paola passed through a small area with two desks where Chiara, her assistant, usually sat. The curving stairway was open so they were always subjected to the smoke that rose up from the attorney’s office on the second floor. It was such a repulsive smell. And he smoked non-stop. Paola had asked Rosario if Ed could please use a smokeless ashtray and was told they had already bought four of them for him and he just shoved them aside and used an old school glass ashtray in the middle of his desk. He didn’t care if it bothered anyone, it was his townhouse, so his rules. Unfortunately, he was so wealthy and so embedded in the world of law and real estate that no one could really do anything about him, which was one of the reasons - as Paola would learn - that the traders up and left.

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