• Michelle Fix

Chapter 5 - Melanie returns

“What an intriguing entry point for Alba. If you can email all of the details for the luncheon so she can schedule production, I’ll include your initial ideas too.”

“Good. I’ll have my assistant send it by tomorrow.”

“Just quickly….when is the luncheon?”

“November 8th.”

Paola opened her Google calendar as they spoke.

“So, a Wednesday.”

“Yes. Every year, first Wednesday in November. Still good weather and the Midwest snowbirds have already made their way down.”

“Right. I forget the Gulf Coast is the Midwest’s version of Palm Beach.”

“They come down with their large dogs, larger husbands and - I didn’t say this - large children. An eyeful. I’m not usually on that coast much but with Helen’s “struggles”, I’ll be spending time there this year.”

“That’s very kind of you, Tootie.”

“It’s what family does.”

“Oh, absolutely. What are we without family?” said Paola, knowing full well that she had no immediate family to call her own.

“I’ll let you go now. Call with questions.’

“Sounds good. Talk to you later.”



As Paola replaced the receiver, she immediately envisioned the disaster that she’d need to damage control in the next few weeks. Oh, well. What can you do.

Before she had time to process this new project and all it would mean, the door buzzed. Then it buzzed again. And a third time.

For God’s sake, where is everyone? Sometimes she felt like she was the only person there. Chiara and Clara were always disappearing or just plain ignoring the phone and buzzer. She darted over to the intercom system and could see that it was Melanie at the door, laden with garment bags. Strange. She was supposedly in Europe for the month with her husband Dick. Paola buzzed her in.

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