• Michelle Fix

Chapter 5 - Phone call

Paola let out a huge sigh as the phone rang. And rang. And rang.

“Chiara? Chiara???”

Nothing. She must’ve gone to the bathroom. Paola picked up the phone to hear Clara’s voice.

“Alba Bianchi. This is Clara.”

Oh. My. God!!!! Clara knew she was NOT supposed to answer the phone. She didn’t speak English well enough to capture everything over the phone, hung up and then promptly forgot who had called and what they wanted. She KNEW she wasn’t supposed to pick up the phone.

Paola quickly interrupted her.

“Clara! It’s okay. I have the call. You can hang up.”

“Okay Mrs. Mrs. I am hanging up.”

“Hello, this is Paola.”

“Hi, Paola, this is Tootie Campbell and…..”

“Mrs! It’s Clara”

“Clara! Please hang up the phone,” interjected Paola.

“Okay, okay. Bye Mrs. Tootie!”

“Bye, Clara”

No one spoke for a few brief seconds until the sound of a click indicated that Clara had actually hung up the receiver.

“Hello, again, Tootie.”

“Hi, Paola! Well, that was interesting.”

“Yes, working with Clara is interesting if nothing else. What can I do for you?”

“I’m chairing the Garden of Hats charity luncheon in Naples. My sister-in-law can’t manage it this year - depression, but don’t say anything - so I’m stepping up and wanted to get a hat from Alba. A donation. Think you can make that happen? I’m following protocol and contacting you first. Roberta said that’s the new system!”

“You spoke with Roberta?”

“Of course. We were playing tennis on Fishers a week ago. She told me all AB inquiries go through the new operations director.”

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