Nicolas, (sits by Betty and puts his arms around her) asks her why she didn’t notice that they were playing. Betty answers that when a person is in love they do not see reality. He tells her that he is not the most appropriate person to be speaking about love, but he would like to know if a person doesn’t realize it when someone likes them. He gives a small laugh and states how would she know if no one has ever loved her. (He lays her head against his chest and gently pats her face.) Betty comments how Armando seemed so sincere. (She is rembering the night they spent together at Mario’s.) She tells him that she felt that he truly loved her. She felt it on her skin, in her stomach and in her heart. She goes on to say that she doesn’t know what it is to be loved, but she truly felt it. She found herself up in the clouds until she woke up and noticed that she was having a nightmare.
Betty begins to walk around and tells Nicolas that Mario had to travel to Palm Beach. She recounts the story about the package that was left behind for Armando and the letter that she found. Nicolas asks if it was Mario who managed Armando. Betty has pulled out the letter to read to Nicolas. Nicolas, like a gentleman, pulls out a chair for Betty to sit down. Betty begins to read the letter. Nicolas sits down and is looking sad. He asks Betty to show him the letter, but she doesn’t want him to read all the details about her and Armando. She tells him how they stole her dignity. Nicolas wants to know how she has the letter, did she hide the envelope. Betty explains how she made a copy of the original letter. She tells him how she put everything back and continues to tell him about Mario’s telephone call, Armando reading the letter and tearing it up.
Nicolas tells Betty that Armando was jealous of him. Betty explains to him that it was jealousy. Instead they were afraid that Nicolas and Betty were going to play dirty and take the company away. Nicolas wants to know how long Armando intended to keep her in love, “until they returned the company” he asks. Betty believes that it was to end when there were no longer any doubts. She says that she does not know what they planned to do with her afterwards. It is clear that he planned on marrying Marcela and keeping Betty in order to adjust the reports and keep the relationship between the company and the Bank of Montreal.
Nicolas wants to know what Betty intends to do. Betty answers that she does not know. All that she wants to do is to leave, hide and never come out. Nicolas answers, “Yes, yes, take off running”. He gets up from his chair now seeming to be a little bit impatient and tells her that Armando needs to pay dearly for what he has done to her. He says that Armando has caused many errors: (1) not having confidence in them, (2) making Betty fall in love, (3) Mario’s envelope and (4) turning the company over to her. He reminds her that she is the owner of the company, the Mendozas and the Valencias. He tells her that she has Armando in her hands. He asks what does she want to do. He wants to know if she wants Armando on his knees. She says that she does not know. She asks if they can continue discussing it tomorrow. He tells her that she can count on him for support. (He takes her hand into his, rubs it gently and kisses it.) Betty tells him that he is the only one that she confide in. (She pats his face. He hugs her and lets her rest her head on his chest.)
Nicolas reminds her that he is her boyfriend, that is why she is paying him. He tells her that she has gone through this before and that she was able to come out of and that she can do it again. Once again, he tells her that she has his support. They are both crying. He tells her that his chest is there for to cry on. She rests her head on his chest and at that moment her mother enters her room. Nicolas hurriedly separates from her. Dona Julia wants to know how everything is going. Nicolas tells her that everything has been straightened out and that Betty was very understanding. Nicolas turns to Betty and tells her that he will see her tomorrow and they will continue to discuss business. (He winks.)
(Betty lays down on her bed and her mother sits on the edge.) Dona Julia asks if everything is fine, because she noticed that Betty had come home upset. Betty tells her that it is the same problems with the personnel at work. Dona Julia tells her that she looks like she did when they went through the Miquel episode. She asks if it is happening again. Betty assures her that it is not. As Dona Julia gets up to leave she tells Betty that she hopes that she is not hiding anything from her.
Betty writes in her journal that the person writing are the left over pieces that was a woman. She realizes that her life is nothing more than a cycle of tragedy that in some manner is more cruel each time. She writes that she has not learned from her previous pain and that she no longer has the will to survive. It is not due because that man that she loves has condemned her to pain and solitude, not only because of what happened with Miquel or Armando deceiving her to retain his company, but this has been her story since she was born. She remembers being out on the playground with the other children circling her and repeating “Betty is very ugly”. She remembers asking a fellow student to borrow an eraser and he tells her not to touch his supplies. The teacher asks what is occurring, the student tells her that Betty is bothering him and wants to take his supplies. The teacher reprimands her and the class makes faces at her and throws paper wads at her. She remembers being outside where children are playing hopscotch and she wants to take a turn. One of the boys stops her and she tells him that she wants to play with them, but he answers that they have enough children. Betty’s father witnesses the scene and tells her that she needs to go home. He tells her that she is not suppose to go out to the street. When she tells him that she wants to play he answers that she has many toys at home. She remembers going to her room and getting a stuffed animal and a doll and sitting on her bed. Betty gets up and goes and hugs her younger version. She says that it was a hard childhood but her parents love and her hopes that life would change helped her survive. (Betty and the younger Betty are dressed almost identical. They are wearing the same cut of dress, pattern is very similar and the color if the same.) She remembers her 15th birthday party which was held at her home. The decorations are all in pink and Betty is sitting in a chair as though she is the guest of honor. Her father states that it is time for the waltz. He asks who will be first to dance with Betty, but none of the boys approach. He says that he should be the first. Dona Julia has Nicolas dance with Betty. When no one else will dance with her Don Hermes dances again and at the same time tells Nicolas to go and change the music. Betty goes and hides in a corner.
At the end of the party her parents escort her to her room. She tells them that she is going to sleep happy. (Her father is tipsy.) She thanks them for everything and tells her mother that it was beautiful. When her parents leave she runs to her bed and cries. Betty, present, says that things have not changed. She is now remembering attending college and approaching a group of students and asks if she is in the right place for an economic class. They answer her, but when she tells them that it is a pleasure meeting them and that she will be in their class they take off without speaking to her. It is her turn to introduce herself to the class and the students laugh, whistle at her, and throw paper at her. The instructor seems upset. Betty, present, states that things have not changed. She remembers her confrontation with Miquel and the rest of gang of the barrio when they tell her it was nothing but a bet. She remembers the first time they made love and he told her that he loved her. She writes that what kind of desires can one have, what strength can you have start the day when each time you dream you wake up in the hell. She continues to write that Nicolas has advised her how she has the power to get even. She writes that she wants to flee and she hopes that tomorrow something will occur to give her light as to which road she is suppose to take.
At the Office
As Betty is arriving she is saying to herself that she has the illusion that all of this is a nightmare. The first person she encounters is Patricia who gives her hard time for arriving late. Betty tells her to leave her alone because she is not in the mood to deal with her. Patricia asks if she has realized that she will be an old maid. Sandra chimes in for her to leave Betty alone. Patricia goes on to call Sandra the biggest old maid that there can be. Sandra tells Patricia that she is not only going to end up alone, but poor. Patricia says that she will not. Betty tells her that she prefers to be alone all of her life than to carry a failed marriage. Patricia walks off. Sandra and Mariana asks her what is happening to her. Sandra tells her to look at the face that she has and Betty tells her that it is the only one that she has and was born with it. She asks that they leave her alone. (Betty is a bit rude to Sandra and Mariana and they look shocked as she walks away.) Sophia is speaking to a lawyer in regards to the situation with her ex-husband and her house. Berta and Sophia ask her what is happening to her. Betty answers if she herself only knew. She walks through Armando’s office and looks at all the pictures before entering her office.
Betty sits down and picks up the red handkerchief that Armando gave (his first gift) on their return trip from The Club. She had been crying after he had told her that he was going to name her his assistant. When he offers his handkerchief she refuses to take it and he makes her take it. After remembering, she calls him a wretch. She puts all the gifts that Armando has given her on top of her desk. She calls housekeeping to bring her a trash bag. Cata walks in and asks how she is feeling. When Betty answers fine Cata answers that she does not look it. She wants to know how her evening went. Betty tells her that a person cannot sleep with so much pain. A man comes in with the trash bag and Betty asks Cata to pardon her but that she needs to clean the trash and take it out of her office. Cata comments that it does not look like trash. Rather it looks like details and remembrances. Betty says that there were, but that know it is nothing but trash. Cata advises her that she yes it is a good exorcism but it is that bad part is that the memories stay inside you and throwing them away doesn’t help. Cata asks her if she is sure of what she is doing. She tells her that when a person decides to throw away the remembrances it means that they have decided to break with what they loved. She tells her that it is evident that what is occurring to her is a great tragedy. She says that she is telling her this because once she throws them away she won’t be able to get them back. Betty says that she knows what she is doing. Cata asks if he knows what she is doing, because unless she is mistaken Betty is the way she is because of man. Cata wants to know if he knows what she is feeling. (Betty shakes her head no.) Betty says that it doesn’t affect him. She is not important to him. She is nothing but a piece of meat with glasses that he can just throw away. Cata tells her to remember that love is nothing but a game of traps, jealousy and pride. She tells that people react because of jealousy, pride or whatever. She advises her to talk to this man, but says that she doesn’t want to. Cata says that he must have an explanation to give her. They hear Armando say good morning. Cata gets up to leave and asks Betty to give him an opportunity to give her an explanation.
Cata greets Armando and tells him what she needs for the show. Armando calls Betty into his office and asks if they have meetings with the textile companies. Betty begins to enter her office. Armando calls her back and asks if she encountered a green package with his name and a letter inside with instructions from Mario and he imagines that she read it. She answers yes and Armando begins to laugh. Betty asks what is happening. He tells her that she fell into the trap. He tells her that he wrote it. He said that he wrote it because he knew that she was reading his correspondence and he wanted to catch her. She begins to laugh and asks if it was a lie. He answers, of course, and takes her in his arms. He tells her that it was a lie, because he loves her like no one else. He kisses her. Betty says “what a relief”. She tells him that she was dying and he has returned her will to live. He says how can she think that he would do such a thing to her. (Betty wakes up from her dream.) Armando is speaking to her and telling her to hurry up because they have a lot of work. He asks her if something is happening to her. She tells him nothing and walks into her office. Armando has a concerned look. Betty tells herself that there are no explanations and that everything is now clear and that Armando was the one that started the dirty games.
In the Hallway
Claudia Elena, the model, arrives and Patricia informs Betty. Housekeeping shows up to take the trash but Betty changes her mind. She tells him that one never knows when it can be of use to them. Betty informs Armando that Claudia Elena has arrived. He tells Betty to show her to the conference room and to go ask Hugo to join them. When she leaves he takes out the bag that Mario left and takes the appropriate card and chocolates to her office. As he puts the items on her desk he says, “My Betty, My Betty”.
Claudia Elena asks Betty how she is doing and Betty tells her not as well as her. Claudia Elena asks where Armando is and if he is very busy. Betty gives a short laugh and says that he must be making himself believe that he is. She tells him that Armando enjoys her coming to the office. Patricia interrupts and tells Betty that she will be in charge of the guests. Betty tells her how nice she is and Patricia looks at her strangely. Patricia takes the guest to the conference room. She calls Sandra and tells her to come to the conference room immediately. Patricia introduces herself to the two gentlemen who have occupied Claudia Elena. She tells them that she manages the President’s area, is in charge of protocol, the imagine and all of public relations. (While she is introducing herself she is swing herself back and forth with her legs wide apart so that you can tell see her tight short skirt. She is doing her usual swinging of her hair.) Claudia Elena introduces the gentlemen and Patricia reaches over the conference table to give them a kiss on the cheek. When Claudia Elena also states their titles and one being in finance Patricia of course has to tell him that she has six semesters of finance from La San Marina. He says really and that he knows many people who studied there. Patricia is taken aback. She answers that she only got to do six semesters because she married and asks that they must know her husband, which neither do. Sandra arrives and gives her the drink order and Sandra is surprised. Patricia apologizes for Sandra’s behavior and comments on the staff. Sandra is telling Mariana what has occurred. Mariana wants to know what she is going to do. Sandra says nothing and sits down.
Patricia is still complaining about the staff. She tells them that they are resentful and are envious of her. She asks if they have seen her convertible Mercedes. They shake their heads no. (As this conversation is occurring, Patricia’s car is in the process of being towed.) Wilson wants to know what is happening. He tells them that he needs to advise Patricia of what is occurring.
In the Showroom
Hugo is talking on the telephone (supposedly to Giselle, not sure if this is suppose to be the singer) and Betty is waiting for him to get office. When he realizes that she is there he asks Giselle to wait and makes an ugly comment to Betty. After Betty delivers her message and begins to leave she sees Marcela’s wedding dress. Hugo tells her not to get any ideas in her head because she will never wear one.
Betty informs Armando that his guests are in the conference room and that Hugo is on his way. Armando tells her to get her things and that he will wait for her in the conference room. As she walks away he has a grin on his face. Betty enters her office and finds the card and candy. After reading the card, Armando enters and asks her if she is ready to go.
Armando enters Betty’s office to walk with her to the meeting with Claudia Elena, her eyes are heavy-lidded and brimming with hidden emotions. He asks if she’s been crying, but she tells him it was because of his card, that the note was very sweet—he wrote it well. There’s a definite edge to her voice. Armando is pleased with this and tells her that the truth is that he wished he’d written something better, that she deserves more. She cynically tells him that it was “perfect, just perfect”. He smiles attentively and she hauls off and gives him a knuckle sandwich, landing him on the coat rack and then the floor. “Betty!!!” he cries. She snaps out of her fantasy as he asks her if she’s ready to go. She tells him that she’s coming and after he leaves, picks up his latest card and candy and adds them to the others in the trash bag.
He enters the meeting room and greets Claudia Elena; she reintroduces the two executives. He notes how Patricia has made herself very much at home in one of the chairs, and asks if they’ve been offered coffee or water. Patricia volunteers that she ordered it but there’s no sign of it yet. He suggests that she take care of this and she calls Sandra to ask. We see Sandra walking by the conference room shouting, “Why don’t you bring it yourself, peliteñida!” Armando is shocked and embarrassed by this demonstration, but he’s also annoyed with Patricia. Betty enters the room and Patricia opens her mouth to ask her to get the coffee but before two words can leave her mouth, Armando tells her not to even think about it, then he asks Betty to take a seat by him. Wilson enters then to fetch Patricia to attend to the impounders. When he explains the interruption, shocked expressions circulate around the table, even more so when Patricia starts wailing like a fishwife and chasing off to see what can be done. Claudia Elena asks why this is happening and Wilson explains that Patricia doesn’t pay her bills. Armando asks Wilson to see about the coffee and apologizes for the crazy employees. Hugo enters and makes a beeline for the two male execs and starts to flirt with them. He moves one to sit next to Betty (the better to see him?) and is all over the other one. Outside, the Benz is up on a flatbed truck. Patricia rushes up and demands that they put her car back; they can’t take the car. Freddy tries to intercede on her behalf (ever the gentleman) but the 2 officials there for the impounding aren’t moved. Patricia demands that Freddy help her and he asks the head official to explain himself. The doctor obliges and recounts the civil code chapter and verse as to how and why he can and will impound the car. Freddy realizes when he’s licked and tells Patricia that there’s nothing he can do. He looks for her and she’s gotten in the car on the flatbed. She shrieks that they’re not taking that car; they’d have to take her too and they can’t… this is abuse against her image… she’s had 6 semestres de finanzas etc.… This car is a part of my life! I’m not a nobody! “Just a second,” counters the doctor. “You knew darn well that this impound was coming; we’ve been in contact with you for over 6 months about your late payments. You’ve shouted at me over the phone, you’ve hung up on me!” Patricia plays stupid (quite the stretch), “I don’t remember that!” She begs for them to try and reach an accord with her. “Fine, pay us the 5 million pesos in cash or president’s check and we can reach an accord,” says the doctor. “I don’t have that kind of money!” wails Patricia. Then they have no other recourse, and the car is settled in place. Patricia shrieks to Freddy to help her and he places his arm under the tire of the Benz (as if that would stop anything!).
In the meeting room, Hugo is very satisfied with the fabrics presented and Armando moves ahead to have Betty explain the financial arrangements. Patricia bursts in and wails that Armando has to help her. He explodes, “Can’t you see that we’re meeting!” She’s totally self-obsessed (as always) and continues shrieking that they’re taking her car and she hasn’t the cash and she needs a check for 5 million pesos from the president. He basically pushes her out of the room and tells her that he’s not moved by her tears and when she continues to moan, he tells her that she should have sold the car and paid off her debts when they told her to do so before. He demands that she leave, without tears, without noise. She leaves and he yells after her, “Patricia!” She runs back, thinking he’s relented, but no, he just wants her to shut the door. Claudia Elena asks if there’s nothing to be done, but Armando explains that they’ve tried to help her, given her loans that she doesn’t pay back… She’s irresponsible.
Outside again, Freddy is still trying to prevent them taking the car when Patricia runs back out (like a lunatic) and tells them that they’ll lend her the money, but not today (a lie), but it’s too late. The 2 officials take a seat in the Benz and the truck pulls away. Patricia is so beside herself that she forgets herself enough to lean her head on Freddy’s sympathetic shoulder. He tries to calm her and tells her that he’d have lent her the money if he weren’t rolled up himself, stroking her hair. Patricia comes to and realizes where she’s at and tells him to get his hands off her. She stalks off.
The meeting is over and Armando and Betty are escorting Claudia Elena and the execs to the elevator. Armando is super pleased with the deal and hopes that the fabric can be delivered quickly. Claudia Elena assures him it will, when the paperwork is done. Betty explains that it will be done today. Hugo continues flirting with the execs and forgets himself enough to try to kiss them good-bye. The elevator opens and reveals a tear-streaked, bawling Patricia. Everyone exchanges glances and shrugs and she cries her way to her desk.
In her office, Betty looks morose. Armando enters jubilant; he tells her that he’s happy, that the fabric is terrific and best of all, they accepted her brilliant payment plan. He continues enthusiastically and tells her, in a quiet, confidential tone, that they’re going to have to celebrate this in a big way. He’ll take her to the Adriana Arboleda affair. She doesn’t react the way he expects; in fact she doesn’t react at all. He continues and he begs her to call home and clear things with her family. We are going to celebrate! She sits there, like a statue, recalling the blow she felt reading Mario’s instruction note to Armando that came with the card and then the insincere message written on the card… “I feel your skin, your lips, etc. It confirms that I want to go on making love to you for the rest of our lives…”
Patricia is on the phone with daddy and tearfully explaining her plight. Sofia exits the elevator, also bawling like a baby and Sandra and Mariana rush to aid her. Patricia yells at her to stop crying, she can’t hear herself. Hugo and Inez walk up and he comments on the need for hankies. Inez offers a kind word, setting off more wails from Sofia and making Hugo waspishly comment that they need a translator for crybabies. Mariana and Sandra take Sofia off to the bathroom, leaving Patricia to continue her wailing to daddy. Hugo asks her where her boyfriend is to help out: she replies that she could get a boyfriend like that (snap), but a car, no. They exchange barbs and Hugo hustles Inez off back to work. Patricia continues her lamentations, “Paaaaaaapiiiiii!!!”
Sofia sits on the sink counter and sobs that things didn’t go well with the lawyer: it looks like Efraín and the bandida will get half. Berta asks if she signed anything (no) and Mariana wants to know if there’s anything they can do. Nothing, sobs Sofia. Sandra’s suggestion is that they kill Efraín, but Sofia tells them to forget that because he’s still the father of her children. Betty asks if he’s paying the support like he should (not really) and that would be an avenue to pursue; Berta agrees. Aura Maria’s answer is that she should find herself a new man. Sofia doesn’t see how she can suggest this, but Aura Maria continues that she should stop talking about how she’s been abandoned, how poor she is, etc., and instead show them that no man can walk over her. She continues on in this vein and Betty is listening with something else on her mind. What Aura Maria is saying is sinking in.
Back in her office, Betty answers the phone. It’s Mario from Palm Beach. She can hardly speak to him, her voice wobbles. He asks how things are going there and she replies with a tone of loathing, “muy, muy bien.” He asks for Armando and she transfers the call. Armando is still very pleased with himself and answers in a very upbeat tone. He is even happier when he hears that things are going well in Palm Beach. He responds to something Mario asks him (no doubt about the courtship) and he tells him that he’s taking Betty to the Adriana Arboleda affair. Betty is listening to this call and she recalls him telling her that although he and Mario are like brothers, some things are sacred, and his relationship with her is one of those things. He would never tell Mario about them. She’s frozen in place. She recalls the shame of being in Mario’s apartment and she rushes to her desk and pulls out the photocopied letter and rereads the portion where Mario jokes about the porter’s comment on the fea that Armando brought by. Armando finishes the call and calls out to Betty. He enters her doorway and says that he’d just like to freshen up and then they can leave. Betty asks in a slightly aggressive, cynical tone if they’ll go to Mario’s apartment. Armando is surprised by this, he thought that she didn’t like going there, but if that’s what she wants… okay. She asks if he knew that they were there but Armando denies this, “How could that occur to you?” He tells her that he just told Mario that they were going to the Adriana Arboleda do, that’s all. Betty pursues the topic and suggests further that maybe they should take advantage of this trip. Armando remarks on her strange mood and she doesn’t really respond to this. Besides, she offers, it’s a discreet place. Armando takes a more romantic approach, “Yes, it’s discreet, but for me it’s a place I appreciate more for other reasons. Ever since we were there, together, it’s become a very special place to me…” he says, softly, dreamily (dare I say it, sincerely?). “I’ll go fix myself and we’ll go, picarona.” She tells him she still has to call home. He leaves, thinking everything’s hunky dory. Doesn’t he notice that her eyes are burning holes in his back?
He enters the bathroom and slaps on the cologne. “I’ve never seen her like this,” he’s pleased by this seemingly aggressive Betty.
In her office, Betty recalls Aura Maria’s words about not letting a man walk over a woman. then she recalls hearing Mario warn Armando about Nícolas and the scene when Armando confronted her angrily about Nícolas’s involvement in Terra Moda. She remembers the slow, burningly suspicious look from Armando as Berta enthused about her novio, Nícolas, calling her, and later the business card scene. She thinks again about the scene in the bar, shortly before Armando kissed her for the first time, when he explained that when he first heard that she had a novio, that he felt jealousy. Jealousy? Ah hah! She seizes on this. She also recalls how he made her swear that she was his and only his… So! Let’s just see how jealous you are, Don Armando!
Patricia is whining again on the phone, now to Marcela. Apparently, she’s not too sympathetic, but Patricia warns her not to criticize her too much, it affects her too. She reminds Marcela that now she has no car to follow Armando in, to spy on him for her. And tonite he’s going to that Adriana Arboleda affair, and there will be models, it’s a situation ripe for Armando to slip up. Marcela agrees to lend her car to Patricia and Patricia asks for the location of the invite. She promises to be discreet and ends begging Marcela for her continued assistance.
Nícolas is daydreaming over Patricia’s photo when the phone rings. It’s Betty and she responds to his question that nothing has happened… yet. She needs him. He promises to hit this guy whenever she wants. She tells him she wants him tonite, that there’s an important affair that she needs him at. He’s alarmed—he hasn’t been invited. Betty is all business, “Don’t worry about that, I’ll take care of everything. All I need is for you to be there in your best suit and tie, with good shoes.” He tells her that he’ll borrow his father’s best and asks if this is an Eco Moda event and she tells him that yes and Armando will be there. “Am I there as the general manager of Terra Moda or your novio?” “Both.” Betty gives him the directions and tells him she’ll see him there. As they’re talking, Armando enters and she pretends to be speaking to her father, “Ciao, papa,” and hangs up on a slightly confused Nícolas. She tells Armando that she was getting permission, but she hasn’t had a chance to fix herself up. She’ll understand if he doesn’t want to go with her. He tells her that to him, she looks perfect. “Really? Perfect?” She asks him in a rising tone. She grabs the glasses off his face and tells him that they’re not serving him well, apparently, as she grinds them underfoot. She grabs his tie and starts to choke him. “Take a good look at me; really see me without your glasses, you swine!” This is the face you’ve mocked with Mario so often, this is the face that revolts you! You don’t have to look at it any more!” She releases the tie and he gasps for air… “Betty… let’s go,” Armando prods her out of her daydream. He smiles fondly at her as she passes ahead of him out the door.
On the way to the elevator, Armando is on his cell phone talking to Marcela. He tells her that he’s going to the Adriana Arboleda affair and that he’s taking Betty and afterwards he’ll be at her apartment. After he hangs up, he makes a face and excuses to Betty. “That woman is a pain.” Betty asks him why he told Marcela that he was taking her to the event. Armando replies that she won’t be suspicious of her and Betty replies bitterly, “Of course, she won’t suspect anything of me.” As they get on the elevator, we see Patricia spying on them.
In the garage, Armando unlocks and opens the car door for Betty and walks around to his side. She stands there for a moment and remembers another evening when she agreed that they shouldn’t kiss in the car, Wilson could see them. He calls to her to get in the car and she does. He notes her strange expression and asks her tenderly what’s the matter. She tells him that nothing is wrong but he says that he can see that something is wrong, that she doesn’t seem to have the same enthusiasm as when they’ve gone out other nights. Don’t you want to go out with me, my princesa? He tries to recall how he may have offended her. He didn’t flirt with Claudia Elena, he hasn’t done anything that he can think of. She tells him that he’s behaved very well. “What then?” “Nada,” says Betty, very seriously. He pleads gently with her, “Mi Betty…, Betty… My princess…” he moves closer to kiss her. She harshly reminds him that it’s best that he not kiss her there, Wilson could see them, let’s not commit una locura. He does a little double-take at this, he’d forgotten himself in his impulse to make her respond to him. He shakes his head and says that he feels like he’s been there before somehow, somewhere. “Perhaps in a past life,” says Betty with a strange, mocking smile. He drives off and Wilson opens the gate. Patricia sneaks up to Marcela’s car and gets in, however she leaves her invite on the roof of the car and it blows off as she heads out.
Betty and Armando arrive at the event and Adriana Arboleda greets them warmly. She asks after Marcela and Armando says that he’s ‘unarmed’ this evening, he’s just carrying his ‘licensiada controlada’. He realizes that he left his cell phone in the car and Marcela would kill him if he didn’t answer. Betty offers to go get it because, “she wouldn’t want a dead president, at least, not yet.” He gives her a little look at this sly quip, but is immediately turning back to Adriana Arboleda and business. She asks a hostess to make sure Betty can find them later and escorts Armando back to the staging room for the event so that Armando can meet the models (who might be considered for the showing of his next collection.) Patricia enters and realizes she’s lost the invitation. She tries to impress the hostess with her being the personal assistant of Armando Mendoza of Eco Moda, but to no avail. She sees two men enter and pretends to know one of them. She pleads with him to let her enter with him as his wife. He (and his male “partner” ?) graciously accede.
In the staging room, Hugo’s busily at work. He waspishly asks Armando what he’s doing there and Armando tells him that he was invited. Adriana Arboleda tries to smooth it over by explaining that she wanted to introduce him to some of her model friends. Several are introduced and Hugo tells one and all that this mercachifle is soon to be married. One of the models congratulates him and asks Armando about the wedding details. This is NOT what Armando wants to talk about in a room surrounded by beautiful women, so he starts laying on the charm. Betty enters to hear this paean to women. Hugo suggests that he do single women a favor and get married and protect the other ninnies out there from falling for someone like him. This sets Betty to thinking about Aura Maria’s words. Hugo then notices her and starts in his usual vituperative attack, “What are you doing here? When are you going to learn that you have no place alongside these beauties? When are you going to stop persecuting me…? When, Armando, are you going to keep her under lock and key…” Armando looks uncomfortable and Adriana Arboleda tells Hugo to stop. Betty hands Armando his cell phone and tells him smugly that Marcela hasn’t called yet. He grudgingly turns to the group and introduces Betty as his assistant. She looks defiantly at the group and says, “I’m not just his personal assistant, I’m his lover!” (pause here for Al Gore’s speech…) She goes on to warn the models that he’s capable of the worst kind of betrayal. He’s capable of making love to a fea!” Armando pleads, “Betty, por favor!” and she slaps him and tells him to shut up. “This man is a trickster, he’s fooled me!” The models and Hugo look at Armando in horror. “He can fool any of you! And I’m NEVER going to return your business!” “Betty?” prods Armando. She rejoins the living and tells them it’s a pleasure to meet them. “Continue with your meeting in “paradise”,” she remarks cynically. Armando looks a little surprised by this. Betty asks Adriana if she can ask a favor: she needs a ticket for someone else, Nícolas. He’s the general manager of Terra Moda and… her novio. Adriana is happy to oblige. “Gracias!” says Betty with a big sinister grin.
Armando goes into Betty’s office and asks her what happened the night of Adriana Arboleda’s event. Betty answers that Nicolás came to pick her up and they went out to dinner. Armando is not too happy to hear this, sits down, and continues the interrogation … did she forget she had a date with him? Betty looks straight at him and apologizes, telling Armando that she doesn’t know how she could have forgotten … it must be love that’s making her so forgetful she adds. Armando tells her he doesn’t understand and Betty promises him that it won’t happen again. Armando emphatically tells Betty that last night was their night, he had planned everything so they could be together because Marcela returns today. Betty is non-plussed and just replies that they’ll have to put it off until next week because he’s only got one day a week for her. Armando is floored by this nonchalant answer and demands to know what is wrong with Betty. He asks her to stop playing with him, she forgot their date last night and it doesn’t bother her … what’s wrong? Doesn’t she care that they’ll have to wait until next week? Betty keeps the smile on her face and reminds Armando that he set the rules, not her. As Armando is getting ready to tell Betty that he cares, Cata interrupts with some proposals. Armando leaves Betty’s office with the proposals. Cata tells Betty she sees she’s doing much better, but she can tell she’s not 100%. She offers to bring her a white candle for her office. When Cata leaves, Betty finally lets her true feelings show … the pain is written all over her face.
Patricia tells her father on the phone that she misses “him”, that she dreamt about “him” last night, about all of the hours they spent together and the so many places that they went together. She breaks into tears as she tells her father that her lawyer won’t even let her seem “him” … not unless she pays the 6 million pesos which she owes, LOL! It’s obviously her car and not a man she’s talking about. :o) Freddy walks up with a box of chocolates, opens it up and shows Patricia the selection. When Freddy leaves, Patricia starts to munch on the chocolates and continues to cry on the phone to her father. Sofía and Bertha walk by and can’t help but notice the show Patricia is making with her loud crying … actually, Bertha stares at the chocolates rather than at Patricia. :o) Patricia finally hangs up and sees Bertha and Sofía staring … she asks them what they’re looking at and Sofía avoids an answer by steering Bertha to the bathroom and away from the chocolates.
Freddy comes into Betty’s office and hands her an envelope from Banco Montreal. He assures her that he didn’t ask any questions about it, just as she instructed. Freddy breaks into a tango as he leaves the office and Betty thanks him. When she’s alone, Betty opens the envelope and takes out the documents which it contains. A few seconds later, Betty goes into Armando’s office and asks him to sign another promissory note in favor of Terra Moda. When Armando questions it, she tells him that it’s a requirement by the bank in order to extend credit to them for the collection … they need it as a guarantee. Armando tells Betty that he’s worried because all of these promissory notes add up to more than Eco Moda is worth. Betty reassures him by saying that she retains the original promissory notes, not the bank. Armando is still not convinced, so Betty takes away the promissory notes, which makes Armando remark that he would never distrust her. He takes the notes back and signs them. In response to his signature, Betty smiles and Armando tells her that he’s missed her smiles … her recent behavior appears strange to him. Betty remarks that Armando’s behavior is even stranger because she hasn’t received a card today or the ‘detalle’ she’s become accustomed to. Armando tells her that he’s been pressed for time but the ‘detalle’ will be on her desk later. Betty smiles again and goes back to her office.
Once in her office, Betty peeks through the door crack and catches Armando going through the bag and reading the supposed card for today. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit the circumstances because they didn’t spend the night together. Armando angrily throws the card down onto the desk because it’s no good and he has to come up with another one. He seems to be at a total loss. A crafty Betty walks out of her office with the notes again and catches Armando with the card on his desk. Armando tries to cover it up, but it’s too late … Betty has seen it. Betty asks Armando if that is her card and Armando says that it is but he’s not satisified with it, she deserves something more profound. Betty wants to know what’s wrong with the card, and Armando continues to stammer that he wants to write something better, more “elevated” because he … and Betty interrupts and asks him to leave the card as is and just give it to her. Armando holds on to the card and tells her that he can’t, his feelings are just too profound for the current contents of the card … but she shouldn’t worry, she’ll get her card today (this is added with a thoroughly fake smile, it looked like it was pasted on). As Betty finally desists and leaves, Armando sinks down in his chair sighing with relief.
Marcela and Mario have arrived back in Bogotá. Patricia immediately runs over to greet Marce and give her a huge hug while complimenting her on her clothes. Mario wants to know what’s happened in his absence and Sandra tells him she’ll be in his office in a minute. As Mario walks away, Marcela asks Patricia to accompany her into her office to discuss the trip and Patricia goes over to her desk to hide the box of chocolates first (from Bertha of course), making sure to leave one chocolate sitting on top of an upside-down pencil holder … as temptation for Bertha. Once Patricia is gone, Bertha and Sofía walk back out and Bertha’s gaze is drawn directly to the chocolate on Patricia’s desk. She tells Sofía she’ll catch up with her in a minute and goes over to Patricia’s desk and takes the chocolate, while cooing to it as if it were a baby. :o) She runs off into the bathroom with it.
Mario walks into Presidencia while Armando is fussing with what to put on Betty’s card. Armando tells Mario he’s glad he’s back because something didn’t work out … the card (he shows him the card for today) will not work. Betty’s ears have perked up upon hearing Mario’s voice and she’s now listening from her office. Armando whispers to Mario that they should go into the boardroom and he’ll explain everything. When they walk away, Betty comes out of her office and leans her ear right against the door of the boardroom.
In the boardroom:
Mario - What happened? Why did the program fail?
Armando - I don’t know what went wrong. Last night we went to Adriana Arboleda’s event and Betty left early … she disappeared.
Mario - I don’t understand. You took her to the event and she disappeared. Sooooo (making rubbing motions with his hands) last night nothing happened.
Armando - No, nothing happened last night, Calderón, absolutely nothing (we see Betty lean even closer to the door). That’s why this card is no good. (Holding up the card) It indicates that last night something happened and we have to change the card as soon as possible, Calderón … she’s waiting for her card.
Mario - I’ll change it in a few seconds, but give me the details first, tell me what happened for God’s sakes. What do you mean she disappeared?
Armando - Nicolás Mora went to pick her up last night. Do you understand, Calderón? They left together.
Mario - What?!?!?
Meanwhile, in Marcela’s office, Mariana reads Marcela all of her messages, while Patricia looks through some clothes that Marcela brought back from Palm Beach. When Mariana leaves, Marcela asks Patricia to tell her what happened and Patricia responds that they repo’d her car because she couldn’t pay it any more. Marcela is not sympathetic and reminds Patricia that she was warned a bunch of times and it happened because she’s hard-headed … in any event, she doesn’t want to talk about the car, she wants to know about Armando. Patricia tells her that he behaved well; she even surprised him at Adriana Arboleda’s event and she saw him talk to the models but no one in particular. Then, as always, he yelled at her and insulted her. But the weird thing, Patricia adds, is that Armando kept asking where Betty was. And, she adds, she doesn’t know what was wrong with Betty because, unlike other times, she didn’t want to sit next to Armando. Patricia also tells Marcela that Betty left with her boyfriend and that she met him at last … he’s an idiot that was badly dressed. Marcela is astounded to hear this … isn’t he supposed to be the general manager of a company and have millions upon millions upon millions of dollars? Patricia tells her that that part is true, he’s just nouveau riche. Marcela remarks that now that she met him she’s surely given up on pursuing that idea (referring to Patricia taking Betty’s boyfriend away from her). Patricia offhandedly agrees [only Marcela believed her, I think! :o)] and continues to tell Marcela about Betty’s crying episode in the bathroom. Marcela wants to know how that affects Patricia, but Patricia changes the subject and asks Marcela if she brought her anything, at least a perfume.
Back in the boardroom:
Mario - So you finally met the famous Nicolás Mora. [He breaks off into a famous song: “¿Y cómo es él? ¿En qué lugar se enamoró de tí? :o)]
Armando - Stop it. How would you like him to be? He’s a dummy, a nerd (Betty’s face pales) … a badly- dressed guy. But the worst part was that I had to see them together.
Mario - Wait, there’s something that I don’t understand. You and Betty had plans to go to Adriana Arboleda’s event and then you would leave together.
Armando - Actually, she had asked me to take her to your apartment.
Mario - To my apartment again?!?!?
Armando - Sssshhhhhhhhhhh!!! (Betty looks angry now on the other side of the door)
Mario - But wait a minute, it’s one thing to take her to my apartment one time and that it looked like an accident, but twice is a public disgrace. (Betty looks like she’s about to throw up). Well, at least you saved my apartment, my integrity and my honor (geeez, Mario!!!). Okay, then what happened? When did the plans change?
Armando - During the event, during the event. Why? I don’t know. The fact is that she started to disappear and get lost at every opportunity. Then when the fashion show ended she came up to me and told me she had to leave because Nicolás Mora had come to pick her up to take her to dinner.
Mario - To dinner? She exchanged a night with you for a meal?
Armando - Yes. Calderón, Betty’s behaving really strangely … I had never seen her acting this way. It almost seems like it didn’t bother her that we weren’t together last night and it’s fine with her to leave it until next week. (Mario’s eyes are wide open in astonishment). Like nothing …
Mario - Ay, Mr. President, it seems that the little monster is taking the luxury of turning you down sexually. I don’t want you to go into ‘Orange Alert Mode’, but if Betty prefers to spend an evening with that nerd, Nicolás Mora, instead of having a night of passion, sex and romance with you, to me that’s a bad sign. I wouldn’t wait one whole week to make the little vampire happy. You know what? I think that she’s testing you.
Armando (totally befuddled) - I don’ know, Calderón, I don’t know what I did. In any case, we have to change the card. Write another one. She’s already asking for the card of the day and I can’t come up with just any stupid thing. Write, write …
Mario (taking the card from Armando) – We can fix that in a second.
Outside the boardroom doors, Betty really looks sick to her stomach after listening to this entire exchange. She somehow pulls herself together and goes into her office to call Nicolás. She tells him that he can go ahead and make the payments … she’s already had Don Armando sign another promissory note. She doesn’t trust those two idiots (Mario and Armando) and they can get them into trouble; she has to make sure that they won’t leave them out on the street. Betty then asks Nicolás where he’s at and Nicolás tells her he’s out looking at cars and would like her to approve the model he’s chosen. As Nicolás leans against a spanking new black Mercedes Benz, he tells Betty that he’s found the car that they need. Betty asks for the address of the dealership and tells Nicolás she’ll meet him there at 1:00 p.m.
Back in the boardroom, Mario suggests a few new cards to Armando, none of which seem to be to his liking. Mario tells him to hurry up because they have to get to work on decorating the Palm Beach stores, but Armando just waves him away with one of the cards. After Mario leaves, Armando reads one of the cards and is more dissatisfied than ever … the message seems too redundant to him. He calls Mario a dunce and picks a card which he starts to dedicate on his own.
Patricia comes back to her desk and notices that the chocolate she left on her desk is now gone. Both Mariana and Sandra tell her she can accuse someone else because they are on a diet. Meanwhile, Bertha is in the bathroom still admiring her ‘prey’ (LOL!) and talking to it sweetly. She finally takes a bite into it and enjoys it immensely. Back out in the hallway, the exchange between Patricia, Sandra and Mariana continues when Patricia notices Bertha coming out of the bathroom. Patricia smiles slyly after Bertha’s passing form and takes out another chocolate from her box.
Armando walks out of the boardroom with the card he’s composed and is stuffing it in its envelope, right outside Betty’s door, when Marcela walks in. As Marcela says hello, Armando turns around and gives her a thoroughly “I was almost caught in the act smile” and walks over to her, kisses her, and asks her how she’s doing. Betty has heard Marcela’s voice and is just behind her door, listening to the exchange. Marcela hands Armando what looks like a tie box and tells him she’s very happy because she found him still here … she didn’t think she would. She notices the envelope which Armando is still holding, takes it out of his hand, and throws it down on his chair. She then leans over, kisses him, and they fall back onto his desk. Armando asks Marcela to be careful because Betty is in her office. Marcela tells Armando that she’s going to have to get used to the idea that wherever Armando is, Betty is right by his side. They were also together at Adriana Arboleda’s event last night, right? In any event, Marcela adds, that’s a good thing because if he’s with Betty he can’t be with the ‘other one’. And he shouldn’t think that she’s acting in jealousy when she talks of Beatriz, that makes her feel ridiculous. As Armando looks at her uncomfortably, Marcela continues her monologue and tells Armando that she knows that he also met Betty’s boyfriend. Armando immediately guesses that the gossip comes courtesy of ‘The Voice of Ecomoda’ … Patricia Fernandez. Marcela asks Armando not to get mad and comments that she also heard that he’s the masculine version of of Beatriz … he wears glasses, he’s a nerd, and he dresses poorly. Armando rolls his eyes and tells her that he really didn’t pay attention. Just then, Cata comes in with some paperwork, greets Marcela and says that it looks like she’s interrupting something, but Marcela tells her that she was just leaving. Actually, Armando looks grateful for the interruption. Before leaving, Marcela picks up the envelope and returns it to Armando. Armando smiles that artificial smile again and asks Cata to give the estimates to Betty.
Cata walks into Betty’s office and gives her the new estimates for her to input into the system. Betty assures her that she’ll get to it right away. Cata also hands Betty the white candle she had promised and advises her to keep it lit. Betty thanks her sadly and Cata asks her if she’s concentrating … her love life is not in good shape and it’s going to ultimately affect her work. Betty responds that she doesn’t know where her love life ends and her professional one begins … they seem to be one and the same and she wants to leave. Cata wisely tells Betty that she’s going to have to separate the one from the other, otherwise she will sink. She points to the candle and tells Betty to go ahead and light it. Betty nods her head sadly and Cata leaves. When Cata passes Armando’s desk, Armando gets up, picks up the card, straightens his tie and gets ready to face Betty.
Armando walks into Betty’s office with a smile, the card and a little present. Betty thanks him seriously and, when Armando leaves, puts the present right in the black garbage bag with all of the other presents and cards. Curiosity gets the best of her, though, and she opens the card. It says:
“I’m feeling you very distant and so strange. I still can’t believe that you are so indifferent to losing our night when for me it was like losing another marvelous instant (we see Armando staring pensively at Betty’s door). I desire you; my body misses you. I won’t be able to wait until next week to recuperate the night we lost. A kiss, Armando.”
Betty reacts by calling Armando ‘desgraciado’ and stuffing the card into the garbage bag. She gets up from her chair, as if a woman on a mission, and goes to tell Armando that she’s leaving for lunch. As an afterthought, Betty thanks him for the card and tells him that it confirmed that he writes very well. Armando nods his head and smiles. As Betty turns around to leave, Mario comes in charging through the door, almost running Betty over (he obviously didn’t notice her), and asks Armando where they’re going for lunch. Betty interrupts by saying, “excuse me …” and, when Mario turns around to greet her, she gives him a kick right where it counts! Way to go Betty!!!! Mario falls to his knees holding the family jewels while Betty smirks at him. Then she hears a voice asking her, “Betty, Betty, how are you?”, and this snaps her out of her fantasy. It’s Mario, of course, and Betty just says “how are you?” right back at him and leaves. After she leaves, Mario turns to Armando and comments that Betty is acting a little strange and Armando once again says that she’s acting a lot strange.
Betty makes it to the hallway to find El Cuartel waiting on her to go to lunch. Betty tells them that she won’t be able to go with them and, noticing that Mario and Armando are right behind her, says in a louder tone that her boyfriend has asked her out to lunch because he has a surprise for her. As Mario and Armando look on and listen very interested, Bertha suggests that maybe Nicolás is going to ask for her hand in marriage. Betty tells them she’ll give them the details later and walks away. El Cuartel follows. When Mario and Armando are alone, Armando angrily crumples the paper he was looking at and Mario comments, “A surprise from the boyfriend? What do you think it’s all about?” Armando tells Mario he has no idea. Mario advises Armando not to waste any time, after all there’s been a night of love that Betty’s turned down and now there’s a lunch with the boyfriend … did he give her the card? Armando tells Mario that he did but that he had to re-write it because he’s a dunce. Mario drily retorts that there’s nothing like writing with the heart.:o) As Armando rolls his eyes, Armando tells Mario that Betty congratulated him on the card and Mario quips that the Nobel Prize can’t be far away and laughs. Armando imitates Mario’s laughter (with no feeling in it whatsoever) while Mario tells him that he’s lifted a big load off his shoulders because he’d never written so much to a ‘fea’ … from now on, Armando will be in charge of writing his own cards - what did he write, after all? Armando responds that he didn’t write anything special, he just continued in the romantic vein that Mario started. He had told him not to let things cool down and that’s what he suggested in the card, that he didn’t want to wait a whole week until they were together again. Mario tells him that the most important thing is that he go through with everything that he promised in the card. Armando says that it will be very difficult for him now that Marcela’s back in town. Armando sighs and adds that he had never seen Betty act this way … he had authorized her to talk about her boyfriend but not to boast about him so. With a smile on his face, Mario asks Armando if he’s jealous. Armando just shakes his head and walks away leaving Mario calling after him to wait up.
Betty pulls up in a taxi outside a Mercedes Benz dealership, but she can’t believe that this is the right place. The taxi driver assures her this is the address he gave her, Betty exits the taxi and walks inside. Almost as soon as she walks in, Nicolás calls her from inside a black Mercdes and asks her how he looks in it. Betty gives the car a once over while Nicolás insists on asking her how he looks in the car and, after still receiving no answer, he pulls out his cell phone so he can fully look the part. Nicolás exits the car and Betty tells him he looked incredible because this car is not for them. Nicolás tells her that the car is the appropriate car for the image of the general manager of Terra Moda and its owner, but Betty insists it’s not because the car has more image than the two of them put together. Since Nicolás is so persistent, Betty asks the price of the car and Nicolás tells her it’s about $45,000. Betty tells him that Terra Moda can’t afford to buy a $45,000 car … he’s out of his mind! Nicolás pulls out a folder and tells Betty that they can sure afford it and she’s got the right to buy the car anyway, three of them if she wants, a mansion in Bogotá, another one in Miami, another one in Spain, an apartment in London, and even a yacht. Betty tells him that she will not take money from Eco Moda to buy the car and Nicolás tells her that they can finance most of the cost of the car, they need only put $10,000 down. After doing the calculations in her head, Betty tells Nicolás that that would leave them with a monthly payment of 2 and ½ million pesos … it’s too high. Nicolás points to all of his projections and asks Betty to look at them, they can make the payment. Betty agrees that they can make the payment but she doesn’t know if they deserve this luxury. Nicolás adopts a cynical tone of voice and tells Betty that of course they don’t deserve it, they can just continue being the couple of poor nerds that they’ve always been and that don’t deserve anything in life. Betty starts to looks remorseful and Nicolás opens the passenger door for her and makes her get in. When they are both in the car, Nicolás asks in jest whether they should head to the club and then asks her again how they look in the car. Betty answers that between the two of them they look wonderful in the car but no one is going to believe that they bought it, they’re going to think they won it in a raffle … it’s better to forget the whole thing. Nicolás doesn’t let the matter drop and tells Betty that rather than investing the money in a plastic surgery (which he knows she’s been thinking about), they should invest it in this car … how do they look?
Betty and Nicholas are in the car dealership, sitting in the Mercedes, and Nicholas is in love with the car. He keeps trying to talk Betty in to buying it, and she keeps saying that they should get something more reasonable. “Don’t we look rich/grand in this car” Nicholas says. He pretends to wave at people on the street and chat with them, a living fantasy of what it would be like to have this car. Betty watches him in his happiness, and begins to remember all of the times they have spent together. She remembers her birthday party when he was the only one who danced with her, and times in the barrio when they laughed together, or he helped her onto the bus, and how he comforted her when she found out about Don Armando. And she agrees to get the car if they can get the financing. He says, oh, they can get it, they can get it. Most definitely! He is very excited, and she looks at him with lots of affection.
Minutes later they are driving up to Eco Moda, just in time to see the cuartel coming back from lunch. The cuartel is already engaged in a little tiff with Marcy and Patsy, who are also coming back from lunch, so they all see Betty getting out of the car. The cuartel ooohs and ahhs over it. Nicholas stands up in the car to blow Betty big, dramatic kisses, which she returns with gusto, before he drives away.
As Nicholas leaves, Patsy and Marcy look on. Then Marcy goes into Eco Moda. Patsy makes a crack about Nicolas and Betty (I missed this), and Betty returns with: at least he can afford the car that he has, and won’t have to worry about leaving it by the side of the road because it is out of gas or having someone come take it away because he can’t afford the payments. The cuartel laugh openly, while Wilson has the “decency” to cover his mouth (but of course, he is laughing too). Patsy tries to make a come back, but can’t think of anything at all, and so stomps into Ecomoda.
The cuartel asks Betty what the surprise was, and she says it was the car. What about the car? She says that it and he will be at her disposal, to pick her up, and take her places, and bring her home, etc. Berta then says that the cuartel now has a mercedes, because what belongs to Betty belongs to the cuartel. Inesita responds that no, not at all, it is for Betty’s use only. Betty says nothing.
Patricia putting out more chocolate to tempt and catch Berta, and Berta is eyeing it with longing, walking slowly in the lounge, staring.
Somewhere in here Sandy makes a crack about Patsy, saying she should get a picture of her car so she can remember it, because it is lost to her, and she will never get it back. Patsy replies that she will, she will get it back, no, a car even better than that one, and when they say how, she just smiles smugly to herself. She then goes to her purse to pull out Nicholas’ card.
Nicholas is driving along, enjoying the car, and then turns on the radio, all the while talking to a picture of Patsy propped up in the seat next to him. He hears a ringing sound, and he doesn’t recognize it. “What is that? What could that be?”“It sounds like a cell phone? Yes, a cell phone? What cell phone?”“Oh, I guess it could be mine !” He then begins to look for his cell phone, patting himself down to find it, and when he reaches it, he says, “I wonder who could be calling me?” He answers the phone and it is Patricia. He is thrilled to be hearing from her and is falling all over himself while driving, due to his extreme happiness. Patsy and Nicholas flirt back and forth, and she manipulates him into promising to take her out later this week, and into coming to pick her up at her apartment. They agree that Betty shouldn’t know anything about it.
Betty comes back late from lunch, and Armando is none to happy about it. He points out that she was gone a long time, and they have a lot of work to do. She responds that she is sorry, she didn’t mean to be gone so long. He asks if it was a special occasion, if they were celebrating something; she responds that he took her out because he has been neglecting her as a friend lately, with work and all. He then asks when the projections will be done. She says she should have them for tomorrow. She turns to walk into her office, and he rapidly gets up and intercepts her - - with aggression in his face, and intensity, he reminds her about the numbers they need for the next board meeting, and how they have to be “fixed.” She nods in his direction(I don’t remember if she said anything) and then goes into her office and closes the door, making a face and sticking her tongue out at him. She then seats herself at her desk and pulls out the letter from Marion, reviewing the part where he mentioned how Armando needs her not only to keep the company but also to keep fixing the numbers for the next board meetings, until they get the company back. She sheds a few tears, then lights a candle on her desk (for focus, for inspiration? Unclear), and then goes to work.
Sofia has to go off to meet with the lawyers about the divorce, and Patsy questions her about getting permission from Gutierrez. Sofia says that Betty is her boss, and if Patsy has any problem with that, she should take it up with Betty.
Scene with Betty’s parents - - Dona Julia and Don Hermes, working on his old car out in front of the house, trying to get it in running order, and Hermes blustering as usual. Nicholas drives up, beeping the horn, and shows off the car. Hermes asks why Don Armando needs such as showy car, and how he feels about it, Nicholas responds that the car is for the exclusive use of the employees of Terra Moda, which are Nicolas and Betty. He then drives off.
Berta gives in and snitches the chocolate from Patsy’s desk, and it is slowly headed for her mouth, when Patsy says “Berta, Berta have you been stealing my chocolates!!!” Berta is thrown for a minute, but then says, she really needs it. Sandy and the other one come up to take it from her, and she says no, no she really needs this chocolate - -they are holding her hand to prevent her from eating it, and she is fighting to get it into her mouth. They all get louder and louder, and the Marcy comes out and asks what is going on. At this point Berta begins to sag/half-faint, and almost falls down, with Sandy and ****_ holding her up, and Marcy saying that someone should call a doctor. Marcy then pulls Patsy aside and says that she has a smug look on her face, and asks, “have you been fighting with the cuartel?” Patsy responds that no, she hasn’t, they have bee fighting with her. Marcy asks why she looks that way then, and Patsy says she has another reason.
Armando is talking to Mario, who asks how things are going with Betty. He responds okay. Mario asks what the lunch was about, and Armando says “because he’s been neglecting his friend” And Mario responds, that’s weird. They are both talking quietly, while Betty stands close to the door to listen in. Mario asks about her, and Armando says she is working hard on the next set of projections, and at least appears to agree to “the markup” (fixing the numbers). Mario says that he should spend time with her tonight, but Armando says he can’t, Marcela is expecting him. Mario then says he should take her home at least, get a few kisses in. Armando agrees, looking a little irritated about the whole thing (frustrated, too).
Armando goes into Betty’s office and asks how the report is going. She responds that she is almost done. He then says that he will take her home, but she says, that’s ok, someone is picking me up. He asks who, she says Nicholas. She looks very smug and he looks very thrown/upset. He asks why, and she says, because he hasn’t been such a good friend. He requests that she not make such a big deal about having a boyfriend, and she says, but he told her to. And besides, things are going so well with he and Marcela now. He responds that this is because he “was good” while she was away.
Marcy calls Armando’s name from the corridor, asking for a moment with him. He goes back out to talk to Marcy, who asks when he will be leaving, he responds a little while, and agrees (upon her invitation) to come back over to her place later. She then says that he won’t need to take betty home anymore, because her boyfriend has a car. He says what car? She says THE CAR, the top of the line of mrecedes. He is shocked. Marcy says that he is a “pobre rico” I think, or some other expression about him having money only, not “class”, and Betty is listening in. She then pulls her things together and walks out of the office while they are talking, handing him the report, and says good night to them both with a big smile on her face. Armando calls after her, but she doesn’t stop. Marcy asks why, and he says he was only going to ask a question. Marcy says she will see him later. Armando says to himself, in a very tight, intense voice “Mercedes Benz!”
Yenny is on the phone talking to her pupichurro in the babytalk voice about when he is coming to pick her up, when Nicholas drives up in the car to pick up Betty. Yenny begins to flirt with Nicholas,(really, with Nicholas’ car) and asks who he is waiting for. He says Betty. She asks if he is a friend of Betty’s and he says he is more than a friend, he is her boyfriend. Yenny says that she didn’t know that Betty had such an attractive boyfriend, one who was so “well-heeled” as the english version of the expression goes (I believe this expression comes from expensive shoes in America, for the non-American heritage people). As she says this she is drooling and slithering all over the car. Nicholas replies that he and Betty aren’t “so close”, it isn’t such a settled relationship. The cuartel is heading out of the office, and Marcy offers to take Patsy home, who says “she owes her one” and Marcy responds, you owe me 90. They all get in the elevator, but Betty steps back, and says she’ll take the next one. She seems to be waiting for someone or something. Somewhere in here (I have the order wrong, I think, but it’s in the middle of this exchange), Nicholas uses his cell phone to call Betty, but she has already left the office. Armando hears the phone ring on his way out of the office, but says, “That they call tomorrow”. He is very irritated and upset. On his way down the hall toward the elevator, he requests that one of the assistants do something, and when she is moderate in response, he attacks her, insisting that it be taken care of right away and didn’t she hear him. After that he is walking to the elevator calling Mario’s name, who responds. As he passes by the area around what I think is the women’s restroom, Betty reappears, but out of his view- - she has been waiting to make sure she runs into him, I think. Yenny flirts more with Nicholas, asking about the car, which leads him to offer to let her get inside of it. She sits in the driver’s seat, and as she does, her skirt rides up and Nicholas is staring at her legs. Nicholas and Yenny are still flirting as the cuartel come outside. Sofia is crying about how Efrain is trying to take half of the house her parents gave her, and if he manages to get it she will have to sell. She is clearly in tears. The cuartel see Yenny flirting with Nicholas, and ask what she is doing. They become angry, when Efrain pulls up to pick up Jenny. Sofia shouts that they are going to talk about what he is trying to do, and as Yenny is getting into the car, he says they will talk about it later, that he and Yenny have to go. She says no, they will talk about it now, and she begins to pull on the car door. The rest of the cuartel attack the car and Sandy manages to grab Efrain and pull him out of the car as Nicholas looks on with HORROR!!!
OUTSIDE ECO MODA
The fight between Sophia and Efrain is still going strong with the Cuartel, Wilson and Nicolas watching. Sophia is shouting that he shouldn’t even dream that she is going to sell the house and give him half of the money. Efrain remarks that he has to sell his car and give half of what he receives. Sophia makes remarks as to the state of his car and how it is not worth anything. She tells him that a real car is like that one, motioning to the Mercedes Benz. Nicolas has his hand on the outside mirror and smiles and waves at Efrain.
INSIDE ECO MODA
Betty is standing in a hallway where she can’t be seen but can hear Armando and Mario discussing Betty’s not wanting Armando to take her home.
BACK TO THE FIGHT
Sophia informs Efrain that he is not going to leave her and his children without a house. He tells her that she doesn’t have to move out. She can purchase his half from him. She has him by his suit coat, shaking him and calling him a “desgraciado”. By this point, Sophia is very upset and crying. Sandra comes over to calm her down and pulls her away. She approaches Efrain, removes his glasses and asks him to hold them. Of course, he does. All of sudden Sandra grabs him by his coat and tells him “this is for being a desgraciado” and butts heads with him. She knocks him down, everyone is screaming and Jenny comes running to help him up. Sandra opens his car door while Jenny assists him in the car. Sandra tells him that this is not the end of it. Efrain and Jenny take off.
Betty comes out of the building breathing heavily. She asks Nicolas what is occurring. He tells her that they are killing a man that was in a blue car. Nicolas wants to know why she is out of breath and she tells him that she had to come down the stairs. Betty tells him that she is going to go see what is happening, but he tells her that it is best to stay away. He says that he is ready to go, but she says that she needs to wait for someone to come out.
Betty goes and offers Sophia a ride home. Sophia apologizes for Nicolas having to witness the fight. The Cuartel wants to know if Betty is going to introduce Nicolas, but Betty tells him that he is timid. They don’t believe that he is timid. Mariana tells her that she needs to be careful with him because they saw him talking to Jenny. They let her know that Jenny was in the car, flirting and has probably programmed her telephone number into his cellular telephone. Sandra reminds her how they caught Patricia talking to Nicolas. Betty bids them goodnight. Inesita tells the rest of the Cuartel that she will not be able to join them for lunch tomorrow due to her lack of funds. A man by the name of Santiago owes her money and has not repaid what he borrowed.
Betty is standing in front of the Mercedes with a hand on her waist. She has a mad look on her face and asks Nicolas to hand over the telephone. Nicolas asks if she needs to make a telephone call. Betty finds Jenny’s cellular number and gets upset. Nicolas says that he can explain. They don’t have the opportunity to continue their conversation because Armando and Mario come out of the building. Betty hurriedly tells Nicolas to open the car door for her, which he does. As he is opening the door she turns her head uptowards him and smiles as though she is in love with him. He returns the smile. Armando and Mario watch the entire scene.
Betty and Nicolas drive off. Armando and Mario are discussing if the car actually belongs to Nicolas or a friend. Mario reminds him that Betty said that he had money. Armando wants to know where he got that kind of money. They make comments on how he has a very expensive car, but not an expensive house. Armando wants to know why he is showing off the car at this moment. Why is he all of a sudden inviting her to lunch. Armando states that a person needs a lot of money to purchase that type of car. They state the capital of Eco Moda and Terra Moda. Mario suggests that they go home to sleep and ask Betty in the morning. Armando says that he is going to ask her tonight.
IN FRONT OF BETTY’S HOUSE
As they are driving up Nicolas is explaining how Jenny was very nice to him. “What was he suppose to do”, he asks, “tell her no, no don’t touch my telephone, don’t program your number”. Betty is angry and tells him that he wants to go out with all the women at Eco Moda and that he was raised to be a flirt. Nicolas tells her not to blame him that he is going through a good moment and is having success with the women. Betty tells him not to get illusioned that the one having success is the car. Betty tells him that Jenny is bad news and to stay away from her. She tells him how she stole Sophia’s husband from her. She also warns him to stay away from Patricia. She says that since Patricia saw that car she has not been able to get it our of her mind. Nicolas tells her to let them dream about him, don’t they have that right. Betty says yes, but not to the point where they make fun of her. Betty asks if it is too much to ask him to be faithful to her when it comes to the women at Eco Moda.
Nicolas tells her not to worry. He says that being her boyfriend doesn’t let him breath. Betty tells him that he is well-compensated. She asks what girlfriend is going to give him a job, make him manager and give a car. He says ok that he will have to love her and respect her until death do they part. He tells her that he will be faithful and as Betty walks into her house he begins to sing “Novia mia vas a ser muy mujer”. He then remembers his telephone conversation with Patricia where they made their plans for the next evening. Betty awakes him from his dreaming and they go into the house. As they are entering, Armando is parked to the side watching them.
INSIDE BETTY’S HOUSE
Betty’s parents are having dinner. Don Hermes won’t greet them. Dona Julia informs them that he is upset with the purchase of the car. Don Hermes wants to know how they were able to afford to purchase that car, by using Armando’s money. He asks if Armando knows how it was purchased. Betty tells him that he will tell him tomorrow and that she has the authority to make the purchase. Betty gets upset and leaves the dining room. Betty tells Nicolas that she wants them to go to her room. Nicolas wants to eat and says that he is not upset with Don Hermes. He wants to know why his stomach has to pay for her being upset. Armando calls and ask for Betty. Dona Julia, at Betty’s request, tells him that she is not home. Armando knowing that this is a lie asks when she will be home. Dona Julia answers that she does not know. Armando becomes upset that Betty will not take his call. Dona Julia wants to know why she didn’t wish to speak to Armando and wants to know what is going on.
Nicolas is telling Betty that they are going to have problems with her father. Betty tells him not to worry that she will take care of it. He comments that he knows that she is planning something because he noticed that she made sure that Armando saw them leave in the car. He wants to know what she is going to tell him. Betty says that she will tell Armando that they purchased the car with Terra Mora’s money. Nicolas says that Armando will have a heart attack. Nicolas asks what she thinks that Armando will say. Betty doesn’t know, but will find out tomorrow. Nicolas is worried that he will take the car away from therm. Betty says, “he wouldn’t dare”. Nicolas is then worried that Armando will ask for Nicolas not to drive the car. Betty says that she will not let that happen.
Betty changes the subject to Nicolas’ clothes. See tells him to get money out of petty cash and to purchase new clothes. Nicolas wants to know what is wrong with the way he dresses. Betty tells him that he is dressed to informal for the manager of Eco Moda. Nicolas says that he needs to dress elegant, but casual. He tells her that he has done well this past week with the clothes that he has. Betty tells him that they don’t have the imagine that goes with a car like the Mercedes. Nicolas tells her that they are above that. She agrees, but states that people aren’t. She informs him that he will be dropping her off and picking her up at work and attending events that he needs to be dressed more like a manager. He says that if it is for the image of Terra Mora, he will do it. Not only that, that is what he is being paid to do. She reminds him that he is also getting paid for being her boyfriend. Nicolas tells her that it is not enough for her to have a boyfriend who is a manager of a business, attractive, intelligent and with an expensive car - now she wants him to dress well. He asks about his imagine. She wants to know what he means. He tells her that he needs to have a beautiful girlfriend. Betty looks a little upset. He tells her that it was a joke and that she can deduct a day’s pay. He does tell her that she needs new equipment and demonstrates one of her shoes whose sole is coming off. Betty tells him that he will change, but she will remain the same. Her reasoning is that Armando did everything to her when she was ugly. She wants to see how he plans to take his company away from La Fea. He will have to put up with her being ugly. Nicolas tells her that she is going crazy.
They think about what to do with the car for the night. Nicolas tells her that he is not about to ask Don Hermes to take his car out of his garage to put the Mercedes away. Betty tells him to take it home and put it in his mother’s warehouse and to pay her a little something for her trouble. As he is leaving, he tells her to tell her mother that he forgives her for this evenings meal. The car has turned him to a mere mortal.
OUTSIDE BETTY’S HOUSE
Nicolas plays with the automatic trunk opener and lights. Armando is watching this entire scenes. When Nicolas gets into the car he puts the radio on full blast. Marcela calls and wants to know where he is at. Betty is writing in her manual that she does not feel bad for the way that she is acting. She does not believe that she needs to give explanations, rather receive them from Armando
Upon arriving, Armando fixes a stiff drink. Marcela is excited that he is home. Smelling the liquor on his breath she wants to know where he has been. He explains that he just had drink before entering. He explains that he is tense due to work.
Marcela is complaining that he spends all his time thinking about the company and not the wedding. She tells him that his priorities cannot be all Eco Moda, but he needs to spend time thinking about where they will live once they are married. Marcela says that she will take care of everything. He says “perfect”, not really meaning it. Marcela begins to kiss him and all Armando can think about is Betty telling him that Nicolas will pick her up, Patricia introducing him to Nicolas, and the events of that evening. He remembers his conversation with Bertha telling him about Betty’s boyfriend. When he doesn’t respond to Marcela she claims that he can’t forget the other woman. He says that it is work that has him like this. Marcela continues to believe that it is another woman. She says that she understands that she has to give him time, but that she won’t marry a man who has another woman in his soul.
Betty is writing in her book that she doesn’t want to be there the day he waits for Marcela at the alter. She says that she has to understand that he was never for her nor will he ever be. She hopes that she will someday be able to get him out of her heart, but doubts that it will happen. She hopes that someday her heart will understand. (We are now seeing Armando checking to see if Marcela is asleep.) Betty continues with her writing and writes that it is like Nicolas said, “The only way a man like Armando could notice someone like Betty would be due to witchcraft”.
Armando has fallen asleep and is dreaming that he is in the parking garage of Eco Moda. He is walking towards the parked Mercedes and picks inside. In the back seat he finds Nicolas and Betty kissing. He yells, “Betty”. Nicolas and Betty look at him and continue to kiss. Armando asks, “What are you doing”? “Are you in love with this guy, Nicolas Mora or me”. Betty and Nicolas ignore him. He wakes up yelling her name. Marcela wants to know what happened to Betty. He tells her that he had a nightmare. He makes up a story that he was dreaming that Eco Moda was taken away from him. Marcela wants to know if something is happening with Eco Moda. He hurriedly answers no. He once again tells her that he is this way because of the stress of the job. Marcela has a look that says that she doesn’t believe him. When she continues to stare he asks if she thinks that he was dreaming of Betty because something is happening between them. She tells him not to be ridiculous.
IN FRONT OF BETTY’S HOUSE
Nicolas is standing in front of the car and two girls pass by him and greet him. Betty comes out and tells him that she will be driving. Nicolas is not happy about it. Roman and his gang appear and accuse them of stealing the car. Nicolas informs them that the car is the property of Terra Moda, with the owner being Betty. Betty tries to stop Nicolas. Roman tries to get into the car and even calls Betty “bonita”. Betty doesn’t let him get in. Nicolas doesn’t want Betty to drive because Roman and his gang will laugh even more.
Nicolas has to change gears for Betty and she is driving slower than a turtle walking. Her father is working on his car and he refuses any help from them. He is still upset about the purchase of the Mercedes. Betty and Nicolas drive off.
Betty drops Nicolas off at a clothing store. She tells him that she will be driving herself to work so that she can tell people at Eco Moda that her boyfriend let her borrow the car. Nicolas says that the manager of Terra Mora cannot leave the store with packages and wait for the bus. Betty wants to know how he did it before he had a car. He tells her that he is psychologically conditioned not to have a car. Betty tells him that no one is going to see him and if he does see someone that he knows, he should hide. Nicolas is worried about Betty arriving home late and wants her to get home early. He says that someone could try to do something to her with that car. He says that if a burglar approaches her that he will end up being the one that gets scarred. After Nicolas gets out and Betty drives off he ways and says (Betty of course doesn’t hear) “Tragic is ugly and now with you on the road it is going to be very ugly”.
Nícolas, outside the clothing store, admires his photo of Patricia and advises her of his changing appearance.
Outside Ecomoda, Jenny and Efraín drive up and she’s whining about him getting more money (from the divided proceeds of Sofia’s house). She’s apparently got plans for that money. He pleads with her to stop the discussion but she continues to pout. She had hoped that they’d use the money for a house of their own, or a new car. A new car? This shocks Efraín to the core because he’s apparently quite sentimental about the car. “What’s wrong with it?” “It’s ugly.” He freaks. “This car is good!” He loves it so. She gets out of the car, continuing her harangue and slamming the car door. “You’re always thinking of her!”
Across the street, Sandra, Mariana, and Inez watch this latest scene and enjoy a chuckle at Jenny and Efrain’s expense. Jenny warns them not to make fun of her pupuchurro and Inez tells her off. Aura Maria and Freddy drive up happy as clams on his scooter and Jenny looks sourly at them. Next to arrive is Patricia in a taxi, much to the cuartel’s amusement. It looks like she’s unable to pay the driver and he’s not leaving without his fare. A car honks… it’s Betty in the Benz. The cuartel rushes up to greet her and admire the car. She honks again and the taxi driver says that the lady in the Benz will have to wait until he gets paid. Betty asks Wilson to see that the taxi moves and he rushes to oblige her with a “Si, Doctora!” which inflames Patricia. Patricia asks Wilson to loan her the fare but he refuses, as she’s not repaid him the last loan he made her. She applies to Freddy, and he steps forward, even though Aura Maria encourages him not to. He opens his wallet and the few necessary coins fall out. The driver looks at them with scorn and leaves. Wilson tells Betty to pull up, “Come on Doctora!” Patricia is furious at this and wonders aloud how come she never got this treatment with her Benz, how come he never called her Doctora. Wilson is quite the comic, “Because you only completed 6 semestres, etc.” She’s only a “media-doctora”.
Betty steps out of the car and locks it (beep beep!) and the cuartel rave about the car. “How is it you have it?” asks Mariana. Betty explains that her novio loaned it to her today, that he didn’t need it and she had errands to run. She goes on, to their delight, to explain that he doesn’t like her to have to take taxis. (“But, she’d surely have the money with which to pay them,” digs Sandra with a sly look at Patricia.) Mariana tells Patricia to console herself by looking at Betty’s car because she’ll never have the like again. Patricia reacts strongly that she will. “Sure you will… in photos!” mocks Sandra. Patricia responds angrily and stalks off with the usual hair swish. They note Jenny hanging around and turn on her. She leaves too with the vigorous hair swish. Inez turns the topic back to the car and says, “I didn’t know you could drive, Betty.” “Neither did I,” jokes Betty. She goes on to explain that she’s driven before, but only her father’s cars. She goes on to say that this one is very easy to drive because it’s an automatic. Aura Maria starts cooking up ideas as to how they could take the car and go out on the town at night and find good-looking men, but Inez chides her for thinking such a thing and encouraging Betty to abuse the generosity of her novio. Betty just laughs and says that she’s happy because her boyfriend has loaned her the car and she wants to treat the group to lunch. Inez is happy because she didn’t have money for lunch and the group is delighted at the news of the surprise treat. They head happily into the office. Staring at the car, Freddy asks Wilson if he’s noticed that Betty is looking more attractive these days. Wilson agrees.
Inside, the elevator opens and the women exit. Sandra asks if Betty will have the car every day. “No, then it would be a gift,” replies Betty with a grin. Inez cautions against encouraging greedy behavior. “Don’t worry,” says Betty. “Nícolas is generous!” Patricia looks like she’s been sucking on lemons. At their desks, Sandra and Mariana continue chatting. Mariana mentions that Nícolas isn’t the handsomest of men, isn’t it odd how the most fea of the group… Sandra, however, thinks he looks divine, especially the way he behaves towards Betty. She speaks loudly enough for Patricia to overhear and comments on how some women rely on men to solve their problems… there’s this peliteñida she knows…
Nícolas is busy trying on a new suit. He asks the sales woman if this is or is not what top executives are wearing, very pleased with himself. She concurs. He tries ties on and chooses a colorful one.
Betty enters Armando’s office and sadly raps his empty desk. She enters her office and sits down, her face down-turned in loss and resignation. She lights the white candle and focuses on the glowing flame. She’s the picture of sadness.
Outside Ecomoda, Armando and Marcela drive up in his car. Wilson is polishing the Benz. Armando exits the car and narrows his eyes as he looks at the car, tossing his keys to Wilson with the order to park his car. Marcela asks who’s car it is and Wilson tells her that it’s Betty’s. She crows, “I told you it was a fabulous car!” to Armando who’s sour face grows even more sour. “Did Betty drive it?” Wilson comments that she drove it, but not exactly well. Her novio loaned it to her, he adds. “He must be very rich to have loaned a car like this to Betty, he must have others just like it!” Marcela scores more points, “After all, neither you, nor I, nor any of our stockholders drive a car like this!” Armando looks incredibly pissed off. “What a car… what a car!” enthuses Wilson. When he notes Armando’s face he adds, “Your’s too, Doctor!”
Mario is asking Sandra to work up some figures for him when the elevator opens and Armando exits. Armando is clearly hot under the collar and it looks like he’s picked a shirt with said collar a bit snug that morning. Mario asks him if he’s seen the car outside and they head into his office. Armando snidely remarks that they all have seen the car. he goes on to recount how he called Betty from outside her house, after he’d seen her arrive home, and her mother denied that she was home! Then, he saw Nícolas leave in the car. “Ah, so it’s his car,” says Mario. “So, what happened?” Armando is about to find out. Mario encourages him to calm down first. “Breathe? You breathe!” counters Armando angrily.
Betty is entering data and she hears the door to Armando’s office slide open and twitches slightly. She doesn’t look up when he enters her office, hesitantly, not until he greets her. She maintains a cool appearance and casually returns his greeting. He tells her that he tried to call her last night, but that her mother told her that she hadn’t returned home yet. She tells him that she got home late, sorry, and she figured that it wouldn’t be a good idea to call him on his cell phone as he would no doubt be with Doña Marcela. She has a “don’t give a damn” kind of smile on her face… very passive/aggressive. He can only agree that he was with Marcela, she’s right. He goes one, treading lightly. “Can I ask something, simply out of curiosity?” “Sure,” says Betty. He asks her where her friend Nícolas got the car; did he borrow it or rent it? “Oh no,” says Betty, very smugly, “I bought it!” This ignites Armando’s fuse. “With what money?” She tells him that Terra Moda bought it. “If you bought it with Terra Moda money, then you bought it with Ecomoda money,” he starts, but she counters right away. “No, it was bought with money made by Terra Moda and financed totally by Terra Moda.” “Why didn’t you consult with me, tell me that you were going to buy such an expensive car?!?” She slyly tells him, “You told me from the beginning that you trusted me to make all decisions for the business…” He’s trapped by this. “Why in the devil did you have to buy such an expensive car? She’s ready for this with her rationale that the general manager of Terra Moda must maintain his image. This adds fuel to the flames of Armando’s jealous rage. “You bought this car for Nícolas Mora?!?” She calmly counters that Dr. Mora is the general manager of Terra Moda but that the car belongs to Terra Moda, not Dr. Mora. She goes on to explain that they’ve made some impact and it’s just not appropriate for him to go about in a bus. It could be very dangerous for Terra Moda to not appear to be the type of business it is considered to be, she adds. “Then the car is the exclusive use of this man?” asks Armando. “The general manager of Terra Moda,” corrects Betty, “Who in this case is Nícolas Mora. Don’t worry, it stays safely in the garage of my house.” Armando angrily remembers the scene of last night, Nícolas jubilantly playing with the features of the car and then driving off—clearly NOT parking it in Betty’s garage. She continues, “As you can see, I drove it in today. I hope you don’t mind,” she adds sweetly. “You did tell me that I should buy a car.” Armando’s pulled up by this, “I remember that we talked about you buying a car, but not a car like this…” “Why?” asks Betty, very sharply. “Does it seem like too much car for me? “No…” “Anyway, since you are the one who suggested that Nícolas play my boyfriend, I thought it would alleviate suspicions if I said that it was his car…” Armando turns, his face grim.
Outside, Daniel drives up and Wilson opens his door. He looks over the Benz and asks who’s car it is. Wilson tells him it’s Doctora Beatriz’ but Daniel doesn’t know who that is. “Why, the assistant of the president,” says Wilson. Daniel comments that he didn’t know people in her position earned enough to have a car like this. “Well, it’s not her car, really, it’s her rich boyfriends,” says Wilson. He gossips a little as to what he’s heard Patricia say. Daniel walks away with an unheard insult, “If the manufacturers of this car only knew who was driving it… tsk, tsk…”
In her office, Betty continues her discussion with Armando. Betty continues, “I understand that many people would find it strange that someone with my physical characteristics (self-mocking grimace) would dare to be seen in a car like this… that I wouldn’t deserve it.” “No, it’s not that,” says Armando softly, slightly shamed. “You deserve it…” “What then; aren’t you satisfied with my explanation?” counters Betty, aggressively. “It’s not this, I don’t like what’s happening with you. Why do you have to spend so much time with him. Why are you rejecting me? Buying cars without asking me? Tell me…” Betty looks startled. “Well, if you don’t trust me, then I’ll return it, and I’ll return the business. If you’re upset about this…” “No, I’m not upset about this!” shouts Armando. He gathers himself and softly apologizes, “Forgive me. I don’t distrust you. I’m not talking about the business, I’m speaking about the two of us; I feel that you’re distancing yourself from me and growing closer to him… I’m speaking of the two of us…” he pleads with her. Betty looks at him calmly and dismisses him, “We’ll speak of this next week then, when you have time for me…” “Nooo!” roars Armando. “We need to talk now!” Betty immediately counters that it’s not possible because he has a lunch date. Armando is losing his composure totally. Marcela enters Armando’s office and we see her in the background. She calls to him, “Mi amor…” Armando bellows, “What!” at the interruption but immediately retracts this and starts towards her with an apologetic “mi amor”. Betty looks bitterly after him, but she’s happy to be done with this conversation for now.
Armando apologizes and tells Marcela that he was discussing things with Betty concerning money. “Don’t worry about it, it’s nothing,” he reassures her. “Oh really, you’re speaking of the company where I work, where I’m a stockholder?” comments Marcela cynically. He continues to reassure her and asks her what she needed. “Oh, just some stupidities, things to do with our wedding…” She turns on her heel and leaves and he chases after her. When he catches up with her he asks her what she had for him and she hands him a list of addresses of potential houses and apartments. He peruses it briefly with a fake smile and hands it too her saying that it looks great. This makes her even more annoyed, but he tries to calm her by saying that she should know that he trusts her taste even more than he trusts it himself. Marcela changes the subject, “So, did you find out where Betty’s novio got the money for the car?” “Yes,” says Armando cautiously, “I know the company where he works (hah! of course he does!). It’s not a problem.” “So, she has a legally rich novio,” comments Marcela mockingly. “Hmmph!” She walks away and Armando heads into Mario’s office. He shuts the door and slumps into a chair. Mario asks if he spoke with Betty and he nods his head. “What did she say?” Armando tells him that the car isn’t Nícolas Mora’s, it isn’t a rental, Betty bought it. “What!” Mario jumps up. Armando explains that she bought it with proceeds of Terra Moda. Mario notes that technically the money is hers and Armando tells him that Betty challenged him with not trusting her and how she said that she’d return the car and the company. “Don’t be stupid,” advises Mario, “The creditors would descend on us!” Armando tells him he won’t be stupid. What concerns him more though is how she seems changed; now he doesn’t know how to manage her.
Daniel exits the elevator an is greeted surprisingly well by Patricia. He asks her if she’s responding to his proposal but she furiously counters that she won’t be his lover, nor for any of his friends. Daniel wastes no time mocking her for the loss of her car; it’s all over Bogota. How awful… He continues his put-downs; how her legs, hair, breasts are all for nought; as is her 6 semesters of… Mariana and Sandra in passing chime in with the “de finanzas in San Marino!” She tries to counter and talks about finding a man. He leaves by telling her that she should introduce him to her when she finds him. After he leaves Patricia swears that no one is going to humiliate me; especially not that four-eyes!
Daniel enters Armando’s office and when he finds him not there continues into Betty’s. He issues a cautious, cold, “Good day, Doctora,” and she returns the greeting in kind, “Good day, Doctor.” She mentions that Armando isn’t in now and suggests that he sit and wait for him. This is a frightful idea to Daniel, he’d rather sit and bug Betty. He does so. He pointedly asks how things are going for the next board meeting and she tells him with a very pleased smile that she’s working on it right now. He asks even more directly whether they’ll have a full report this time, unlike the last board meeting. She replies that the last meeting was unusual, they’ll have the full balances this time. He says, “I hope so, and I hope that they’ll be real.” Betty looks downright gleeful, “Oh they’ll be real, very real!” Daniel remarks on her mood, “You know, you look different to me for some reason.” Betty reacts to this boldly, “Really? That’s funny. My mirror this morning told me that I was the same woman as always, with the same problems and same preocupations, the same fea as always…” Daniel tells her that it’s not that, it’s more a matter of attitude. He feels that he’s speaking to a woman who’s more secure; perhaps it’s because of the car. He implies that she should get to used to it; the car isn’t hers, it’s her boyfriend’s.” Betty replies in a mock-joking fashion, “With total respect, Doctor, what a gossip you are!” He responds by telling her that the car doesn’t suit her; she should search out a car that does. He inquires about her novio, who is he? She tells him his name. “Nícolas Mora? I don’t know him… Who is he?” Betty replies cagily, “He’s the general manager of a investment firm.” “What business does he work for?” Betty asks him what his interest is in her personal life. Daniel speaks frankly. He knows more than almost anyone the power Betty exercises in Ecomoda and he worries who might be influencing her