PRESIDENCIA EARLY EVENING
Betty is sitting at her desk in deep thoughts while Miguel (the computer technician) installs her computer. When he finishes, he tells her so, but she is so deep in her thoughts that she doesn’t hear him. Miguel taps her shoulder and tells her that he has finished. Betty thanks him and stares ahead again as he looks at her. Betty noticing thanks him again and he leaves.
As Miguel leaves, Aura Maria walks in with a bright smile. She is carrying Betty’s agendas, and Aura Maria notifies Betty that she has finished transferring all the information to her computer, therefore she is ready to make any telephone call that Betty may need. Betty thanks her and as Aura Maria turns around getting ready to leave Betty stops her. She asks her whether she knows at what time the garbage truck comes to pick up the garbage at Ecomoda. Aura Maria says, I don’t know, why? Betty says, no its nothing.
Aura Maria (full of enthusiasm) runs to Betty’s desk and picks up the phone as she tells Betty she is going to find out. In her flirtatious manner Aura Maria asks at what time the garbage truck will come. At 7:00p.m. the person replies. Aura Maria tells Betty who says, “that means they are about to get here”. Aura Maria asks her, “do you need anything?” “No no”, Betty shakes her head, and Aura Maria says Ciao and leaves.
HALLWAY (RECEPTION AREA 2ND FLOOR) AT ECOMODA
Armando walks out of his new office and approaches the cleaning lady who is dusting the area behind Aura Maria’s desk. (quietly and looking over his shoulder to make sure la peliteñida nor Sandra over hear him) he too asks at what time is the garbage truck is coming, to which she replies, it is coming at any minute now, or maybe it’s already come. Armando leaves in a hurry as the cleaning lady stares him as she bites her lower lip as if she is lusting after him.
As Armando leaves the phone at Sandra’s desk rings; it is the call that Armando has been waiting for from Caracas, Venezuela. Sandra calls after Armando to tell him, but he ignores her and continues rushing towards the stairs.
Calderon overhears Sandra calling Armando several times, and he asks her (as he comes out of his office), what is the matter?.Sandra explains, and Mario if he can receive the call.No, Mario replies, because Armando is the one who is dealing with them and knows all the details; tell them to call back in ten minutes. (As this was happening, Patricia has been flipping her long blonde hair in front of Mario’s face, almost slapping him with her hair).
Freddy arrives as the elevator doors open. Sandra asks him to go find Armando right away. She tells him to go find him anywhere he may be, whether it is in the second floor, or in another part of the building or somewhere in Bogota!. Freddy leaves singing. As he turns the corner, he stops singing as he sees Aura Maria who is returning to her desk (coming back from Betty’s office). She has a big smile on her face, and asks him at what time he is going to take her home. Freddy replies that until he confirms that she does not have any kind of relationship with the guy she was dancing with at El Santuario, he is not going to be taking her anywhere. Sandra sees him chatting with Aura Maria and tells him to go and find Don Armando now! Aura Maria goes to her desk whining about how she is going to have to catch a bus to get home. Patricia makes fun of this fact and Aura Maria tells her that she was already used to having a ‘motorized boyfriend” (something to that effect), to which Patricia tells her that she is going to have to get used to riding the bus again, something which has been created for people like her. and she (Patricia goes on to quote a song) adds, “as the song goes, if you want to get to know the people of Colombia, ride a bus”. Sandra tells Patricia, I can’t wait to see you on a bus, and I know that will be very soon. Never will your eyes see such a thing, Patricia replies.
SOFIA AND BERTASofia and Berta are still gossiping about Betty and Armando.
Berta: I am sure something went on between them.Sofia: Nothing surprises me anymore. (she moves her chair closer to Berta to whisper). Look, Betty had Nicolas as a boyfriend while at the same time she became Armando’s lover, she ruined the marriage for Doña Marcela, and at the same time Nicolas was dating Doña Marcela’s best friend, while he was Betty’s boyfriend!. No, what promiscuity!Berta: No!, what a good gossip!They both laugh while you hear from his office Nicolas yelling Sofia’s name asking her to go into his office.Sofia: I’m going!Sofia: (to Berta) he is more demanding than all the executives put together!) they laugh and she goes into his office.
Sofia: Yes doctorNicolas: Sofia, how are you? Look give this to GutierresSofia: Anything else?Nicolas: Yes, call this cellular number and transfer it to me. (and he hands her a big envelope and a slip of paper with the cell number)Sofia: Yes doctor (Sofia leaves and Nicolas removes a magazine that is covering Patricia’s picture, he picks up the frame and kisses it)
Outside Sofia hands Berta the big envelope and tells her to give it to Gutierrez as soon as she sees him. Sofia then picks up the phone and dials the number Nicolas gave her. Nicolas is seen behind Sofia, (at his window opening with one hand the venetian blinds to look at Sofia as he holds his new cell phone with the other hand to his ear, as he says)Nicolas: Hello!Sofia: Yes sir, please hold a moment as I transfer you to Dr.Nicolas Mora.Nicolas: I am Nicolas Mora!Sofia: No, you are going to be talking with Nicolas Mora!Nicolas comes out of his office and stands behind Sofia as he is still talking on his cell phoneNicolas: No Sofia, you are talking to me, Nicolas Mora!Sofia: I don’t understand Doctor!Nicolas: I am testing my new cell telephone, to see if it sounds good.Sofia: Oh, so is it ok?Nicolas: Yes, yes, it’s perfect, you can hang up now. (he closes his phone and makes little circles in the air with it)(Berta is staring at him with an incredulous look on her face)Sofia: Doctor, do you need anything else?Nicolas: No no no, oh! yes yes yes, why don’t you call me that little girl; what’s her name? the blonde one?, oh, Patricia Fernandez, to come to my office, just as I told her to do so a while ago; to come quickly!Sofia: Yes of course Doctor, I will call the blonde, but little girl? Huh!Nicolas smiles at her remark.
HALLWAY RECEPTION AREA (2nd FLOOR)
Sofia approaches Aura Maria’s new desk and leaning against it she calls Patricia.Sofia: Hey! ex-black haired, or better yet, peliteñida, my boss says he called you to his office and that you haven’t gone yet and he’s waiting.Patricia: What for?Sofia: I don’t know, you ask him!
NICOLAS’ OFFICENicolas closes the venetian blinds then he puts cologne under his arms and then splashes himself with it as Patricia walks in.
Patricia: Tell me what it is you need.Nicolas: Yes, Patty, last time we spoke you blamed me for you loosing your car, and I feel very badly, although I don’t agree with you; I do want to help you.Patricia: You do? How are you going to help me? are you going to give me a raise or are you going to give me a loan? (she sits down crossing her legs and thus showing the big runs on her hoses)Nicolas: No no no, I can’t help you in that manner, but look what I bought for you. (he shows her a new pair of panty hoses) look they were recommended to me. Do you like them?Patricia: Give them to me. (she grabs them)Nicolas takes out of the little bag a receipt and adds:Nicolas: yes Patty, and look, if they don’t fit you (he hands her the receipt) you can exchange them.She takes the receipts, thanks him and immediately begins to hit him with the packaged panty hoses several times as she says:Patricia:DESGRRRRACIAAAAADO! You are not going to treat me like a poor person, did you hear me? What do you think I am, dying of hunger or something? Even if I were dying of hunger, I would not accept this from you! DESGRRRRRRRACIAAAAAAADO! I hate you Nicolas Mora! I hate you! She leaves the hoses.(Nicolas who has been protecting himself from her attack has a little smile on his face as she leaves his office).Nicolas: Patty! (he calls after her as she slams the door) Uy! Nicolas, this is what happens to you for trying to be romantic! I wonder if they fit my mother, probably so. The color is perfect too, it will cover her varicose veins. Well, I will save them for her birthday!
HALLWAYPatricia is walking back to her desk angry saying outloud:Patricia: Imbecile!Sofia: (to Berta)Ahhhh! She yelled at him again!Berta: I think she even hit him!, ha ha This confirms for me that there was definitely something between those two. I think between them there was a Carnival mi hijita! ha haSofia: ha ha haPatricia: (mumbling outloud to herself as she approaches her desk) This one is not going to humiliate me, no one is going to humiliate me!Sandra: Hey Patico, what’s wrong, tell me what is wrong?Patricia: Are you crazy? Are you crazy? You are mad if you think I am going to tell you my problems.Sandra: Uy no, you don’t need to tell me, because you are always voicing them to the four winds. We already know your ex- husband has remarried, that he doesn’t send you a penny, let’s see, what other problem does little Patico have; tell me? (in the background there are two unknown employees standing by the elevator, laughing at what Sandra is saying).Patricia: Look, giraffe, old maid, meddler, resentful, tall woman! Look, I have problems that you would never understand!, these are problems that only people of a certain class have, (as she says these words the elevator doors open and it’s Daniel who steps behind Patricia without her knowledge, and listens to her words as he looks at her torn panty hoses). Patricia:…as I said, you would never understand these problems, so move it, move it!, let me get by. (Daniel is smiling as he was leaning down to look at Patricia’s hoses closer and with a big sigh he says):Daniel: Good Evening!Patricia jumps of surprise and turns around to look at him, with her mouth opened! She quickly seats at her desk and says:Patricia: Good evening Daniel.Daniel: And Marcela, where is she?Patricia: In her office.Daniel facing Aura Maria:Daniel: Aura Maria, what are you doing there?Aura Maria stands up and smiling replies:Aura Maria: It’s because I am the new secretary to the President!Daniel: Oh yes? How well, how well!, and Patricia, what are you now?Patricia: I am Marcela’s secretary.Daniel: Soon we shall see you in the cafeteria, but of course this has it’s advantages, for you can have a uniform that is so long that it will cover your torn hoses.Patricia: (pretending to be innocent of the situation and laughing) Oh my God!, my hoses are torn? What a surprise!Sandra: Doctor, since this morning when she arrived late, we told her about her hoses, but she has not done anything about them, what an embarrassment!Patricia sits down serious playing with her hair and embarrased.Daniel: Patricia, I could request for you a quick transfer to cafeteria. There you can wear a daily uniform that is provided to you by the company. This would solve a lot of your problems for you, because the uniforms includes shoes and hoses!Patricia: Look, Daniel Valencia, you will not humiliate me because of a simple little accident that can happen to any woman!Daniel: Yes, but any woman would have already solved the situation by buying herself a new pair of hoses. (he opens his jacket and takes out a bill from his pocket)Daniel: Here, buy yourself a new pair of hoses.Patricia: Look Daniel Valencia, I am not going to accept your money! Don’t humiliate me!Daniel: Don’t get confused Patricia, this is mere charity to help you solve your problem!Patricia: Well, you will see that I can solve this problems just like this! (and she snaps her fingers as she leaves her desk and goes towards Nicolas’ office)
NICOLAS’ OFFICENicolas is working at his desk when he hears someone opening his door. He gets startled and stands up. The door is quickly opened by Patricia who closes the door behind her and quickly demands!Patricia: Give me those hoses!Nicolas: Which?Patricia: The ones you offered me, Idiot!Nicolas: You want to hit me on the face with them again, Patty?Patricia: (She shakes her head in a no motion as she says) Give them to me because I need them.Nicolas: No problem, please! and he hands them to her. Patricia grabs them and quickly.Nicolas: Look, here’s the receipt, just in case…Patricia leaves slamming the door behind her as he is telling her as Nicolas is still sayingNicolas:… you need to exchange them. Who understands them? Who understands them? (Then he looks up talking to God, and adds) Do you understand them? ha ha, You don’t understand them!
RECEPTION AREA 2nd FLOORAura Maria (talking on the phone): …but you can take me in your little car, right, ha ha. pause (in the background we see Patricia who is walking quickly coming from Nicolas’ office with the panty hoses in hand. She goes into the bathroom)Aura Maria:…what do you mean your car is broken?, well in that case, we’ll have to go out another time. (and she hangs up looking upset)Sandra: (answers a call) Vice Presidencia Comercial. (pause) Ah, yes, Doctora how embarrassing, Doctor Armando has not returned yet, it must be that he is solving a very important problem in the company.
GARBAGE DUMPSITE ECOMODA BACK ALLEYArmando digging through the garbage.Armando: Damn it, My God where did they hide the bag?Two employees approach him.Employee 1: Who is that?Employee 2: It looks like Dr. Mendoza.Employee 2. Excuse me Doctor, we’ve come for the garbage.Armando: You two don’t touch this garbage.Employee 2: It’s just that the garbage truck won’t return again for two days.Armando (loosing his patience and kind of yelling a little). Look Alirio, and you Parfan, big head!, didn’t you understand me? I am going to have to send you a memo with a warning if you touch this garbage. Ciao, I don’t want to see you here. Good- bye!The two employees leave. Armando continues squeezing bags and now it is Freddy who approaches him.Freddy: Doctor? Doctor don’t tell me that you have reached such a bad economical situation now that you are having to dig through garbage! Are you getting involved with Patricia Fernandez?Armando: Freddy! Don’t be idiotic!Freddy: As you command, doctor!, from this moment on, I shall cease being an idiot!. The thing is, that they are calling you from Caracas. Caracas, how I love that city!Armando (who by now has climbed on top of the garbage looks up at Freddy) Caracas! , why now? Caracas! (he shakes his head and adds) This is more urgent (as he points to the trash).Freddy: Each person has his priorities, right? Excuse me. He turns to leave and Armando says:Armando: No no no no, Freddy, it’s not that… what has happened is that I have some important papers that were thrown away accidentally by the cleaning lady, so I am having to find them. That’s all!.Freddy: (unbuttoning his jacket) Please doctor, don’t soil your aristocratic hands, let me do it.Armando: (screaming in a hurry) No, don’t touch my garbage!Freddy leaves both his hands in the air in shock as Armando adds:Armando: This garbage is… mine!Freddy: Doctor, I understand that everything in the company is yours, including the trash. Continue Doctor!Armando: Could you leave me alone, Freddy? I want you to disappear, to leave, to go away!Freddy: Of course Doctor, I understand that we all need times of thoughts, and of solitude.Armando: Iron (flat) face, leave!Freddy waves good-bye as Armando once again keeps digging.He takes out of bag, which when he squeezes it, he hears the sound of the little gremlin, (the gift that he gave Betty for her birthday). ARMANDO HUGS THE BAG TIGHTLY AND A BIG SMILE COMES TO HIS FACE and he says: THANK YOU LORD! FOR HELPING ME FIND MY TRASH BAG!
RECEPTION AREA 2nd FLOORSandra is seen, as Marcela and Daniel walk in front of her.Marcela:(talking to Daniel) Wait for me a moment, I have to go discuss two things.Daniel: And I have to talk seriously with you, so please don’t take too long.Marcela goes towards Presidencia.Aura Maria is sitting at her desk with a sad face.Daniel who is looking at her says:Daniel: Aura Maria,Aura Maria: (standing up) Yes Sir?Daniel:…allow me to congratulate you, this new position suits you very well!Aura Maria smiles widely and thanks him and offers her assistance, should he need it.Daniel: (smiling)We shall see!In the background, Armando arrives from the stairway, holding the trash bag. He stops suddenly, as he sees Daniel.Daniel: Don Armando!Armando: Don Daniel! (hiding the bag behind his back)Daniel… You finally found a position here that suits you! Garbage recycler!Armando: What do you think?Daniel: Congratulations!Armando: Thank-You!Sandra: Doctor (talking to Armando) they called you from Caracas, do you want me to get them on the phone?Armando: No, Sandra, later! (and he walks away)Daniel (walking towards Sandra asks her) Who is calling him from Caracas?Sandra has a worried look, as the scene changes to Armando and Mario as they talk in the conference room. They both whisper to each other the following conversation:
Mario: Where have you been?, they are calling you from Venezuela!Armando: I was at the garbage dumpsite.Mario: I already smelled it!Armando: Man, I found the bag, I found the bag!Mario: That’s Betty’s bag? Man, you are crazy!, how can you walk around with the evidence in hand, please what will happen if she catches you!. put it in the office!Armando: Calderon, if I put it in the office, everybody is going to notice, and they are going to tell Marcela that I got it from the dumpster!Mario: So, then, what are you going to do?Armando: (after a small pause) Hand it to it’s owner!Armando turns to leave, and Mario grabs him as he says (still whispering)Mario: Are you crazy?Armando: No, I’m not crazy!, I’m going to hand it to Betty!Mario: Over my dead body!
PRESIDENCIAMarcela is in Betty’s office sitting in front of her desk.Betty: Tell me, how can I be of service?Marcela: I have to talk to you about two things: The first is about the meeting tomorrow, and the second- you went back on your word! Betty shows a puzzled look.Marcela:…All the Cuartel already know about the beautiful story between you and Armando!Betty: (very surprised!) No!, no no, no, that can not be possible! The double doors are opened and… IT’S ARMANDO! MARCELA AND BETTY ARE BOTH LEFT STARING AT HIM VERY SURPRISED!
After opening the doors to Betty’s office without taking the precaution of knocking, Armando is surprised to see Marcela sitting in front of Betty. They all greet each other and he says that he came to talk. He doesn’t make eye contact with either one so Marcela asks if he came to speak to her. “Not precisely”, he says. This answer draws a sad look from Marcela. When Armando informs Betty that he came to discuss business, Marcela states that she is there for the same reason. She invites him in. He hurriedly says no and as he is saying no he’s sliding the trash bag drop down to the floor.
After dropping the bag, he steps in and closes the doors just a tad in order to keep them from seeing the bag. Armando says, “After seeing you sitting there, I believe that it would be best that we talk at the meeting tomorrow. Marcela rises from her chair and offers to leave them alone. Armando says that it won’t be necessary that they will talk tomorrow and closes the door on his way out. Marcela asks Betty if she had interrupted something, Betty answers no.
IN THE HALLWAY
Heading towards his office, Armando grabs his head in a gesture that quickly states, “That was close”. On his journey, he is approached by Bertha and Sophia who offer to take the bag. He answers no. After rounding the corner and speaking to Sandra about the telephone call that is waiting for him, he is approached by Aura Maria. While offering to take the trash she tries to take it from him. He angrily says no and clings it tighter to his body. (He clings to the bag the way a running back on a football team hugs a football in order to protect it from being punched out of his hands.)
ARMANDO AND MARIO’S TEMPORARY OFFICE
Mario asks if Betty didn’t receive the trash bag. Armando informs him that Marcela was there and that it was a disaster. Mario makes believe that his computer is a keyboard and begins to sing, “I’m a little trash bag. I’m a little trash bag.” Armando gives him one of his mad looks where he looks at a person through the corner of his eyes.
Betty is telling Marcela that if she is not happy with the numbers that Nicolas presents she is more than welcome to refute them and propose other alternatives. Marcela answers, “Very nice”, not meaning it.
Betty, taking the conversation back to what the Cuartel may know about her romance, says that she doesn’t know where they would have obtained the information. She does not want the story to come out. She goes on, “It is not something to be proud about and it is very painful.” She informs Marcela that she has put it in her past. Marcela asks if she has forgotten about it. Betty answers, “It’s something that I left in the past”. Betty promises to speak to the Cuartel to find out what they know.
Marcela believes it’s a good idea, because they have very precise information. The Cuartel, as Marcela informs her, is going around saying that she called off the wedding due to Betty. Betty was not aware that it had been called off due to her. Marcela wants to know what she expected after Betty showed her the bag and Mario’s letter. Betty reminds her that she did not want to show her the contents of the bag. Marcela had obligated her to do it. She goes on to remind her that she, Betty, was the one that wanted the bag opened in privacy.
Again, Marcela states that the Cuartel knows something. Betty promises to find out what it is and to put an end to the rumors. Marcela in an angry tone, “That’s perfect”, gets up and walks out.
After Marcela walks out of her office, Betty sighs and seems a bit nervous and states to herself, “That damn black bag”.
ARMANDO AND MARIO’S TEMPORARY OFFICE
Mario tells Armando to stop looking ridiculous carrying that bag around and putting himself in danger of being found out by Marcela. He asks if he hadn’t told him that he didn’t want anything to do with Betty. Armando answers yes but that he couldn’t get angry enough to throw the bag away. Mario says that is fine and proposes that he put all the items from the bag on his shoulders and walk around the hallways of Eco Moda to show everyone the gifts and the cards. Mario gives advise on how to get Betty out of his system and that is by throwing away the bag and its contents.
Mario tells him that he doesn’t want to see an executive crying. He picks up the toy that talks and fakes a cry and says, “Oh, Betty I can’t live without you.” Armando gets mad and tells him to stop. Mario yells no. It is time for him to react. He tells him to stop playing the role of a “galan” and a man being in love. He asks if he actually believes that there is a chance with Betty. Armando answers no.
Armando says that Betty is another woman. She has converted into a woman who is distant and sad. Mario asks if prefers the ugly Betty. Armando shakes his head yes. Mario asks why are they speaking about a woman that has died. Armando agrees and says that his job will be to forget the ghost of Beatriz Pinson Solano. Mario is happy and before leaving asks him if he remembers what time they come to pick up the trash. On his way out, he sings his song, “I’m a little trash bag. I’m a little trash bag.”
Upon her return Marcela finds Daniel sitting at her desk. He informs her that the government had terminated his job. He also reminds of her of the money he lost in the investment due to the problems at Eco Moda. She asks what he plans on doing and he says that he is waiting for an offer from the private sector. He has no capital. She reminds him of Armando’s offer of his car, apartment, etc. Daniel says no way.
Marcela wants to know if he has come there to tell her his problems or to finish with Armando. He reminds her that Betty had stated that there was money in the budget for the shareholders. He now plans on living off of that money. Marcela tells him to speak to Betty. He looks at her. Marcela asks if he is asking that she speak to her. This is exactly what he wants.
Marcela refuses to speak to Betty. She states that this is something that he will have to do on his own. She informs him that he has given Betty the opportunity to hate him on the few occasions that he has appeared at the office. She, on the other hand, has given her that opportunity everyday.
Marcela orders him not to humiliate her when he speaks to her because they are in her hands and is not the same woman. After kissing her goodbye he says, “She’s not as ugly”. Marcela stares at him.
Betty hears a telephone ringing and can’t figure out where the ringing is coming from, it is Nicolas. He is trying out her new cell phone. (Betty smiles) Nicolas tells her that since she doesn’t have a boyfriend to call , it is his job to call her. Betty asks when he plans on bringing in his reports. He says that they are on their way and as he continues to speak to her on the telephone he walks into her office with the reports. Nicolas comments how good it is to see her laugh. He says that she has looked sad lately and wonders if it is due to her recent trip, the job or no boyfriend. He reminds her that she is no longer ugly but she probably doesn’t have a boyfriend due to her being an old maid.
Betty wants to know how it went with Patricia and Nicolas gives her all the details. He tells her of her brutal reaction and reminded him of how much she hates him. Betty tells him that she warned him, but he continues his story about how she returned and accepted the hose. Nicolas says that he was right. It was due to his female psychology. Betty says that it had nothing to do with that. Rather it was a necessity. A necessity that Patricia needed the hose.
As they are talking Daniel opens the doors to her office without knocking. He greets her and asks how she is doing. He says that he needs to speak to her. Betty apologizes and informs him that she is too busy to talk. He says that it is urgent. She tells him that she has a meeting to prepare for and that she needs to speak to the employees.
He invites her to dinner and sits down in front of her desk without her asking. Betty stares and makes a face. He wants to know why she is looking at him in that manner. “Has no one ever invited you out to eat?”, he asks. She answers yes, but never anyone that told her that she dressed like a clown and that she had no business working in a fashion house. Daniel looks down to the floor. He says that it was a different time. Now she is a different woman. One that he can invite out to eat. She informs him that she is the same woman and turns down his invitation.
Betty says that she can check her calendar for tomorrow and they can meet at the office. He wants to know if she is not trying to seek revenge by turning down his invitation. Betty tells him that this is the only way that they can speak. While Betty is reviewing her calendar he looks her up and down. Betty feels his eyes and asks if something is happening. “Many things”, he answers.
When they can not agree on a time during the day, Betty states that the only other time would be at 8:00 p.m. He asks if she has another meeting afterwards. She answes no and he says that he will pick her up. Betty wants to know what he means. He says that they can go to a restaurant. She reminds him that she had previously told him that she would not go out and eat with him. He wants to know what frightens her. She states that he should ask what disgusts her. He says that since it is disgust, she can feel it either at an office or a restaurant. Betty wants to know why they can’t just meet at the office.
Daniel goes on to explain that he discusses important matters in conference rooms and restaurants. He asks if she is afraid that he will make an advance or seduce her. Betty answers no. He says that he believes it is terror more than disgust. He tells her even though she has a new look, her presidency, and her voice of command she is still an insecure woman. Betty says that is his opinion. He tells her that she can prove him wrong tomorrow. On his way out, he tells her that he will pick her up at 8:00 p.m.
NEAR THE ELEVATOR AND PATRICIA’S DESK
After having put on the new pair of hose Patricia has regained her swing as she walks. The Cuartel, who is preparing to leave, immediately notice. They laugh and state how she must have second hand hose. Patricia tells them that she doesn’t use anything second hand, and if she did, she would ask for the locations where they purchase their clothes. The Cuartel leaves with a huff.
Patricia is feeling her new hose when Nicolas appears. He tells her that they look good and she tells him to be quite. He reminds her that she put them on. She informs him that it was due to an emergency and that she will pay him back tomorrow.
When Daniel appears and asks if there is anyone in their office Patricia hurriedly faces her desk with her butt towards Daniel. While answering yes, she gathers her hair in a ponytail, sticks her butt out and moves her legs in order to swing her butt in order to catch his attention. “Whow”, Daniel says, “New hose”.
Daniel asks if a friend lent them to her and she informs him that she would not wear second hand hose. He asks if he has a boyfriend at Eco Moda and right away she answers no. He asks, “a lover”? However, he must be a bad lover because he won’t give her money for hose. She tells him to stop. He says that she could find lovers that would provide more. Again, she tells him to stop. He reminds her of his friends. She orders him to stop. (Nicolas is witnessing the event.) He tells her that his friends would prefer to see her without hose. She continually asks him to stop. When he begins again Nicolas steps in.
Nicolas says that Patricia has asked him to shut up. Daniel wants to know who called the clown. Daniel tells him that he has nothing to do there. Nicolas tells him to stop offending her and to show her some respect. Daniel asks Patricia if this was the lover they were speaking about. “Noooooo”, Patricia answers. Nicolas steps in and tells him that he is not her lover, but he is a gentleman.
Daniel tells him to go take care of his girlfriend, referring to Betty. He informs him that this is between him and Patricia. Nicolas says that it is Daniel against Patricia and that he is a man, but only when it comes to offending women. Nicolas tells him that he doesn’t know who he is getting involved with and Daniel insults him.
As Daniel enters the elevator, Nicolas goes after him. Patricia stops him by putting herself between them. She tells Nicolas to let Daniel leave. Patricia and Nicolas are chest to chest. They look into each others eyes, for a moment. Patricia hurriedly turns and heads back to her desk. In a softer voice, she tells him that he shouldn’t have gotten involved. Nicolas tells her that no one can offend her while he is present. Before he walks away, Nicolas says that he was close to killing him. Patricia has a small smile on her face.
Betty pulls out the photo of her day in Cartagena with Michele, and her diary too. She opens it to the next blank page and begins to write.
“I’m writing tonight in a place different from my usual spot. I can’t leave it at home, so I must write here in my office, in surroundings that were his, that were mine… that were ours. But this is a sad place, proved again by the day’s events, when I was reminded again that what we lived, what he felt for me, what he gave to me, was nothing more than garbage. At this hour, all of the mementos, all of the remembrances, all of the detalles that were my life now repose.”
As we continue to hear her voice, we see Armando reviewing one of the inscriptions of a card written by him to Betty, contemplating it sadly, alone in the office he now shares with Mario.
“… In the place where he believes they should lie… in the trash can.”
A wider shot shows Armando, turning towards his desk which is piled high with the many detalles—prominently to the front of the desk is the Furby—and he bows his head in bitter nostalgia.
“I’m going to make an effort too,” she continues, “…to give my story a proper burial. I’ll bury it meters deep, without a grave, without a marker or names on a headstone so that no one learns of it, so that disappears and so I won’t be tempted to go there and mark it with flowers or my tears.”
Armando gathers up the detalles and places them in the increasingly crumpled black trash bag and locks them away in a blue file cabinet in the office. He turns away, a pensive look on his face.
Betty finishes writing in her diary and caps the pen. She picks up the photo of Michele and looks at it, recalling a pleasant moment, and tucks it into the diary and into her red purse. The door to her office opens and it’s Nícolas come to go home with her. She is ready, the computer’s off and she’s just packing up. She reminds him that tomorrow morning she needs him to come by early so that they can then go pick up her new car. She notes his odd behavior but he says that it’s nothing, ‘let’s go’.
Marcela asks Patricia if Armando’s left yet (my, she sounds chipper) and Patricia replies that she hasn’t seen him leave yet—he’s probably in his office. She knocks coolly and when he opens the door, a little startled looking, she stands there and without looking at him, idly asks him his plans because she’s going to her apartment (nice welcoming touch, Marcela). Trying to be cheery, he says he’s going to leave with her and at her reply of a cold ‘bueno’ he turns aside with a grimace at her attitude. Marcela, turning back to Patricia notes with surprise her new stockings and asks where she got them. “Someone who appreciates me,” replies Patricia, “someone who would give their life for me (unspoken, “unlike some friends I know”)…” Marcela retorts that she just asked where she got them, not for a philosophical discourse. Patricia tells her that they’re from Nícolas Mora. “What!” laughs Marcela, incredulously. “What are you talking about?” Patricia tells her that her situation moved him, because her brother and the other desgraciadas were mocking her. “And you accepted them?” says Marcela with an ‘ooh ick’ expression. “Well, I prefer one humiliation to dozens,” replies the practical Patricia.
It seems everyone’s ready to leave at the same time. Betty and Nícolas walk up to the elevator under the watchful eye of Patricia and Marcela. At that moment, Armando leaves his office and five pairs of eyes meet — two in particular. “May you all have a good night,” says Betty, trying to avoid a scene and make her getaway from the searching gaze of Armando Mendoza. “Good evening, Betty,” says Armando with an attentive, chock-full-o’emotion-gaze, Marcela fuming at his side. Nícolas adds his good night too, but Armando’s gaze hardens. Patricia volunteers a very friendly, “Good night, Nícolas,” and Betty and Nícolas are the first to leave. As the elevator door shuts, Marcela turns to Armando, still looking after Betty, “Are you sure that you prefer to go with me?” she asks. “Of course,” replies Armando, politely, and heads towards the elevator. His back to her, his lip curls a little in revulsion and her face sours, as if sensing it. Patricia calls to Marcela and asks if she’ll stop by and pick her up in the morning but Marcela tells her to forget about it. She’s got her plate full dealing with Betty and she’s got to be there at eight AM. She starts to whine but she’s stopped by Marcela’s options, “You can take the bus or I’ll pick you up with Armando.” Faced by those choices, Patricia prefers the bus. Armando, controlling his temper at display, gets in the elevator with the two women and Patricia moves behind Marcela away from him.
The next morning the cuartel is walking the last bit before arriving at the office. Inés is concerned that they should avoid trouble with Betty and Marcela—she’s particularly troubled with the idea that Betty should believe still that they’re abusing her friendship. Berta plays a little on words and implies that others have abused Betty, particularly Armando—but as her boss, of course. They hear the honk of a car horn and turn to look. It’s Betty in her new blue car. The group exclaims in surprise and she greets them happily, noting their punctuality with a smile and a laugh. Sandra teases back that sure, with a car like this, it’s easy to be on time but for them it’s an oddessey. Aura Maria asks for the details on the car and Betty grins, “I bought it!” More admiration, but Sofia opines that she expected her to buy a car worthy of a president, like the one Nícolas had. Betty demurs because those days are over. Besides, it’s not the car of the president, it’s her personal car. She’s not going to disguise herself as a president with the trappings of a president; she’s going to have a car that reflects her and this is it, one she’ll pay for with her own salary. Everyone laughs and wants to try sitting in the new car.
Patricia, meanwhile, has managed to snag a seat on her bus ride and is dozing. She wakes up in time to see she’s in front of Eco Moda, but noting the crowd in front—again!—she wants to be left off down the block at the corner. It’s another battle with a cantankerous driver, but she does get off, eventually, and makes her way to the office where she questions the group as to what’s going on. Aura Maria, as you might imagine, is in full flight of fancy about a big night on the town, courtesy of Betty’s wheels—until she notes Nícolas’s disapproving gaze. Sandra is only too happy to be the one to tell Patricia that they’re not aspiring to any car; they’re admiring Betty’s new car. Mariana: “The cuartel has a new car!” Berta: “Not one loaned by a novio, but bought with her own paycheck!” Sofia’s quip points out that it won’t be repo’d either, and the cuartel laughs at Patricia’s expense. Nícolas observes this from behind, feeling her pain. Betty suggests they head in and Nícolas stays behind to lock up the car. Chirp, chirp!
As they walk in, Aura Maria feels a little bad at having joked about the car in front of her ex-novio but Betty discounts that. “What’s serious is what you’ve been heard saying in the corridors of Eco Moda; what do–a Marcela has heard you saying.” The cuartel, minus Inés, have the grace to look guilty. “We have to talk,” says Betty firmly. Inés asks Berta what Betty’s referring to but Berta disavows any knowledge. “Who knows what kind of gossip runs around this place?!?”
Upstairs, Patricia is morose but when she hears the ding of the elevator bell she jumps up perkily—she won’t show them her suffering side. The cuartel trail Betty and ask what they’ll talk about. Betty suggests that they can’t speak in public, they’ll talk in the boardroom. Berta announces their plans regally, for Patricia’s benefit. Nícolas exits last and observes her. He hesitantly greets her and asks how her morning finds her. “Here,” she says, sadly. He doesn’t know what to make of this and beats a hasty retreat. “Okay… We’ll speak later.” She looks after him with a sad, pouty little face.
Betty asks the ladies to take a seat. Berta wants to ask her something but Betty has an agenda and wants this to be a short meeting. She begins by saying, “You know that my relationship with Doña Marcela has never been good…” The women agree but Sofia interrupts and notes that it’s not right for her to still call her " Doña”. After all, she is the president and it’s not fitting for the president to call a simple manager " Doña”. Betty brushes this off by explaining that there are some things you can’t change overnight. Sandra gets in a joke about " Doña Sofichurra” but Betty calls the group back to order. She tells them that Marcela came to her with a complaint because she overheard them saying that the wedding between Don Armando and Doña Marcela was cancelled because of Betty. “And wasn’t it?” asks Berta in surprise. “Where did you get that idea?” asks Betty in alarm. Berta and the others try to cover their tracks. Mariana proposes that Marcela misheard them but Betty’s not buying what they’re selling. She tells them that Marcela isn’t that kind of woman and if she came to speak to her, then that’s what she heard. “Where did you get this idea? Where?” pressures Betty. Excepting the mystified Inés, the group exchange worried and guilty glances. Inés volunteers that she’s not heard any of the women speak of this; she doesn’t know. “You didn’t, Inés, but Doña Marcela did.” More guilty faces. Berta pipes up, “The gossip came from Systems. It has been circulating in Systems!” Betty can’t believe her ears. Berta assures her that the folks in Systems are inveterate gossips and she must be very careful with them. Sensing a lifeline, the other women agree complicitly. Betty looks a little disappointed but asks if they heard it from there and commented on it. When they agree, her face shuts down a little and she suggests they get to work. She rises and heads towards the door. Sensing her attitude, Inés asks if she’s satisfied with the explanation. Clearly hurt, Betty tells her no, but “it’s become clear that they’re not the friends they used to be.” This plain speaking surprises the group. “I know that you’re lying to me but I’m not going to take action against you. Just do me the favor of no longer making similar commentaries in the corridors. You don’t have any idea of what you’re talking about!” She turns to leave and the women are now really ashamed. After she leaves the fret. Aura Maria: “Betty is furious with us! I’d rather have her kill us for gossiping than think we’re bad friends!” Mariana agrees, “We have to speak with Betty!” Berta thinks this over quickly and goes to get Betty. She opens the door and there’s Betty! LOL Their old friend has judged them pretty shrewdly! She’s been waiting for them to come and confess! Berta tells her that they DO know what they’re speaking about. “How’s that?” asks Betty. “It’s first-hand information,” Berta says, hurriedly. Betty takes a seat, a little stunned, no doubt with a growing sense of dread. “What information?” Sofia urges Sandra to go fetch the incriminating documents and she does, but not willingly.
Patricia is answering phones and dabbing her eyes like crazy, “No, he’s not here, call later…” Sandra dashes up for the folder and Patricia tells her to answer her phones and those of her little friends but Sandra tells her she’s in a meeting, she’ll have to do it. “If you don’t like it, tell the president. And take good messages too!” Armando and Marcela arrive, he with a hearty “good day”, Marcela with a pointed remark that Patricia is there on time. Patricia tells her a tale of woe, of having to rise earlier than usual, “earlier than when I had a car, earlier than when a friend would come and pick me up”. She tells Marcela how she met all of her class. “What, from San Marino?” “No,” replies Patricia, “workers, newspaper vendors, secretaries of Eco Moda… The poor! But they had breakfast and me no!” Marcela smiles at her friend’s discomfort and is unmoved by her story of falling asleep on a fellow passenger’s shoulder and being rudely nudged awake. The only recourse? To talk with Betty, but there’s no getting in to see her. Marcela recommends that she needs to make an appointment, talk to her, and prove to her that she’s making an effort to show up early. Patricia is not convinced because Betty did see her show up early but all she could think of was showing off her new car. This makes Marcela take note. “And where are they now? Taking a tour of Bogota?” She’s in a meeting with the cuartel right now. Marcela is dismissive.
Sandra shows Betty the folder from the meeting and explains that she came across it in the boxes that were removed from Mario’s office. She swears to Betty that it was an accident that she read the material in it. Opening it up, Betty covers her face, knowing full well what she’ll see inside it. “My God! You read this letter?” “Um hum…” they reply. “What a stupid question…” Berta: “It wasn’t our fault. There was some gossip there, waiting to be shouted. It was begging to be discovered.” “I don’t want to speak of this,” says Betty, decisively. “There’s no need to,” offers Sofia. “Everything was very clear.” “That letter,” says Betty, pointedly, “Was a bad joke on the part of Mario Calderón. Got that?” “Yes…” they all say. “Besides, you’ll note that nowhere in that letter does it say that Armando and Marcela would cancel their wedding. Where did you get the idea that it was because of me?” Sofia begins, hesitantly, “That letter brought up a number of curious coincidences…” Berta starts to get into this topic and says that there was already some gossip and with the little bit of information they began to put two and two together and make conjectures—they’re only human! “But, since everything is a joke of Don Mario as you say…” Betty looks bewildered, lost, sunk. “Besides,” volunteers Sofia, “Along with the letter there were the additional coincidences of the balances of Eco Moda that were in the folder…” Betty is now fully realizing the gravity of the situation—her nightmare has just grown tenfold. “You read the balance sheet?” “Of course,” replies Berta, “Because that was the confirmation in numbers. When it comes to gossip they’re professionals. But, if it’s a joke of don Mario…” Sofia presses on and brings up the fact that they’ve seen the real balance too and know the sum of the debt, they knew the connection with Nícolas as manager of Terra Moda, and made the connection to her being there as president. Aura Maria takes the high road, she thinks it’s too delicious that she was stepping out on her novia with the delicious Armando. Betty denies that she ever did this to Nícolas. “Aaaahhh… yess…” they agree sagaciously. “Enough!” reproaches Inés. “The letter was one of Don Mario’s bad jokes. Don’t accuse Betty any more!” The cuartel are chagrined and get up to leave, so as to not pressure her any more. “Betty, Betty!” begins Sandra. “Tell us one thing.” She wants to know if the letter was in that bag that she picked up that one day and brought back later. “Sandra, please. I don’t want to speak of this.” The women start to leave, Berta still harping on the ‘Mario lie/joke’ angle but Sofia shushes her by saying it wasn’t a lie so much as they way they treated Betty. “Is it true that they used you?” Sofia asks Betty. “Enough!” cries a frustrated, hurt Betty. “I’m going to tell you the truth but only so that this topic dies here!” The women rush back to their seats and are all ears. Betty gathers her thoughts…
Marcela, leaning against the wall as Armando exits his office: I’m going now. I’d like to know if we’re going to meet at my apartment, or tomorrow; are you going with me or what?
Armando: No, I’m going with you to the apartment later.
Patricia, hanging onto an overhead rail inside a bus that is rocking from side to side, screams at the driver: Stop!, wretch, or are you trying to take me to your home?
He answers that this bus can’t stop till it gets beyond the corner. She screams at him to stop and he slams on the brakes almost throwing her off her feet. Commenting on the bad service, she exits through the rear door.
Patricia walks up to the cuartel who, all present and accounted for and early at the front of Eco Moda, are admiring the blue Fabia that Betty and Nicholas drove up in. They tell Patty that it is not a company car for the boss, but her personal car which she bought and is paying for out of her salary.
Betty cautions the cuartel to avoid spreading rumors and gossip that might feed the fires with Marcela and then asks them to meet with her in the conference room.
In the conference room, Sandra is showing Betty the file that contained Mario’s letter to Armando advising him how to continue to seduce and deceive Betty.
Sandra, with a pained look on her face: Look, Betty, this financial report was in one of the boxes Mario gave me to organize. I spotted the letter inside. But I swear it was an accident.
Betty, with a sinking feeling: My God! Did you read all this?
The cuartel in chorus: Um hm …
Betty: I wonder: How stupid?
Armando, seated at his desk, is on the phone with a customer while behind him Mario has found the BLACK BAG in the lower drawer of the filing cabinet.
Armando: Yes, Yes, the interesting thing is that you can all come here and familiarize yourself with the factory and selling points … [Mario enters and sits down at the computer behind Armando who is still on the phone ] … yes, I’d like it to be coincident with the launching of the next collection … very good …[Mario finds the black bag in the bottom drawer, slams it shut and Armando turns around with a finger to his lips] … Shhh Also, we will take care of the expenses for your trip. If you wish, we can discuss them and schedules for the week. Good!
Armando terminates the call.
Mario: What are these doing here?
Armando: Don’t touch them, Calderón, leave them there!
Mario: Yes, … so they can catch us with our hands on the gremlin …[holding it up]
Arnando: Calderón, nobody has to know what is hidden. Look, if you leave the desk locked, the secret will remain well guarded.
Mario: Could I have one of these chocolates that I gave you to give to Betty?
Armando turns and squints a sharp stare at Mario who is popping one in his mouth. “Mmm, goood! … I going to take that as a no… ”
Betty is seated at the head of the table in the conference room. On her left is Mariana followed by Aura Maria, Sofia, Inestia, Berta, and Sandra with her face cradled in her left hand at the end. Inestia is looking at her hands crossed on the top of her purse in front of her. The eyes of the rest are glued on Betty.
Betty: … That day I decided the truth would be revealed to the Board of Directors, all that had taken place regarding the business.
Bertha: … and the romance between you two …
Betty: I refused to reveal, Bertha … what happened was that Doña Marcela forced me to show her … that day … when I was leaving Eco Moda …
Inesita: Of course! She wanted to check the bags you had in your hands. [Marcela had threatened to call Security on Betty]
Betty: Yes, all the gifts [ from Armando ] and the letter of Don Mario Calderón were there.
Bertha: But I saw Don Armando with a bag like the one you mentioned, right Sofia? Sofia, with a serious face, nodded in the affirmative.
Betty: Yes, Yes, I sent it back to him but he sent it to the dump.
Sophia: Listen Betty, Doña Marcela found out that you and he …
Betty: As you all said, the letter is explicit enough, right?
Sophia: I don’t know, girls, but I feel relieved.
others in chorus: Aye! Me too, yes, of course.
Aura María, bouncing in her chair: What I feel is envy … ha, ha, ha
Inesita: For me … it seems a horror for Betty to have gone as far as she did with Don Armando. Besides this man was on the verge of marriage, my dear.
Aura María: Yes, from the day he announced the engagement with Doña Marcela, it was for all practical purposes a marriage. Yes, girl, you practically got involved with a married man.
Bertha: No Betty … but you were a fool. How did you ever believe that guy would fall in love with you?
Betty: Yes, I acted poorly but I believed … believed I knew him. I was sure that what he felt for Doña Marcela wasn’t anything more than an empty promise … and … that left me [holding the bag…]
Aura María: Aye, girl !!! I well understand. When one messes around like that with a married man or almost married very seldom does one work out … imagine … I imagine what comes out of that. Yes, Betty, if you had told us something, you might have had some professional help.
Betty: How was I going to tell you Aura María if it was a secret … not only for Don Armando, but for me as well?
Sandra: Of course not, Betty, what they did with you, those two [Armando and Mario], No Betty, because what those two did with you, not even God can forgive, besides, what we ought to do is grab them and drag them down the halls of Ecomoda, but to do it right, we need to grab them by the ___
Inesita: Enough, puleeze, girl!
Aura María: How do you like that? Are you crazy girl or what? As scarce as men are and you talking about grabbing those two beautiful guys by their ___!
Inesita, horified: Please! Aura María. Please! I know, those two didn’t behave well, but I also know that Betty gave her part …. … Sandra is giggling.
Sofía: Hah, ha! Only a part ?
Chorus: Aye, Sofía !!! …
Sofía: Betty, forgive me but the last thing that should have crossed your mind was to give yourself to him !
Aura María: Oh, no ! Now the critic has spoken! Let us see, darling, what would you do if Don Armando comes to you and says, “Come here beautiful woman, and we’ll have a good time!
Inesita: Enough !!!
Aura María: Oh, no! It’s just that the result would be a Sofía with her eyes this big, shiny, and her body perfumed, and feeling happy and no bitterness left !
Sofía: Do you believe that I would be that easy, or what?
Aura María: No, no you are not easy … you’re difficult, difficult, difficult that you will ever find a man …
Sofía: Don’t tempt me woman, don’t tempt me! …
Betty: Please don’t fight among yourselves, okay …
Aura María: No, girl, Don’t let these dummies get all over you, and more than one is drooling over Don Armando, you just be grateful that in those days, Don Armando noticed you …That was a heroic act …[Mariana, who was laughing, jabs Aura María in the ribs] … Then that was to save the business …OKAY, if he made her happy at that moment, then great, fabulous …
Betty: No, it was more suffering than happiness, Aura María. Now I want to forget the whole thing … and I ask all of you to help me too. And please don’t spread this topic through Eco Moda.
Mariana: Aye, no girls!!! The one I feel more pity for than for Betty is poor Nicholas. Betty, tell me one thing: did you tell Nicholas all you did with Don Armando?
Betty: I want to get another thing straight with all of you: Nicholas never was my boyfriend.
In full chorus: Whhaaaat?
Betty: I asked Nicholas to pretend to be my boyfriend. You were beginning to realize that I was in love with someone and the last one I wanted you to suspect was Don Armando.
Mariana: Of course, of course, Betty. The romance was discovered in the cards, remember? The cards said that you would meet a man that would completely change your life and that you, in turn, would change him …. Remember?
Betty: Yes, but that was half completed because, for me, my life was changed; but for him, it is the same.
Sandra: Aye! How can you say that it didn’t change his life, or didn’t they take away the Presidency from him? …
Betty [ sadly ? …]: Yes, sooner or later he will get it back, get married to Doña Marcela, and all will continue as before.
Armando, seated at his desk and reading his hand held electronic schedule: … finally, I will go to Buenos Aires, and finish the tour, just in time to return to Bogotá for the showing of the new collection and to greet the people from Caracus.
Mario: Tight schedule, no? I am saying the travel agenda … a very tough itinerary
Armando: Yeah, it’s tough, very tough … precisely what is needed. I must get away for a few days.
Mario: For to change your life?
Armando: Yes, for to change my life. I think that is just what I need, to get away.
Mario: Then for that there is no better way than to begin a long trip around the block– Mario places an apple on Armando’s desk.
Armando: Like … you have been watching too much television ….lately.
In the conference room Betty is still with the cuartel.
Betty: I ask you from the bottom of my heart, to be very careful with what you say and comment on around Eco Moda don’t. But off work and away from the business … PROMISE???
In full chorus with the right hand raised: Betty, we swear it to you.
Betty: Now … back to work.
Mariana, very sweetly: One last question: Are you still in love with Don Armando?
Betty, disturbed: Mariana, please, I’m asking all of you that we bury this subject once and for all !
Aura María: Ha, ha, ha, that means yes ! How can she not be? … listen, Betty but you haven’t told us yet, when you were where you went, … didn’t pick up any guy, a stranger one of those that can take away the sorrows and hurt, even if it’s just for a few hours ! Girl !!! [ a little laughter by all ]
Bertha: Listen, Betty, in addition, you have to update us up on a lot of juicy gossip. You haven’t told us where you were, what you did, nor with whom and, above all, you haven’t wanted to give us the phone number of the plastic surgeon ….right?
Betty: Later, I’ll clear up all those mysteries. For now, we have a meeting.
Mariana: Betty, how about a reading of the cards? ….
Mariana: Aye, Betty, don’t tell me that you are still afraid? Betty, you now have nothing to hide! Nothing is hidden … let go of your fear and I’ll read the cards for you.
Sandra: … at lunch, Betty?
Betty, smiling sheepishly: Okay, at lunch.
The cuartel squeals with delight.
Betty: One last favor, advise your respective supervisors of the meeting.
After the cuartel leave, Betty closes the door and exclaims: Until when … how long am I going to be haunted by all this …?
Patricia, answering the phone on the desk of Aura María: No, she’s not here … no … I don’t know … I don’t know what time she’s coming … call back later.
Aura María: Hey, who was it?
Patricia: I am not going to find out. It’s enough that I have to answer your calls. They am not going to drive me crazy noting all the numbers of all your friends that call. [The elevator doors open and Freddy enters with a sheaf of papers and folders, overhearing the conversation. ]
Aura María, waving her arms in circular motions: Friends … which (male) friends, stupid, which (male) friends?
Patricia, counting on her fingers: Okay woman who called …
Freddy throws up his hands and interrupts: No, no! Look, I don’t want to hear the list. No, no, no don’t be frightened, I run away…I didn’t come for vengances … [ still wearing Armando’s president badge under his own, Freddy exists stage left like the devil was chasing him … and … some tantrum, no ? ]
Aura María, screaming after Freddy: Freddy, grillo [grillo translates to English as male cricket; shoot, sprout; fetter, handcuff … spouse maybe? …like “ball and chain”, but not in my unabridged dictionary … ! … aye !!!
With fraidy-Freddy gone, Aura María turns again on Patricia … : Stupid, resentful woman …
Sandra, picking up the fight: … list of friends? Show it !!!
Sandra: I gave the order to take all messages. Where are they?
Patricia: Look you know where to find them, in your grave, in the depths of your grave when they bury you head first because to bury you an oil drill is needed !
Sandra: Calm down peliteñida, don’t worry that the messages are as if you hadn’t given them to Betty.
Aura María: Ahah !!!
Sandra: Okay, so you forgot that she is the secretary of the president? More important, go, go and tell your boss to go to the meeting
Move it! Move it ! … (clapping her hands) … Quick !!!
Patricia: As you say …
Sandy: As if you don’t have a boss … Aura María can you imagine what would happen to the peliteñida if Doña Marcela … doesn’t assist?
Aura María: It’s clear, we would lay flowers at her tomb, my love.
Sandra, not noticing the approach of Nicholas: I can imagine what her tomb would be like: they wouldn’t bring flowers, but telegrams of bills, for the cellular, the cards, the apartment … but indeed, well visited by lawyers to reposess the gravestone, her only possession left …
Sandra and Aura María in unison: Ha, ha, ha, ha, haaa …
Nicholas, standing behind Aura María, while Patricia sits mute with embarrassment for having been made fun of in front of the only person who really cares for her, asks: have the committee members arrived?
Sandra: No, Doctor Mora. They still have to call the executives …
Nicholas, gazing sternly first to his left and turning to his right: Okay, let me know. I will take advantage of the time to make some calls, no? [ a thin smile dawning on Patty’s face ? ]
Someone mutters: Yes, Doctor.
Patricia, filled with anger, bellows: Desgraaaaaaciadas !!! [no translation adequate or needed] Do you know the difference between you and me? Its that when you die, you aren’t going to hell, you aren’t going to heaven, neither to purgatory. No, you are going to remain here, just as you are, spooking people away, you witches !…Witches !!! [freezing Sandra and Aura María … all because of Nicholas ???]
The elevator opens and, in front of two other unknown passengers, out steps … the angel of cheer herself.
Cata: Buenos días …
Chorus: Buenos días, doña Catalina …
Cata: ¿Cómo está?
Chorus: Bien, gracias …
Cata, looking around : I note some changes here
Someone answers: … some yet to come …
Cata: … and Betty
Aura María, brightly: She is in the PRESIDENT’s office, to serve you, all in proper order … yah!
Cata, walking away: Gracias
Betty, seated at her desk, is gathering some papers for the executives conference … the doors part and … Betty gazes on her very best friend …
Cata, radiating happiness: Betty … it’s true …
Betty, filled with pure joy, jumps to greet her angel: Doña Catalina, como estás?
Cata: Bien, Betty. … I see that you are doing well in this office … Aahhh, good light, nice desk.
Betty, looking around as to see her office [actually for the first time in an atmosphere filled with LOVE] : Yes, now I leave locked behind in that void … my dark past ha, ha … Well, Catalina, just in time for next executive committee meeting …
Cata: Betty, in one moment, you have to tell me where I am standing what you are getting involved with?
Betty, sitting back down at her desk: Right, Doña Catalina … Welcome tp HELL at Eco Moda.
Marcela, calmly seated at her desk when Patricia bursts through snapping her fingers almost in Marcela’s face: What’s up?
Patricia: Now! In the board room as commanded by the BOSS.
Patricia: Listen, Marci, for a meeting. [ punctuated with two more finger snaps ]
Marcela, snapping her fingers in imitation: Ms. Beatriz asked me to the meeting like that? Pay attention Patricia, I’m going to ask you a favor, don’t put more venom in me against her. Tell me if Beatriz said that I was to go to the conference room like that [ snapping her fingers] ?
Patricia: Okay Marci, Betty … I don’t know … but her henchmen … the giraffe, in particular, told me [trying to imitate Sandra’s voice]…”Hey, listen, go and tell your boss to go now! To the boardroom … Betty needs her” … Marci, like you, I can’t stand them. Marci, they come out of the boardroom with an air of more importance… Marci, they act very dangerous, … . as it may be when they talk over my grave where they will bury me when they kill me.
Marcela: What? Whhaaat?
Patricia, sobbing with her head down: Marci, I think I will need some protection, security for my life…
As she raises her head, she sees through the open door Armando and Mario facing Sandra who is standing outside their door, then Patricia does a quick 180 degree turn, shouting as she slams the door behind her: Aye, I see who they are going to kill now … DESGRACIAAADAS!!!
Sandra, speaking to Armando and Mario: Doctors, you can go to the boardroom at the request of Betty. Excuse me.
Armando, closing the door: Bueno … Aye, my God!
Mario: Good luck.
Marcela storms out of her office and around Patricia to confront Aura María and Sandra.
Marcela: Whose macabre judgement is it to kill Patricia?
Aura María and Sandra, surprised and fearfull of Marcela’s accusation, reply in unison: Whhaaaat?
Aura Maria: Doña Marcela, y you, ehh, what are you talking about?
Marcela: What do you mean that what I am talking about?… Like you were talking … were you not describing the tomb of her’s that you were going TO BURY HER IN AFTER YOU KILL HER?
Sandra: Aye! Doña Marcela, I am not without fault, but she started the story of tombs, more she said that she was going to drill an oil well for my grave …
Patricia, behind Marcela: Marci …
Marcela explodes: No more! No more! No more !!! You all are getting on my nerves … this resembles a kindergarden and I warn all of you, continue fighting like that and I will throw you out, BOTH OF YOU!!! [Before anyone can answer, Marcela leaves.]
Patricia: did you see …did you see … she’s going to throw out TWO …
Sandra: Aye! It would please her a lot to throw out YOU AND ME. HEAR !!!
Patricia laughs as she sits down at her desk.
Inesita, receiving cup and saucer from Hugo who rushes by her, urges him to finish his drink as they are waiting for him at the meeting. She runs after him with cup and saucer in hand.
Hugo, clapping his hands: Well, well, the manequins ! When the cat is away, the mice will play. Inés, this company isn’t required to pay me for to sketch. I really do not have to put up with the president for to have to listen to her preaching and her knowledge of fashion of Eco Moda. Where is my water? [Inesita hands him the cup in the saucer] did you put in those drops of berbera [berbera is not in the dictionary] … how many?
Inesita: Quince [fifeteen]
Hugo: You want to drug me, Yes? Enlighten me; reveal it. They would be required to compensate for my loss of neurons that I’m being subjected to. I’m being subjected to design for her kind of beasts, some kind of morphous doughs.
Hugo sees Marcela and approach his friend.
Hugo: Oh March, will it be that this thing that they contracted us for has to pass from committee to committee? Because if it’s like that, assign to me a bureaucratic load where I suffer less and get paid more. In addition, I want to tell you that on the political branch there are good looking people ! … Queenie !
Marcela, a quick bow of her head to her chest: Aye! Hugo, then we are going to see precisely which are the rule of the game and I want to know what will happen with the collection and the sales strategies.
Hugo: Ahh, good …
Marcela: Go ahead
Hugo: No, ladies first …
Marcela, with a courtsey : Gracias
Inside the conference room, Hugo makes a sarcastic remark about Armando and Mario who are rounding the far end of the table to which each has his own reply.
Hugo: See Batman, see Robin.
Armando: Desidark … [ ? ]
Mario: The well of happiness
Marcela, passing between the table and Armando: Where is Beatriz
Hugo: In the bathroom getting painted.
Armando: She is meeting with Catalina in her office and on her way here.
Marcela, seated at the end of the table: Oh ? But how marvelous. She orders us to meet as a committee and makes us wait for her. … Okay, better to do …[then to Hugo] have a seat.
Hugo, sitting down next to the president’s chair at the end of the table: I am going to sit here in this one. Let’s see … Aye! But if these seats were better, Aye !!! a spring ! [He jumps up and takes Betty’s chair. Then asks Marcela ] … Let’s see, who presides over this committee, you or me?
Marcela, chuckling: Either of us two …
Hugo: Why “either”
Nicholas enters with Gutierrez who is on his cellular ordering 5 empañadas and 2 buñuelos for Nicholas’s lunch.
Nicholas, still standing: Buenas, buenas.
Gutierrez, sitting next to Hugo says in English: Good Morning.
Hugo: Guti-Gu, what is that color of your jacket?
Gutierrez, in English: [ ??? ] granade
Hugo, in English: … very, very granade …
Betty, conversing with Cata across her desk : Well, I have tried to maintain as much distance from him [Armando] as possible … between us two, we have an agreement that this will be ended as soon as possible, Doña Catalina. I realize that in every way it is very difficult to manage these people. Now, I have to present the strategy to the committee for approval. If not, they will send it over to the board of directors. To manage this business under these conditions is very difficult.
Cata: I can imagine it, Betty. But what is most important is that you have learned how to maintain control over your feelings for Armando.
Nicholas, having just entered: Buenas. Can I trouble you to interrupt?
Betty: Doña Catalina, remember Nicholas?
Cata, turning in her chair to face Nicholas: Of course, at the airport, hello Nicholas.
Nicholas, bending forward to shake hands with Catalina: Yeah and how are you. Betty, we are waiting for you in the committee.
Betty, gathering her folders: Oh, good, let’s go.
Nicholas exits, then Betty and Catalina get up to go.
Marcela, stretching her arms with fingers interlocked in reverse over the table, asks: How much longer do we have to wait for the “Doctora” ?
Hugo: It isn’t just a delay, it is more like waiting on a birth.
The doors open behind him and Betty enters with Catalina in front and Nicholas behind her.
Cata: Buenos días
Everyone stands up to greet Doña Catalina and to exchange hugs and kisses with her. After all the greetings, she invites everyone to sit back down.
Hugo: Bueno, Cata, I am very delighted because I found out that you will be the next public relations person of my collection …
Cata: It seems that way
Hugo, sliding his chair over chat with Catalina: Okay, come and let me tell you something [behind them Betty tells Nicholas to distribute the data folders] … I imagine that you have found out about the quantity of craziness that have taken place in this business … well, the quantity of the dism