Mini Series Episode Two: Rosita's Special Concoction



I was awoken by a loud knock on my bedroom door. "Victoria, you have me worried. I haven't seen you around the Opera House for many days. Are you alright?" Rosita asked as she looked at my messy hair. Then I started coughing.
"Please come in."
"Are you alright child?"
"I'm o.k. Thank you Rosita," I said as I drank the rest of my lukewarm tea. "It suddenly hit me."
"Hit you where?"
"This, whatever this is." Rosita touched my forehead.
"Child you are running a fever!"
"No wonder! It still felt hot here, even after I put the fire out."
"Let me prepare my special concoction," said the eager mad scientist who was ready to embark in her evil scheme. The word concoction always freaked me out. But at that point I was so desperate and weak that I went ahead and tried this whatever you call it; mixture, potion, elixir, decoction.
After having a good night's rest and drinking a couple of cups of Hot Toddy that Rosita had prepared for me. I was up and at 'em. I was even able to go downstairs and get the shop ready for the day. As a shop manager I had to try to keep things running. Taking care of my customers took precedence over my own needs. I opened the front door. And sure enough my regular customers were all waiting outside.
"Bon jour Sam and Gertrude! "I said as I was fasting my apron. "How are my cutest favorite young couple doing today?"
Both laughed. Then said, "Bon jour Victoria. We are doing great."
The old couple hold tight to each other as they walked inside the shop.
I was singing one of my favorite opera music.
"My, somebody is doing pretty good this morning!
"Indeed, I am!"
"Whatever you had this morning I'm having it!"
"What I had is off the menu." Sam winked at me. Then I winked back.
A few more of my regular lovely customers came in. And after them came Mr. Edwards. "I heard that you had some of Rosita's famous concoction? Should I be worried?" The English man inquired along with his deep resonating and intimidating voice.
All heads turned towards us.
"Mr. Edwards Shhh, please use your inside voice."
He whispered. "Pardon me, Miss Jones. A million apologies."
"Don't worry about it Mr. Edwards. Apology accepted."
Mr. Edwards own a good set of pipes. His Pavarotti tenor voice are what the opera houses were looking for, but he wasn't a bit interested in becoming a famous opera singer. He was so oblivious of how powerful his voice was. This guy had no clue how his voice would stop traffic, would make a dog run the other way, would make waitresses and waiters drop their trays, and many times I have seen how babies stop or start crying because of his deep voice. In Paris he was the guy with "The Voice," microphone and batteries not included.
For the past month Rosita was giving him lessons so that he can learn to lower his voice. Although he had improved a bit, he would forget when to use his inside voice and when he doesn't need to use his inside voice. So he was still a work in progress.
I waited until Mr. Edwards was settled at his table. I poured a cup of coffee for him with a little milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
"I wanted to see how you were feeling. You know that I am here if you need anything."
"I know Mr. Edwards. I truly appreciate that. But I'm a grownup now."
"Since when? The last time I checked you were still 17 years old."
"Excuse me, Mr. Edwards. But, things are different here. From what I've been seeing, kids here are seen like small adults. They even eat and drink like one! And they are expected to earn their keep at an early age. This society of young people are hard working. They are more sure of themselves, more responsible, and far more less demanding than the kids I grew up with. I think they are into something here."
"Miss Jones, it doesn't matter that you live here, New York, the moon, Jupiter, or outside our Milky Way galaxy. You are still under age according to your law. More importantly, you have been put under my protection. So for now I have to keep tabs on you. Do you understand?"
"Yes, I understand. Soon though I would need to grow up you know."
"Yes, you stand correct. The reason I gave you this job was because I knew that you were capable of taking care of it and I knew that you would enjoy it."
"Thanks, Mr. Edwards."
"Although you may believe that the children are being trained right. Things are not all color rosy around here. The law that you have, has helped protect minors so that they don't get exploited by others. Children have the rights to enjoy their childhood as well, they shouldn't have to be working at an early age."
At that moment a well-known kid that polishes shoes came into my shop. He came in like always carrying along with him his shoe shine wooden caddy and his rag that hanged by his side. And no matter how many times he washed up he always looked dirty and grimy. I always allow him to work around the shop. And many times he polishes the men shoes outside of the café. That way he gets to bring home his well-earned money.
"I get what you are saying," I responded. "But can I at least have some quiet time? I'm not kidding you! You and Mr. Detective guy are constantly on my case! Can we just please have some time out and have a picnic all of us together like civilized Parisian dwellers that we are?"
"Sorry that you are in the middle of this. I understand how frustrating that could be. Detective Gautier have his reasons why he is doing what he is doing. And I have my reasons as well. Until we get this case solved, and bring the Madam home, I'm afraid that you just have to learn to roll with the punches."
I sighed.
For a moment Mr. Edwards became like that dad that I never had. Really it was moments like those that I sure needed a dad to talk to.
"The bottom line is that you are still my responsibility. I don't want anything bad to happened to you. If something does happen to you Madame Charlton is not going to be happy about that. I wasn't hired to invade your space or bother you. However, I need for you to once in a while report to me what you have been up to. And by all means please let me know if you are running a high fever or have bright red armpits. And please, please, ask me if you can have some homemade liquor medicine. Are we clear?"
"Yes, Mr. Edwards. We are clear."
"So how much of Rosita's concoction did you end up drinking?"
"A few cups only. It was enough to kick this nasty cold, which it worked fast by the way! Plus it had no chemical or addictive added. No preservatives needed. I took this good ol' homemade organic medicine and drank the very last drop."
He chuckled on a tenor note. "Miss Jones promised me to only take Rosita's concoction when needed. If not I will have to close shop. And you will have to return to my farm and work with the pigs again."
"Yes, sir."
Mr. Edwards could be extremely intimidating. At times he gets me. And I get him. But there are times that I just want to tell him, "Gosh Ol' champ, loosen up a bit, will ya!" 👢





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