“These outfits will be lovely for the events you outlined on your itinerary. As you requested, I have them packed in order by bag and all-inclusive with your shoes and handbags.”
“Ah, that is perfect, dear. When I am with my sons doing something, you can sightsee or explore. There are also lots of entertaining games in each home. I think you will both enjoy your time.”
Fransica smiled at Jovana’s efforts at packing and discreetly followed along to make certain all the matching accessories were included. “Madam Marino, what vehicle are we using for this trip?”
“Oh yes, you wouldn’t know this. One of my sons is sending their car and driver. The driver will assist with loading the luggage. You don’t have to move a thing.”
Jovana and Fransica completed the packing required for Madam Marino and returned home.
Jovana busied herself packing her limited articles of clothing and toiletries with no conversation. She unfolded and re-folded the items several times.
“Jovana, what is the matter? You’re going to wear out those items with your endless folding, and I’ll have to wash everything again. Here, pack my items on the bed in my room into the same bag. That way we won’t lose anything. Plus, you and I can exchange clothes as needed.”
“I guess I’m feeling a bit, well…apprehensive now to travel with Madam Marino. Her sons are all wealthy, they live in great houses, and I doubt we will need to launder any of her clothes, and she would still wear something different three or four times a day. I don’t want to shame her in front of her sons. I only have my two dresses.”
Fransica smiled and chuckled. “Here. Come sit beside me. This is a marvelous life lesson, my dear.
“Now, you have never once mentioned wanting more clothing, or pretty hair clasps, or anything really. You seem content. Madam Marino waits all year to visit her sons and wants to make them think she is doing so well that she doesn’t need them. She is much more comfortable here with her friends than she would ever be if she lived with her sons. It is a game she plays to remind herself that her children are grown.
“Madam Marino likes you and has told that to several of her friends. That news travels. You are actually the first person from here she has taken along. Better still, she is allowing me to accompany you as she appreciates how young you are. I, for one, am delighted that I get to travel along. I have not been to São Paulo in a couple of years, but it is exciting, though very big. Even Luiz is happy I get to go, so he can fish longer.”
Jovana looked better and smiled as she shyly commented, “As long as you aren’t ashamed and neither is Madam Marino, then I will be brighter. I presume there are some dress stores in São Paulo, right? May I use some of my wages and get your advice on a nice practical dress? Maybe a new pair of shoes, too?”
“I think that would be perfect. I will get one too if we find the right bargain. Now finish up, we need to fix dinner and be back at Madam Marino’s by sunset.”
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