Case III: Chapter 4: Revenge on Romeo
Dudley walked out into the courtyard and paused a moment to enjoy the warmth of the late morning sun. His ears picked up a discordant sound and he looked toward a passage way between two buildings. He saw Carmine Felicio and Cesar Romero standing toe-to-toe and apparently arguing about something. Cesar put his hand on Carmine’s shoulder and she forcefully brushed it away. He opened his arms, attempting to embrace her and she slapped him across his face. He didn’t seem fazed and broke into a wide smile. “Just stay away from me”, she shouted and turned to walk away. He reached for her arm and was rewarded with another forceful slap. She stormed away.
Cesar noticed Dudley and casually walked toward him. “My little bit of Italian Spice is having a bad day, amigo. Think nothing of it. Deep in her heart, she desires me. She knows she cannot resist my charms forever; maybe another day.”
“I am certainly not an expert on women, Mr. Ramirez, but when a woman says “No”, she usually means “No!”. It might be better if you left Ms. Felicio alone.”
“Ah, amigo, women with Latin blood are always temperamental. It is that “fire” that attracts me.”
“Nevertheless, I would advise you to stay away.” Dudley did not really want to interfere, but he found this type of macho behavior particularly offensive and it usually ended badly.
“OK, OK, I will. I’m sure there are others here who appreciate what I have to offer.”
“Please be a gentleman. I have found that it is always best to treat all women with respect.”
Still troubled by what he saw, Dudley walked back toward the main building to keep his appointment with Mr. Sandoval and his computer. Ramirez sauntered off toward the main lobby. Although it was none of his business, he shared Isabella’s commitment to the health and well-being of ALL residents. Ramirez’s behavior and attitude was not consistent with that principle and would, Dudley thought, eventually lead to trouble.
The following Monday, the Queer Quartet was once again seated at their regular table and things seemed to be proceeding peacefully, at least until Cesar Ramirez made his “rounds”. He again stopped at their table and spoke to each of them, but paid particular attention to Carmine Felicio. She didn’t respond to his attention and after a short while, he moved on to another table of women. The four of them appeared to return to their previous activity and not exchange any additional conversation. About mid-afternoon, they all got up to leave, but Dolores sat back down. “You all can go on, I just want to sit here a while and finish my iced tea. I’m fine, really.”
Paloma noticed Dolores sitting alone and wanted to offer some solace, but reminded herself that it is “none of her business”.
Dolores continued to sit alone for quite some time and continued to look in Paloma’s direction as if she wanted to say something.
Finally, Paloma’s curiosity got the better of her and she walked over and sat down across the table from Dolores. “Miss Dolores, please excuse me for disturbing you, but you have a very troubled look on your face. Is there something you wish to talk about?”
“Oh, Señora Paloma, I am worried for my friends. I do not trust that man, Cesar Ramirez. I am afraid he is trying to push himself on poor Carmine. I have heard from other women here at La Vida Aureo that he can be quite insistent and refuses to take “No” for an answer. The way he has been talking to Carmine lately makes me afraid for her safety. He said some very sexually suggestive things to her again today. I don’t mean to bother you with my troubles, Señora, but can you suggest anything I might do to keep Cesar from hurting women and harassing them sexually?”
Paloma did not respond immediately. She certainly did not want to get involved in the affairs of any of the residents. Her role as cook was much too important to her. But, she has seen many men like Ramirez in her lifetime and knows how dangerous they can be and the pain and suffering they can inflict on women. Finally, she looked Dolores in the eye and says, “Tia Luisa taught me about many herbs and their uses. I believe I could offer you something that would “soften him” a bit, if you understand. If you were to put it in some food or drink, it might just make him a bit more humble toward women. ”
“Is it dangerous?”
“Oh, he might be angry and we would have to watch him carefully, but the women would be safe and only have to put up with his charms.”
Dolores accepted the small envelope with a powdery substance in it and thanked Paloma profusely. “I will make sure this gets in some of Cesar’s food or drink as soon as possible.”
“Please be careful, Miss Dolores. Just use a small amount to see how it affects him. We don’t want to simply trade one type of bad behavior for another.”
Dolores struggled to contain her joy as she left the dining room. She had successfully preyed on Paloma’s concern and generosity to get the herb. There were rumors at La Vida Aureo that Paloma was a curandera or maybe even some sort of Mexican witch. But Dolores now had the means to teach Cesar a lesson. Her motivation was NOT to protect Carmine, but to keep Cesar away from Carmine as well as other women. Dolores enjoyed her role as one of Cesar’s “regulars” and wanted to have him exclusively for herself. She always suspected that Cesar had a number of sexual partners at La Vida Aureo and her plan was to confront him with this fact and warn him to stay away from Carmine. Dolores knew that if Cesar took up with Carmine, she would lose him.
Dudley completed looking at Mr. Sandoval’s computer and decided it is just a faulty cable or two. He would order replacements from Amazon, even though he would prefer to give the business to the local Radio Shack. A long-time friend was the owner/franchisee of this store before he retired and Dudley always enjoyed stopping in to visit. But, since he is essentially “stranded” at La Vida Aureo, he knows that Amazon will deliver and he can complete the repairs for Mr. Sandoval. Dudley went back to the kitchen and asked for a cup of coffee from Paloma. “I am troubled by Mr. Ramirez’s behavior.”
“Si, I have noticed as well. What will you do?”
“It is not my place to interfere, but, I’m afraid if I wait, someone will be hurt. And, I don’t want to mention anything to Isabella; she already has her hands full.”
“Señor Doc, I should tell you that Miss Dolores talked to me earlier this afternoon with exactly those same concerns. She was particularly worried that Señor Ramirez would cause trouble for her friend Miss Carmine.”
“Her concern may be warranted. I saw Ramirez and Carmine arguing in the courtyard and it ended with Carmine slapping him quite hard.”
“Then, I probably did the right thing. I gave Dolores some herbs that should slow Ramirez’s desires and inappropriate behavior toward women.”
“Given his actions lately, that should help. I will make a point of keeping an eye on him over the next few days to see if there is any change in his behavior.”
“That would be helpful. I really cannot get away from the kitchen and you are able to move about. I will keep my ears open for any conversation I hear in the dining room.”
“Together, we may be able to prevent an unfortunate situation.”
“And, help Isabella at the same time.”
Dolores was Miss Tuesday (“Señorita de Martes”) with Cesar. She had always suspected that there were other women, but it was a conversation she overheard at the La Vida Aureo beauty parlor that shocked her into reality. Two women were comparing Cesar’s sexual techniques and judging his most recent performance. They freely admitted that they were sharing him on consecutive evenings, but felt a sense of justice because they kept that knowledge from Cesar. They played along with his romantic notions that each of them was “his only true love”. Cesar had given them each a “romantic pet name” which was actually a play on words for their respective day of the week! It hadn’t taken too much effort to deduce the real meaning which made their part of the charade more enjoyable. Both women also acknowledged that there were certainly other women in Cesar’s “regular schedule”, but they were appreciative for his attention regardless how preposterous it was!
Cesar arrived at Dolores’ apartment the following Tuesday evening, per usual. After rather enjoyable sex, she poured him a celebratory glass of sangria and dumped the drugs in. “The trap is set for that arrogant bastard,” she mused confidently to herself.
The remainder of the week presented Cesar with considerable challenge. He failed to perform with Ms. Wednesday, Ms. Thursday and Ms. Friday. Ms. Thursday tried to reassure him by telling him that “things happen” and “not to worry”. She told him that her late husband had similar problems, particularly as he got older. Her intended comforting words only served to infuriate Cesar. As each day passed, he became more irritated and frustrated and his foul mood was evident as he attempted his typical “parade” through the dining room. By Saturday, he was beside himself and he confided in his friend, Jorge Sandoval, who suggested that he needs some spicy porn to revive his interest and maybe learn some new techniques. “Come by my apartment on Sunday afternoon and I’ll show you some stuff on the Internet that will get your motor running again, my friend. Oh, and bring your laptop computer; my computer is down for repairs. That way, I can also place a “bookmark” for the best sites on your computer for your use at any time.”