Chapter 2, Part 1
Tasha rings Emil’s doorbell at exactly 7:59 a.m. I hear the buzzing like a far-away alarm clock. It’s annoying but not nearly close enough to wake me. Emil is jumping up and down on my belly, yelling for me to wake up. I lay there, waking up, pondering all the noise and the Chihuahua jumping on my belly. It all comes back to me. Emil mentioned while we settled into bed (fighting over pillows, blankets and the best sleeping spots) that his father had hired a human for Emil’s safety. This human, named Tasha, is arriving at 8am to meet Emil. Most importantly she needs to eat the special Liver Snack as soon as possible. Emil is super excited to get his own human and I am looking forward to the companionship myself.
“Get up! Get up! My new girl is here! Tasha is here!” Emil barks in my face, interrupting my wake up musings.
I hit the intercom button by the bed that Emil had shown me last night and tell Tasha to keep her dang shirt on.
I swing my legs over the side of the bed and wake up Lucy the Pug.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhhh!” Lucy howls. She runs backwards off of the bed to land with an audible belly flop on the carpet. “What’s on your head? What’s on your head?”
I leap out of bed and run to the mirror, feeling my hair for scorpions, spiders or small rodents. “Lucy, jeez, it’s just my hair.” I say, vainly trying to smush it down. I did resemble a fuzzy hair tornado.
“Oh. Sorry.” Lucy said, climbing back on the bed. “Your hair scares me. James’ hair never stands up like that.”
“Listen guys, I’m going to let this Tasha in, take a quick shower and have coffee in the living room. You keep an eye on her and no funny stuff. Be nice. No barking. No crotch sniffing.”
I grab a quick shower and smooth my hair down the best I can. Our coffee in hand, I return to where I left Tasha sitting in the living room. All three dogs are lined up on the floor intently staring at Tasha. Tasha looks nervous and she is warily eyeing the dogs.
“The dogs!” Tasha says to me under her breath, tipping her head it their direction.
“They were good weren’t they?” I say, handing Tasha a coffee. It’s special, special coffee with a special, special Liver Snack in it.
“They keep staring at me! And they are sitting perfectly still arranged in order of height.” Tasha whispers and looks at me from the corner of her eye while sipping coffee, keeping one eye on the three stooges. “You don’t think that’s strange?”
“At ease, you three little weirdos.” I say, and Michalene lies down. Emil ignores me and continues to stare rapturously at Tasha. Lucy cleans her face with her paws. Tasha seems a bit more at ease.
“Are you my manager? I never did get a clear picture of this job even though the money is great.”
“What were you told?”
“It’s weird. I never saw an actual person. I did three phone interviews. My last interviewer instructed to arrive here this morning. They told me I’d get a full explanation when I arrived.” Tasha paused to drink more of her coffee. “Essentially my interviewer said I am to escort somebody named Emil and try to limit his martini intake. This can require international travel which is ok, because I brought my passport. They mentioned me living here in the loft but I’m not so sure. I told him I’d have to think about it. When do I get to meet Emil?”
“Oh, I’d say Emil will show up about the time we finish our coffee.” I knew this was true because I slipped a special Liver Snack into her drink. I just needed Tasha finish her cup then spring Emil on her. “And, there will be some travel. We need to be in Dallas, Texas by this afternoon.”
“Holy Crap! This afternoon!” Tasha squirms in her seat and gulps the rest of her coffee. She is very pretty and seems enthusiastic about her new job. “Exciting and yet terrifying all at once. I have to pack!”
I raise my voice and call out, “Emil! You might want to come over here and have a few words with Tasha.”
Emil jumps off of a buttery soft mocha leather recliner, runs to me and jumps in my lap to watch Tasha. “The special Liver Snack working yet or are you introducing me as a plain old Chihuahua?”