Chapter 13

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13

Initial Meeting

Ann dropped off the boxes of Kleenex in three of the rooms. She then made her way to the laundry room to begin washing the dirty towels she had collected from the rooms she had already cleaned. She had six more rooms to clean before her shift ended. She bumped into Carlita who was exiting the laundry room.

"Hey, take a quick look at this and tell me what you think," Ann said to Carlita. She showed her the business card and the brochure Bianca had given to her.

Carlita read the card and the brochure. "What is this all about? My husband and I have a great marriage. We don't need this."

Ann laughed. "This is not for you. I just finished talking with the lady who gave me the brochure—Dr. Bianca Patel. She stopped me just inside the lobby and shared with me that she and her husband were doing a study on Christian men hitting on hotel maids—the very thing we were talking about last week and which you, Amy, and myself are getting together later to exchange more stories about."

Carlita glanced at the brochure again. "And?" she said.

"And I shared with her how that we were just talking about that issue and how we were going to get together later this evening just to continue talking and get things off our chest, and of course, have a good laugh at the stupidity of some men. She wants to join us in conversation and use our encounters for the book she and her husband are writing on this issue," Ann said. "As you can see she and her husband have already written several books."

"So I see," Carlita said as she read the titles of the five books listed: Why Husbands and Wives Should Make Their Marriage Work; Dealing With a Difficult Child; Infidelity is Not the End of the World; Wife, You Can be Happy Though Married; Husband, You Can Be Happy Though Married. Handing the brochure and card back to Ann, Carlita said, "They seem to be balanced. The thing is I don't want my name out there. People will come looking just to see who I am, and you know this might bring shame on my family. People may think I carried myself in a loose way for a man, and a Christian man at that, to try to proposition me."

"You don't have to worry about that," Ann said. "Everything about us will be kept confidential. Bianca assured me of that. Our names will remain anonymous; in fact, they'll change our names to fictitious ones. The name of the hotel and its location will also be changed. They will be interviewing maids from other hotels as well, so we'll be safe."

"Are you sure?" Carlita asked, looking at her with furrowed eyebrows.

"Positive. Plus, you have nothing to fear since nothing physical ever happened between you and any of the men, and you don't even know the full names or home addresses of any of the men you'll be telling on," Ann said. "So all around, everyone will be protected, even the guilty."

"Si. You have a point there," Carlita said with a smile. "Well, okay. Have you spoken to Amy about this?"

"I haven't seen her today. I'll give her a call on her cellphone after I clean my next room, and then I'll give you a call," Ann said. "I think we'd better get to work. Remember there's a week-long conference in town this week. We'll be super busy. By the way, Bianca will be talking to management about this research of theirs to get permission since they will be using the facility to interview us, so we may have others joining us."

At exactly one, Ann gave Bianca a call giving her permission to join them as she carried out her research. They met in the far corner of the dining room.

"Hello, ladies. My name is Bianca Patel, and I thank you for allowing me to sit in on your discussion. Thank you for entrusting me with a very private part of your lives. You have my word that everything you share with me will be kept confidential. Why don't you begin by telling me a little about yourselves." Bianca's bubbly personality soon set the three friends in a more relaxed state and conversation flowed freely.

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