Almost nothing was under my control, and I was starting to panic.
Out on the beach, the storm was starting to lash the ocean out of its seabed and onto the highway, cars and homes lining Atlantic Avenue. It was interfering with our plans to fly Catherine home tonight.
I had seen many of Eduardo’s munecas, little dolls, come and go, but this one was trouble. With her bleach blonde hair and plastic shoes…. this one wouldn’t hush, wanted Eduardo to spend more time with her than with his family. Which he never would. He might prefer other women for fun, but our sons were the pride of the Mexican aristocracy, the Kennedys of the Riviera Maya. They were dark, handsome, tall like me – some joked this is the main reason he married me, was to add some height and artistry to his family gene pool.
Tonight he was getting rid of her. The elections were coming up and her erratic and unpredictable behavior was scaring everyone. Unacceptable.
His classic line always worked. “It’s just for now, mi amor, just for now.” Not: “forever.” “We’re over” was too sharp, devoid of hope.
“Give me some time,” however gave enough hope to avoid histrionic threats and encouraged good behavior.
Then, he would slowly infuse more money, maybe even a handsome visitor at her favorite watering hole… slowly, surely, the frantic emails and texts would subside. She would move on to another one.
Worked every time.
Ricardo walked Cathy to the door of her car, as I watched from the upstairs powder room. I saw her walk toward the car but then run off, presumably crying, across the street and onto the beach.
“What is she doing??!” I shouted to Eduardo as he stood watching Catherine stumbling onto the sand with her signature, cheap high heels.
“Eduardo! She’s loca in la cabeza! Yos mios!” I shouted. “Go get her now and put her on the plane yourself if you have to!” Now I was really starting to panic. This is all we needed, the Palm Beach version of Chappaquidick.
Eduardo stared at me with a sadness I did not want him to feel. Silently, he turned around, and ran down the driveway and to the beach.
Cathy, or Catherine as she demanded to be called, didn’t understand the rules of the game, the mistress game. Love was not on the table. A Birkin bag maybe—all the girls from sad backgrounds wanted a bag with initials, to prove they had arrived. Clothes, jewelry, travel—these were on the table, but not love, a future, or children. That was for me, the wife. All the girls before her had understood this.
Thirty minutes later, Eduardo was back, soaked from the battering rain… or was it the ocean that had bathed him? Was that seaweed on his boot?
“She’s gone,” he said. “She went to the boat to get her things…. Ricky will meet her there and take care of her,” he said with that same, sad smile. “She won’t be a thorn in our side any more, mi amor. I’m sorry, lo siento.”
Turning toward the downstairs cabana, he said, “I need to go warm up in the hot tub…… When Ricky calls, transfer the phone to me, please. Goodnight, mi amor,” he said staring at me with those liquid brown eyes that could make any woman melt. “Everything’s under control now, rest. You can sleep with the angels tonight.”