Tata Sous-sus sat quietly in the carriage waiting for the coachman to spur the horses. For December, it was an unseasonably warm day. She opened her breviary, earmarked for that day, and began to recite the prayers. It was the feast day of Saint Juan Diego, and Tata recited the novena to him with extra vigor. Out loud she said, “Holy Saint Juan Diego, pray for me!”
“Excuse me, ma’am?” Said the footman standing outside the carriage door. “Would you require anything?” He asked, doffing his hat as a sign of respect.
Tata Sous-sus shook her head, as if to clear the cobwebs from her mind. “Tell me, good sir.” She said. “Do you know the time?”
From the pocket of his waistcoat, the footman drew a watch on a chain. Peering intently, he said, “I believe it’s a quarter past one, ma’am. We should be leaving soon, I expect.”
Leaning back in her seat, Tata pulled a lace kerchief from her sleeve and pressed it against her eyes in an effort to staunch back tears. All in vain, for the tears began to flow. Dear God! She thought. Take me from this terrible place!