Vera pursed her lips. Stared at me. "David? I know you don't know me but please? Don't countermand my instructions or orders again. Is that clear?"
My mouth went suddenly dry. I nodded.
"Very good!" She said. "Now. Carmine was telling me that you're very good around the house? Margaret and I decided to buy... A sort of... Introductory? Present for you."
At these words, Margaret handed the paper parcel to me. I took it.
"But... You didn't have to do that..." I said starting to open it.
Oh god! A lightweight, but bulky mass of fabric jumped out of the pater at me. I stared at the exotic apron - for that is what it was. Mostly white, but trimmed around the bib and hem of the skirt with a bright floral motif. A matching trim on large patch pockets. Wide soft ties. The skirt was very full. Seemed to be comprised of layers of material.
"Isn't' it lovely?" Margaret asked spitefully. "After we heard all about you? It seemed just perfect! Why don't you try it on?"
And I stood, just as helplessly as I had with Carmine, as she put the bib over my head and, after arranging the full skirt of the apron to her satisfaction, tied the bow at the back...
Vera smiled, "Very suitable, I'd say. Like it?"
And I didn't have the strength to say anything else but "Oh yes. It's lovely! Thank you both."