Delia's Gift (Delia 3) - Page 1


My grandmother used to say that too much of anything is not good.

Too much sunshine dries out the flowers.

Too much rain drowns them.

I know there can be too much anger, but can there be such a thing as too much love?

Once, when Father Martínez was conducting Bible lessons in our church back in my Mexican village, Papan García, one of the brightest girls in our class, asked Father Martínez why Adam went and ate of the forbidden fruit after Eve had done so.

“He knew it was wrong and what would happen to her. Why do it?”

Father Martínez smiled and said, “Because he loved her too much, and he didn’t want to be without her.”

Papan smirked and shook her head.

“I cannot imagine loving anyone that much.”

“You will,” Father Martínez predicted. “You will.”

I thought about Father Martínez’s answer when I left with Señor Bovio to live in his house. I was pregnant with his son Adan’s child, and I accepted his invitation. I told myself I was doing it for him as well as for myself. I had nothing else to give him but the joy of seeing his grandchild.

But deep in my heart, I hoped Señor Bovio’s love for his son was not as great as Adam’s love for Eve.

I did not want either of us to do something forbidden, something to lock us out of paradise.


A New Home

All of Señor Bovio’s estate employees were there to greet me the morning I arrived at his hacienda. No one looking at me for the first time since I had left the mental clinic would know I was pregnant, but from the expression on everyone’s face, even the way the gardeners stared at me when I stepped out of Señor Bovio’s limousine, it was obvious to me that they knew. There was such expectation and reverence on their faces. Anyone would think I was carrying a future king.

Later, I saw that my mere appearance would stop conversations or lower voices and widen eyes, eyes that would quickly shift down either in deep respect or in deep fear. I suspected that the fear came from the remote possibility that he or she might do something to disturb me and that the disturbance would cause an aborted pregnancy.

Although it was difficult for me to be treated as if I were fragile china by the employees, I couldn’t be upset with them. I sensed that in the back of everyone’s mind, I was ending the hard period of mourning over the death of Señor Bovio’s son, Adan, who was killed in an accident on their boat when I was with him. I was defeating death by giving birth to Adan’s child. Those who had truly loved Adan looked at me with reverence and gratitude. If I showed any emotion at all in response, it was to reveal my humility and how I did not believe I was worthy of such veneration and respect. I wasn’t the new Madonna. I was simply an unwed pregnant young woman. Back in my village in Mexico, it would be I who would lower her head, lower it in shame.

Mi tía Isabela, with whom I had been living, had been preparing to send me back to my poor Mexican village in just such disgrace. But when Señor Bovio learned I was pregnant with Adan’s child, he came to the clinic where I had been taken after my nervous breakdown following Adan’s death and pleaded with me to live with him until the baby was born. I agreed, because I could see clearly that for him, my pregnancy and impending birthing were bringing back hope and happiness to a world shrouded in b

lack sorrow.

Still, I expected it would be painful living in Adan’s home without him. With the memory of his handsome, loving face still so vivid, I was sure I would see him everywhere I looked. These were the same front steps he had climbed all his young life, I thought when I stepped out of the car and gazed up at the portico and the hacienda’s grand front entrance. I knew when I entered and looked about, I would see the dining-room table where he had sat with his father and taken his meals. These people looking at me now were the people he had greeted and who had greeted him daily. I felt his absence too deeply and saw the sorrow in all of their faces. My heart turned to stone in my chest. I was afraid I would stop breathing, but Señor Bovio’s strong hand was at my back, almost propelling me forward. He kept his head high and his eyes fixed on the front entrance, as if he were truly taking me into a magic castle.

Once we stepped into his hacienda, my eyes were immediately drawn to the dome ceiling in the large entryway. It had a skylight at the center through which sunlight streamed and glittered off the white marble tile floors and walls. It was as if I had entered a cathedral, not a palace. Because of the way everyone moved timidly around us, it was church quiet.

“We’ll give you a tour of the hacienda later,” Señor Bovio said. “First things first.”

He immediately led me up the curved black marble stairway to show me to my room. When he opened the large mahogany double doors embossed with two beautiful black panthers with ruby eyes, I gasped, overwhelmed. The bedroom suite was larger than mi tía Isabela’s. The four-poster, bloodred canopy bed was wider and longer than hers and had enough fluffy pillows to serve a family of ten. Hanging above just beyond the foot of the bed was a gilded chandelier with teardrop bulbs raining light.

On the wall to my right was a large framed picture in velvet of the same two panthers that were embossed on the door, and there were black statues of them in crimson-tinted marble on pedestals. The velvet drapes were scarlet, and there was a red tint to the furniture. Even the bedroom carpet was red. Fresh bouquets of red roses were placed in vases on the bedside tables.

“You will stay here, Delia,” he said, nodding at the suite.

“It’s beautiful, Señor Bovio, but it is so big.”

“It was my wife’s suite,” he said.

“Your wife’s? But…”

“This is where you will stay,” he said more firmly.

As my father used to say about his employer, Señor Lopez, “He is a man used to having his words immediately carved into concrete.”

Nevertheless, I was surprised at Señor Bovio insisting so strongly that I stay in his wife’s bedroom suite. Surely there were many other rooms, any of which would have been more than adequate for me in this grand hacienda, a hacienda that was easily a few thousand feet larger than Tía Isabela’s.

Tags: V.C. Andrews Delia Horror
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