Delia's Gift (Delia 3) - Page 4

“Why shouldn’t it be okay, señor? I’m not a fragile person, even though I’m pregnant. Mi madre worked in the soybean fields until she was into her ninth month.”

He took a step toward me. “That’s true, Delia. Women did do that and still do that now back there. They have to in order to put food on the table, but we don’t have to do that. And no one ever talks about the miscarriages and the babies born dead or sick. I’m sure you’re not fragile, but why not be cautious, Delia? You have to look after the welfare of more than yourself now, no? You wouldn’t want to do anything that could result in a disaster, would you? You would never forgive yourself. Besides, it won’t be that much longer. What are a few more months in your life? You’re young. Am I right, Delia? Well?” he insisted when I didn’t immediately acquie


“Sí, señor.”

“Good,” he said. “Then we agree.” He flashed another smile and was gone before I could say another word.

Maybe he was right, I thought. Maybe I was being selfish to think otherwise. And besides, I was certainly not suffering. I laughed at my good fortune. I was sure mi tía Isabela wouldn’t have sent me home first class. At this moment, if Señor Bovio hadn’t come to see me, I would be traveling and bouncing on some smelly, old bus on a dirt road in Mexico, working my way back to who knew what.

Look where you are instead, Delia Yebarra, I told myself.

I gazed about at the beautiful furnishings, the velvet drapes, the thick, soft carpet, and the enormous vanity table with wall mirrors. Actually, there were mirrors everywhere, even on the ceiling. It was the suite of someone who was in love with her own beauty, I thought, keeping in mind that Señor Bovio’s wife had been a movie actress.

I rose and looked into the walk-in closet. There was a wall of mirrors in there as well. It looked as if there were acres and acres of clothing hanging on the racks. I could see tags dangling from garments she had never worn. I had never seen so many shoes in one person’s possession. Shelves filled with them went up to the ceiling. There was surely double the number that Tía Isabela had, and there were wigs, all lengths and colors and styles, neatly hanging on a wall. Perhaps Adan’s mother had needed all of this to attend so many celebrity functions and public-relations events.

Yet there was another consideration. As beautiful as all of this was, and as convenient as Señor Bovio would make everything for me, I couldn’t help wondering whether or not I would do more harm than good by staying. In my heart of hearts, I still believed that the evil eye had attached itself to my destiny ever since I had first left Mexico. The ojo malvado was always there to work a curse just when things looked good. I remained convinced that everyone who got too close to me suffered. My cousin Edward had lost an eye in a car accident when he rushed out to get Bradley Whitfield for attacking me. Ignacio was now languishing in a prison, sentenced to six years. Adan had been killed on the boat. Perhaps I was better off returning to the poor village in Mexico and accepting my fate. Perhaps it would be better for everyone if I just slipped away and made my way home.

As I gazed out the window at the gardens, the tennis courts, and the pool, I heard my poor Mexican village call to me. I could hear the whispered pleading, Come back, Delia. Come home, and accept who you are. Stop trying to fight fate. You cannot hold back the tide.

But then I remembered the terrible pain in Señor Bovio’s face at the hospital when he learned that his son had died. He was a shell of a person whose soul had gone off to be with his son’s. The realization that his son’s child was growing inside me brought his soul back to him and filled him with renewed hope. How could I run off and leave him like some rich fruit dying on the vine? How could I be so cruel? How could I be so selfish, especially when he was doing so much to make me comfortable and to ensure the health and welfare of my baby?

No, Delia, I told myself. You must learn how to take advantage of good fortune when it comes to you and not dwell on memories of sadness and defeat.

I thought of heading to the bathroom to take a shower, freshen up, and get into different clothing. Because of all there was to choose from, I was sure I would find something to wear. For a while at least, as I went back to the closet and sifted through some of the garments, my attention was taken off everything else. I felt like a little girl in a candy store told to take whatever she wanted.

But then I heard mi tía Isabela’s unmistakable voice. She was just at the bottom of the stairway, arguing with Señor Bovio. I stepped out of the closet and moved closer to the double doors that had been left slightly open and heard her say, “Are you mad, Ray? Why would you bring her here? The girl had a nervous breakdown and was in a clinic.”

“I am not bringing only her. I am bringing my son’s child.”

“Oh, that’s ridiculous. Let me send her back where she belongs and get her out of everyone’s hair once and for all. I should never have sent for her after her parents died. She doesn’t belong here.”

“My son’s child does not belong in some backward Mexican village to grow up uneducated and live like some peon,” he countered angrily. “You didn’t think you did, and you were willing to defy your father to pull yourself up and out. Should I remind you of the things you told me? How you described this village to which you want me to send my grandchild?”

Those words and his tone obviously took the wind out of her sails. She mumbled something, and the next thing I heard was her coming up the stairway. She was wearing one of her pairs of sharp, high-heeled shoes that gave her the staccato footsteps I knew all too well. They were usually the drumbeats of her anger and rage. I backed away from the door.

Despite quickly feeling as though I had been taken to a fortress because of the walled-in property, the gates, and the security guards, and despite all the ways I was being insulated from the outside world, the arrival of mi tía Isabela was still terrifying.

When she had found out from the clinic doctor that I was pregnant, it seemed to please her and to justify her sending me off. Her big threat was that she would not arrange for an abortion. She was surprised when I told her that was fine, that I didn’t want one, but she looked happy about that as well. She knew that being an unwed mother would make my life even more miserable back in Mexico.

“Fine. Be pregnant. I’ll make arrangements immediately for your return. Get yourself prepared for your life as a peasant. Go back to speaking Spanish,” she had told me.

She had started to leave when I stood up and defiantly replied, “The truth in any language is still the truth, and the truth is that you are the one who suffers, Tía Isabela. You have no family. You will suffer all three deaths the same day your body dies, but don’t worry, I’ll light a candle for you.”

I was referring to our belief that we die three times, once when our bodies die, once when we’re interred, and finally when we’re forgotten.

She had just walked out after that. And then, before she could have me sent away the following morning, Señor Bovio had come to see me and had taken me off to be here with him.

Now she was back, surely frustrated and annoyed, which made her more of a threat, more like a scorpion. She was coming to sting me in whatever way she still could. I could hear it in the clacking of her footsteps on the hallway’s marble floor.

I retreated to the chair at the vanity table, and a moment later, she stepped into the bedroom suite. She was dressed as elegantly as ever, wearing one of her favorite wide-brimmed Palm Springs hats and one of her designer suits. As usual, her face was caked in the makeup she took hours to perfect before she set foot out of her house. She looked about the bedroom suite, shaking her head.

“How ironic that he put you in this bedroom,” she began. “He never let me in here, never unlocked the door when I came to this hacienda.”

She paused and stepped farther in so she could continue to drink in everything she could see in the suite.

“I imagine he hasn’t changed a thing all these years,” she muttered. “And this obsession with black panthers just because she played one in a horror film. Idiotic.” She sniffed the air. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he sprays her favorite perfume periodically to keep the scent of her alive.”

Tags: V.C. Andrews Delia Horror
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