Delia's Gift (Delia 3) - Page 5

“You are smelling the fresh roses, Tía Isabela.”

“Really?” She laughed. “Men and their perverted secrets and weaknesses. They’re such fools. She betrayed him, made him look like a cuckold, and he still worships her memory.”

She was referring to the stories about Señor Bovio’s wife having affairs with actors and directors. Supposedly, she had been killed in an automobile accident in France while she was on some rendezvous with the director of the film she was shooting. The director lived and, of course, denied the stories, but I sensed that even Adan had come to believe they were true.

She turned to m

e, nodding her head with a look of pity and disgust. “You’re such a fool, too, Delia. Can’t you see?” she said, raising her hands and spreading her arms. “He’s put you in a tomb, a museum. Why has he kept all this? Did he expect his wife to have some miraculous resurrection?” She made a guttural noise that sounded like a growl. “It makes me so damn angry to think he led me to believe he might ask me to marry him when all the while, he was still married to this…this illusion. I can tell you this,” she said, waving her hands as if she were driving away flies, “if he had married me, I would have torn this room apart and redone it from top to bottom.”

She nodded at it all as if she thought the furniture was trembling at her threat. Then she turned her attention back to me and spoke in a softer, almost loving tone.

“I know you don’t trust anything I say and especially any advice I might give you, but you had better heed me, Delia Yebarra. You’re playing in my world now. Get on the first bus out of here, and go home. Go back to the village in Mexico, where you belong.

“No matter what Señor Bovio tells you, no matter how rich and expensive the gifts he lavishes on you are, make no mistake about it. He still believes his son is dead because of you. He thinks you bewitched him. If Adan hadn’t come back for you, he would never have been on that boat that day, and if you hadn’t lost control of the steering, he might not have suffered such a terrible accident. In the days following Adan’s death, Señor Bovio muttered all these things to me repeatedly.

“And don’t think his priest talked him out of them,” she added. “There’s no forgiveness in him. He has a bloodline that goes back to the Aztecs. He lives for vengeance. I know him through and through, Delia. You,” she said, now stabbing her right forefinger at me, “are in for a terrible time. Go home before you suffer some horrible fate.”

She opened her purse and took out a wad of bills.

“Here,” she said, “is more than enough to get you home and even set you up in some comfort down there. I’ll send you something more once you’re there,” she said. “You’ll have what you need to get by. I promise.”

“Why are you suddenly so worried about my welfare, Tía Isabela? Why this change of heart since we last spoke? Why is it so important to you that I leave, that I am safe and happy now?” I asked her. “Or is it more important that Señor Bovio be unhappy? You sound angrier at him than worried for me,” I told her. “Should I remind you of the terrible things you said to me at the clinic? You were happy to hear I was pregnant. You thought it would make everything even worse for me. No, Tía Isabela, you are here today because you hate to be contradicted, especially by a man. You are not here out of any concern for me.”

She pulled her shoulders back and flushed crimson through her cheeks. “You deserve whatever happens to you, Delia. You haven’t changed a bit. You’re still as insolent, defiant, and stupid as ever.” She laughed. “You think you hit some jackpot? You think you are spitting in my face by living here and accepting all this from Señor Bovio?”

“No, Tía Isabela. As hard as it might be for you to believe or even understand, I am not thinking about you. I am thinking only of myself and my baby.”

She threw her head back and laughed again. Then she fired a look at me that might stop a charging wild boar. “Your baby? You really are a foolish girl. Maybe you’re even more foolish than Sophia after all. Or,” she said with a wry smile, “do you think having an anchor baby will ensure your legal status here since I’ve disowned you? I know how you immigrants think. What, did that family of Mexicans give you this advice?”

“No,” I said quickly. “That is not why I’m here. And you are an immigrant, too.”

“Right. You’re always right. You’re just like your mother, stubborn but stupid.”

“Believe what you wish. You will, anyway, Tía Isabela. Sophia isn’t so different from you. You twist and turn things to make everything seem to be what you want it to be. She learned from a good teacher.”

She stood for a moment staring at me, and then her face seemed to soften even more before hardening again. It was as if she were caught between wanting to love me for having such spirit and wanting to hate me.

“Okay, fine. Do what you want, but I’m warning you, Delia. If you stay here, don’t come running back to me for help,” she said. “I am finally washing my hands of you.”

“Wash as much as you want, Tía Isabela. You will never get me or the family you left behind off your conscience by taking showers or baths. Every time you close your eyes at night, we’ll be in your dreams.”

She fumed. “That is surely something your grandmother would say.”

“Then I’m glad I said it,” I told her.

She turned and walked out in a fury, but she left the money on the dresser. Something kept me from running after her to throw it back at her. Instead, I rose and put it in a drawer. Then, a moment later, I went to a window and looked out to the front of the hacienda, where I saw Señor Garman, her driver, holding the limousine door open for her.

She approached with Señor Bovio at her side. They spoke for a few moments. Despite how she had just behaved with me and the things she had said about Señor Bovio, she didn’t appear to be angry at him. In fact, she leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. He stood watching her get into the limousine and be driven off, then turned, gazed up at my window, closed his eyes, said a short prayer, crossed himself, and walked back into the house.

I watched Tía Isabela’s car wind down the driveway and out the gate. Her words of warning echoed around me as her limousine disappeared.

I suddenly realized that my heart was pounding and I was holding my breath.

I was terrified of one thing.

I was terrified that in the end, she would be right.


Tags: V.C. Andrews Delia Horror
Source: Copyright 2016 - 2023