He nodded when he clearly saw that I did not want to tell him much more.
“That’s fine,” he said. “I want you to be happy, comfortable. Do you need some money, perhaps for some shopping?”
“No, señor. Gracias.”
I did have his curiosity captured now, but he sensed he had questioned me enough.
He went to his wife’s closet. “Have you found other things to wear?”
Before I could respond, he went in and came out with a blouse and a skirt.
“This would fit you, I’m sure, and you would look very nice in it wherever you go tomorrow.”
I smiled at his interest in what I would wear. “Sí, señor. Gracias.”
“Don’t forget, by tomorrow night, you’ll have some new maternity clothing and perhaps new shoes. Well,” he said, looking as if he didn’t want ever to leave, “call down if you need anything more tonight.”
He looked around the suite again and nodded. “You will be very comfortable here. My wife used to call it her little piece of heaven on earth.” He started out and stopped. “Oh, there is a wall safe in the closet. The combination is two-six-zero-eight. You will find beautiful jewelry, necklaces, watches, earrings. You might even be able to wear some of her rings. Use whatever you wish. It does no one any good to be shut up in there.”
“Sí.” He stared at me and then nodded at the suite. “It’s good to have someone beautiful in here again,” he said. “A woman becomes radiant during her pregnancy. My wife never believed it, but it was true for her as it will be for you, Delia.”
With that, he left, closing the door softly.
I went to the safe to look and was shocked to see how much jewelry was in it. All of the pieces looked very expensive. I was happy he trusted me with it, but wearing some of it would make me very nervous, and where would I wear any of it, anyway? I didn’t anticipate being invited to any parties or dinners, unless Señor Bovio had some planned. I wondered about that. Would he introduce me to his friends? If so, how would he refer to me? It was awkward for both of us. I couldn’t imagine him doing so. This could be a very long pregnancy and a very lonely one, too.
It already had been a very long and, in many ways, tiring day. Except for the short time I had sat at the pool, I was continually on a bed of pins and needles. I was not used to being the center of so much attention. I couldn’t make a move without someone watching me. Even now, I imagined eyes in the walls, as if the hacienda itself were alive and studying me. It was part of the reason I wanted to get away for a while, why I had asked about a car. I had been hoping to be on my own, but I could see now that Señor Bovio didn’t trust me enough yet. He probably was afraid I would do what I had been tempted to do from the moment I had arrived, sneak away and return to Mexico. It was still something I toyed with in the back of my mind.
I began to go through the dresser drawers to look for a nightgown. I found two drawers full of them, primarily in red, some sheer, a few meant for cooler nights. There were matching slippers, as well, for almost every nightgown and robe. In one drawer, I found a box of old photographs and sat on the floor going through them. There were many people in the pictures whom I didn’t know, but there were many of Adan at all ages. I noticed that in only a very few of them was he standing beside his mother. With her schedule as a movie actress, I imagined it must have been very lonely for him.
Finally tired enough to feel confident that I would sleep, I crawled into the oversized bed. The hacienda was very quiet and far enough from any street or road to be beyond the sounds of traffic. When I put out the lights, the glow of a half-moon came through the light curtains. I had not closed the drapes. Because even these curtains had a crimson tint, the moonlight that seeped in and over the bed and the room was the color of light-red rose petals.
I said my prayers.
I closed my eyes and thought about the baby forming inside me. Parts of Adan and parts of me were exploring and testing each other, finding ways to join with those that had already begun creating our child. Adan was still in me, still a part of me. Maybe it was his spirit that was in this bedroom suite and not his mother’s, after all; maybe that was what Señor Bovio had felt.
Thinking about him and the accident on the boat, I wondered if, even for a split second, Adan had blamed me. Whether it was my own imagination at work or not, I sensed anger in this room with me. If I hadn’t turned, slipped on the ladder, lost control of the boat at that moment, he wouldn’t have been so badly injured. If he didn’t blame me, and Señor Bovio had decided it was more important for him to forgive me and care only about my giving him a healthy grandchild, then perhaps his mother’s spirit was here and did blame me. Perhaps rather than keep me safe, she would be the vengeful one.
And then, I thought, if I considered Ignacio and his father, Tiá Isabela and Sophia as well, there was a great deal of rage swirling around me. Would all of the good spirits, those who had loved me, be able to come to my defense? What truly lay in store for me?
All of these thoughts troubled me and kept me tossing and turning, falling asleep and then waking with a start. By the time the morning light cleared away the shadows, I was mentally and physically exhausted. I slept later than I had intended, but I knew what I must set out to do. I rose, showered, and dressed.
Teresa was in with my “perfect” breakfast. Apparently, Mrs. Newell had arrived early because she had to oversee every slice of bread. She had created some nutritional drink that tasted like pure chalk to me. I drank what I could and then hurried downstairs. It was just about ten o’clock. According to what Señor Bovio had promised, the car and driver would be waiting.
I did not see Señor Bovio when I descended, nor was he waiting outside. The car was there, however, as was the driver he had simply referred to as Stevens. The moment I came out of the house, he got out of the car and hurried to open the rear door for me.
“Gracias,” I said.
He returned to his driver’s seat and waited for instructions.
“Please, start for Indio,” I told him. “I’ll show you where to turn.”
“Very good, Miss. If you want water or anything, there’s a small refrigerator on the right.”