“What mess? Why was my cousin Edward not permitted to enter the property? Why wasn’t I permitted out?” I demanded. “Why did you give such orders?”
He sat back. “Those weren’t my orders, Delia.”
“What do you mean, they weren’t your orders? I just spoke with the gate guard. He said he called up here, and you said not to let Edward enter and not to open the gate for me.”
“Yes, but those aren’t my orders. They’re his mother’s standing orders. Apparently, and you probably know more about it than I do, Edward still has some agreement with her not to see you or speak with you. Nothing has changed in that regard. She said you were well aware of this, so it should not come as any surprise. I remember that she had informed me of the agreement between Edward and her a while back, when this whole Mexican mess started. When she was here the other day, she reminded me of it and made me promise that I would enforce the agreement should Edward come around. She asked that I inform her if her son tried to violate the agreement.
“That was Isabela on the phone just now,” he continued, sitting forward. “I had to let her know he had come here. I don’t want her troubling you.”
“You don’t want her troubling me? It’s far too late for that, señor.”
“I understand. She’s beside herself. She almost burned my ear through the phone,” he said. Smiling, he added, “I wouldn’t want to be in Edward’s shoes right now when he gets home.”
“This isn’t right. I won’t permit her to—”
“Relax, Delia. This is a very, very sensitive time for all of us. You asked me to look into the Mexican boy’s situation and do something about it, didn’t you?”
“Yes, but what does that—”
“Well, if Isabela starts rattling cages, it will complicate everything. Besides, this is between Isabela and her son now. You have enough on your mind without bringing in someone else’s problems.”
“It’s not someone else’s problems, Señor Bovio. Edward is my cousin. He has always been a good friend to me.”
“I understand, but nevertheless, you can’t interfere between him and his mother,” he said sternly. “Let it be for now. And I wouldn’t go planning on some secret meeting with him somewhere, either,” he warned. “That could be even worse. You’ve already seen what a secret meeting can do.”
“This isn’t what I expected when I agreed to come here,” I said, flopping into one of the cushioned chairs. I was angry but not sure if I should be angry at him or at Tía Isabela.
“Look at you. All flushed. Did you run all the way up the driveway?”
I pouted and didn’t answer.
“Listen to me, Delia. It wouldn’t have been any easier if you had been sent back to Mexico, would it? Edward couldn’t go there to find you.”
“It was part of my deal with the Mexican authorities when I got them to release both of you,” he said. “Actually, Isabela insisted on that.”
“Of course, she would insist on that. She always expected I would go back, and she didn’t want him following me.”
“Whatever. You know you and he and his friend were actually arrested, and you were being charged. I don’t think you would have liked being in a Mexican jail. It was very serious. Your aunt saved all three of you from a terrible time when she called me. I repeat, let it alone for now, Delia. What you do afterward with yourself is your own business.”
“After you give birth. You don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that, now, do you?”
The frustration washed over me. Would this be the way every argument or discussion we had would end? Would I always have to give in for the sake of my baby? And I didn’t like the way he said “afterward with yourself.” We had had a discussion about “afterward” when he came to the clinic. I had told him I would never desert my baby. I could see he still thought I might, that I might think more about myself and my future.
“It’s all ridiculous,” I said, not hiding my anger at him now. “I do feel as if I’m locked away here. I was standing there looking out that gate like some prisoner looking through bars. I won’t be locked in like this!”
I stood up and stamped my foot, well aware that I was behaving just the way my cousin Sophia behaved when she was frustrated or told she couldn’t do something.
“Take it easy. You’re getting overwrought for nothing. It was an incident. It’s over. No one is keeping you locked in. I had my driver take you to the Davilas’, didn’t I?”
“It’s not over! Don’t say this is over just because mi tía Isabela got what she wanted.”
He saw the rage building in me, and his expression quickly softened. “All right, all right. Look, I tell you what. I’ll speak with Isabela about it again. Give me some time to calm her. I’ll explain why it would make you happy to be able to have your cousin visit from time to time. She’s very upset right now, but I’ll get back to her. That’s a promise,” he said. “She usually listens to me after a while. Just don’t expect any miracles overnight. She’s not the easiest mountain to move.” He smiled.
“No, she’s not. But move she will,” I told him. “Or else.”