She roared with laughter. “Well,” she said, “I’m occasionally home on weekends, as I am this weekend. Maybe we could hang out, go to the Fountain.”
The Fountain was a dance club.
“I don’t think I’d be much fun there.”
“You never know. I heard pregnant women turn on some boys. One thing’s for sure, they can’t get into trouble. You’re already there.”
“Very funny. You’re not saying anything about your parents. Señor Bovio has never said anything to me. What is happening with them?”
“They have reached an understanding. There’s a truce under way. They don’t talk about anything but necessities, and they live separate lives. They hardly ever eat dinner together. Oh, they do when I’m home, just to put on an act, but it’s like sitting with two people who speak different languages or are deaf. Practically everything’s said with a gesture. I don’t care, as long as they don’t get in my way.”
She looked around.
“It’s quite a suite, but it’s still a prison,” she said. “I have an idea. You need some excitement, some fun in your life, don’t you?”
“I don’t know.”
“Of course you do. Especially now. How would you like to see Edward?”
I shook my head.
“Is that a no?”
“I don’t want to cause any more trouble for him, Fani.”
“You won’t. It’s not your fault if you accidentally meet him, is it? That could happen.”
I still shook my head.
“C’mon. It will be fun for you. I won’t tell him anything. I’ll invite him to my house next weekend. He’ll come. He’s been pretty depressed about Jesse and needs a change of scenery. I’ll invite him to play golf on our course. I won’t tell him you’re coming, too. You’ll just drop by. That way, neither of you will look guilty.”
I remembered Señor Bovio’s warning about arranging another secret meeting.
“It frightens me, Fani. He could get into serious trouble with his mother again.”
“Good. That makes it exciting,” she said, jumping up. “Then it’s settled. Next Saturday. It’s actually a perfect Saturday for it. Both of my parents are going somewhere. I’ll get Ray to have his driver take you to my house. I’ll tell him I’m having you to lunch. I’ll promise no smoking. Actually, I’ve given up smoking. I realized it was making my teeth yellow and affecting my complexion. I know,” she added. “I’ll get the suggested menu from your nurse from hell and promise to serve it. That should nail it down. Okay?”
“What if Edward doesn’t come?”
“It won’t be a total loss. We’ll simply have a nice time ourselves. I’ll serve you something you’re craving. Don’t worry. Settled?”
I took a deep breath. She was right. The prospect of seeing Edward made it enticing.
“Okay,” I said.
“Good. Now I’ll tell you about my little romances at college,” she said. “Let me open one of those bottles of wine.” She nodded at the wine cooler.
“I don’t dare have any. Mrs. Newell—”
“I’ll give you a sip.” She went for a bottle. “Oh,” she said, turning back. “Ray did make me promise to do something if I paid you a visit.”
“To talk you into going to nursing school sooner rather than later and remaining here. I have a feeling he wanted me to visit more to do that than simply to cheer you up, but think about it. You’d have to be an idiot not to take him up on it.”
“Why, just imagine, Delia. You could even pretend you didn’t have a child! The boys you meet at school won’t be immediately turned off, and you could reveal it casually later. That’s exactly what I would do if, God forbid, I was ever in your situation.”