Delia's Gift (Delia 3) - Page 56


“Whatever you decide is fine with me. As I said, I am an honorable man. I will live up to my part of this bargain we made, even though you have not been honest with me. I do it for my son, who saw something good in you. I do it for his memory. However, once you are gone, you are gone,” he said. He stood up straighter and shook his head at me. “You make me ashamed of myself, of how I shared my innermost feelings about my wife and my son with you.”

“Please, señor,” I begged. “Do not think these terrible things about me.”

“I won’t think of them, Delia. It’s my hope and prayer that eventually I will forget them and you altogether. But for now, we’ll do as I said. The doctor tells me you can be released tomorrow, since Mrs. Newell will be attending to you, anyway. It’s an unnecessary expense to keep you here. Stevens will come by when you are discharged and take you back. I am having Teresa move you out of my wife’s suite, of course, to another bedroom in the hacienda. What clothes of my wife’s and things of hers, except the jewelry, of course, that you have used will be moved out with you so you can have something of a wardrobe. I have also asked her to take your own things, the things you came with to the hacienda, to your new room. Your aunt says she has some things to send over as well. She doesn’t want them even in the help’s quarters. Stevens will take you for your doctor visits.”

I felt as if I were sinking into the bed, disappearing. Another urgent thought rose to the surface, however. I reached for Señor Bovio’s hand.

“Ignacio,” I said.

He pulled his hand away. “You have betrayed him as well, Delia. I can do nothing for him now.”

He turned and started for the door. I tried to call him back, but he was gone before I had even pronounced his name. My crying brought back my pain. The nurse came in, ordered my tray taken away, and then, confused about why I was so upset, decided to give me some more pain medication. She thought it would be better for me if I slept. I thought it might be better if I slept forever.

Whatever she gave me wore off by the middle of the night. I woke with a start and looked around my room, dimly illuminated by the light that came from the hallway. Had I dreamed all that had happened? Was Señor Bovio really here, or was it a hallucination caused by the pain medication? How I wished that were true, but his words echoed too loudly in my brain.

I sat up to think. It was possible he had fabricated all of this, I thought. He had wanted me to go off and live an independent life without Adan Jr., hadn’t he? Wasn’t he always talking about it, suggesting it, telling me how he would make it all possible? He was going to buy me a car, pay for college, set me up with money. He knew I did not want to leave my baby behind. I had told him it would be too soon, and I had recently told him I would be better off out of the area. Surely, he was afraid that I would carry through with my plans.

The doctor and Fani were his allies and would say anything he wanted, as Mrs. Newell certainly would. The premature birth of Adan Jr. triggered this vicious new plan. How could I fight him? What could I do? Mi tía Isabela would even be on his side. She would see her revenge. What had happened to Edward, and what would happen to Ignacio and the Davila family? Look at me, I thought. I could barely get myself to the bathroom, much less do anything to help anyone else.

The thought of my having to leave and never seeing my baby again sent a sword of ice through my heart. I took deep breaths to keep myself from crying and crying. Then an idea came to me, and I went to the wheelchair. I wheeled myself to the door and gazed up and down the corridor. It was very quiet, the very walls looking asleep. I did hear some muffled noise coming from the nurses’ station, but I saw no one. As softly as I could, I wheeled myself to the elevator, entered, and pushed the button for the NICU floor. When the door opened, I saw a corridor just as quiet and empty as mine. Again, I wheeled softly to the NICU doors. This late at night, there was no one at the reception desk. I went around to the intercom. After a moment, a nurse inside answered. It wasn’t Nurse Cohen.

“I’m Adan Bovio’s mother,” I said. “Please, can I see him?”

She was quiet a moment and then said, “Yes.”

The doors opened, and she met m

e and had me wash my hands.

“It’s late,” she said as I washed.

“I had a bad dream,” I told her.

She nodded with understanding. “He’s okay. Come along,” she told me.

I dried my hands, and she pushed me to his pod. He was moving more than when I had first seen him. I put my hand in and touched his hand, and he turned his head in my direction so firmly even the nurse had to exclaim.

“They say a baby knows its mother,” she told me.

“And a mother knows her child,” I said softly. “Forever and ever.”

I sat there gently touching him until the nurse thought I should return. She had called down to my nurse, who was very upset at how I had snuck up.

“She’s waiting for you just outside the door,” the NICU nurse told me.

“Yes, thank you,” I said. “Good-bye for now Adan. I will not lose you. I promise.”

“Why would you lose your son?” the NICU nurse asked, curious.

“You’d be surprised,” I said, “how easily we lose the ones we love the most.”

She didn’t respond.

She wheeled me out.

I didn’t look back. I looked ahead. Whatever I had to do, whatever maze I had to go through, whatever challenges awaited me out there, I would meet and I would defeat.

Tags: V.C. Andrews Delia Horror
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