He went into his briefcase again and brought out a folder.
“I have asked my friends in the education department to recommend the best nursing schools, and they are all here, with an application for each one. I can assure you that all you have to do is fill out the application for the one you wish to attend, and that will be that. Some have housing for their students, but some do not. In the cases where they do not, should you choose one, I have access to apartment rental agents who will locate a good one for you.
“So,” he concluded, “I am living up to all I promised despite what you’ve done.”
“I did nothing, Señor Bovio. I spoke with Fani. She didn’t say exactly what you said she had said.”
He smirked. “Of course, she would tell you that. Do you think she’s going to confess publicly to such a thing?”
“Why would she confess then to you?”
“I am not the public. I am her family, and I am not a threat to her. Besides, there’s no point in arguing about exactly what she said and what she didn’t say. There is other evidence that cannot be denied. Can you imagine what people would think of a young woman who would endanger the life of her baby just to enjoy a few hours of hallucination or whatever you young people call it?”
“I don’t call it anything, because I don’t do it, señor. There has been a terrible mistake.”
“You’re not listening to me, Delia. I am actually doing many good things for you, things I don’t have to do, but I cannot forget Adan’s feelings for you, so I continue to help you. Think about it. Here you are, a young girl who had to be rescued from the police for harboring a known fugitive, a young girl who took recreational drugs while she was pregnant. Who will step forward to help you if I don’t?”
“You cannot do this. You cannot take a mother from her child, a child from his mother,” I said. I tried to be brave, but my lips wouldn’t stop trembling, and the tears wouldn’t stop building in my eyes.
“It’s done every day by our family courts,” he said calmly and coolly. “You know already that I have great influence with the courts and the judges. Don’t be a fool.”
I lowered my head. His words were like lead weights piled on my shoulders.
“Take your time. Think about it all. I’m not throwing you out on the street, although your aunt is screaming for me to do just that.”
I looked up quickly. “Tía Isabela? You told her this story about me?”
“She’s the only family you have here. Technically, she has some legal standing.”
“Family?” I laughed.
“She feels somewhat responsible, guilty herself.”
“It’s no coincidence that her son has been heard to be doing drugs, too.”
I shook my head, still in disbelief.
“He provided you with them, right? You can help him if you are willing to talk about that, tell her what you know about it, Delia.”
“No, he did not give me any drugs. He would never do such a thing. He never took any drugs.”
“You certainly are stubborn,” he said, and suddenly softened his expression. “My mother was like that. My father was nearly bald from pulling out his hair sometimes.” He thought for a moment, remembering, and then caught himself and firmed up his shoulders. “I have things to do, to arrange,” he said. “Read what I brought you, sign what you have to sign, and keep up your recuperation so you can get on with your life as soon as possible.”
“Can I go to the hospital and see Adan Jr.?”
“You can see him when he is well enough to be seen.”
“But Dr. Denardo said—”
“Mrs. Newell will be in charge of his well-being.”
“Mrs. Newell? You cannot hope to bring him up with a nurse for a mother, especially Mrs. Newell. You know she had a miscarriage and never wanted children after that, señor. Please, let me look after my son.”
“He’ll have a proper nanny when he is ready for her. Right now, he needs constant professional medical attention. See? You’re not thinking of Adan. You’re thinking of yourself; otherwise, you would be grateful for Mrs. Newell.”