“Are you working again with your father?”
“For now. He keeps pressuring me to go to school, too. While I was in prison, I worked in the warden’s garden. I changed a lot, and he liked it very much. My father thinks I should study landscaping and become a fancy gardener.”
“That would be wonderful, Ignacio.”
“He says it’s a holy thing to bring beauty into the world.”
“Él es un hombre sabio.”
“Sí. I should only be as wise at his age.”
“Maybe. How is your son?”
“He is very well, gracias. He’s sleeping now; otherwise, he would be in my arms.”
Ignacio laughed. “I’m sure you don’t let go of him often.”
“That time comes soon enough.”
“You sound as if you’ve become very wise, maybe too wise for me,” he said.
“I can afford to share it,” I said, and he laughed. Then he nodded. “It’s been a while since I really laughed. I’m glad I stopped by.”
“Then you’ll have to return often. It’s better to laugh than to cry.”
“Another saying of your grandmother’s?”
“No. This is my own.”
“Now I know you’re a fully grown wo
man. You have your own sayings to pass on.”
“Then you’ll be back?”
“Sí,” he said. “We’ve both come too far, made too many crossings, to turn and walk away.”
“I’ll be waiting,” I said.
He unfroze his arms and embraced me. In that long moment as we held on to each other, all of the pain and suffering we had endured seemed to fall away, dropping to our feet like old, dead leaves. He pressed his lips to one of my tears.
“The salt of your body is now the salt of mine,” he whispered, and then he got into his truck, smiled, waved, and drove off.
I watched until he was gone.
I didn’t know that Tía Isabela was watching from a window. She was waiting when I entered the hacienda.
“That was a surprise for you,” she said. I studied her face and saw an impish smile.
“Maybe not so much for you,” I told her.
She laughed. “Ray did whisper in my ear a while back, but I did not want to say anything for fear Ignacio would not contact you. No more disappointments are permitted in this house,” she declared.
“That’s good,” I said.
We were both in a good mood, anyway. Edward was coming home to spend the weekend with us.