“England, Miss,” she said.
“So you’ve been here ever since Adan was born?”
“Yes, Miss. I was quite fond of him. He was a very nice young man. His absence makes the house feel empty. It’s nice that you’re here,” she added.
“Thank you. I’m sorry Mrs. Newell was so stern with you, Teresa. There’s no reason to put so much pressure on you. Everyone just has to calm down. I’m not the first woman to have a baby.”
“No, really. I don’t need all this special attention, tailors, shoemakers, nurses. I bet you think it’s all a bit over the top,” I added, imagining all the help were buzzing about the things Señor Bovio was doing.
She nodded but looked at me as if I were totally crazy to suggest it.
“Don’t you agree?” I pursued.
She shrugged. “Yes, Miss, but from what I see, nothing is really much different.”
“Nothing?” I smiled at her. “What do you mean, nothing’s much different, Teresa?”
She didn’t look as if she wanted to respond.
“I don’t understand,” I said.
“It’s the way it was when Señora Bovio was pregnant with Adan. She had personally tailored maternity clothing and shoes and a nutritionist, too, only…”
“She expected no less,” Teresa said. “I’m sure she would have expected no less for you. I guess Señor Bovio still hears her commands,” she added, and then nearly bit down on her own lip. She surprised herself more than she surprised me.
“Still hears? What commands, Teresa?”
“Nothing. I don’t know what I’m saying. Sorry, Miss,” she said, and continued down the hallway.
Still hears commands? What a strange thing for her to have said, I thought.
In the midst of all of this opulence, luxury, and privilege, some dark cloud hovered, clinging to the ceiling and the corners of the walls around me.
The sounds of Tía Isabela’s heels clacking on the tile floor echoed in my mind.
It left me trembling again, defeating the warm sun that had lifted my spirits.
“Dr. Denardo has arrived,” Mrs. Newell announced after overseeing the delivery of my dinner. It came so quickly I was unable to tell her and Teresa that I would insist on having dinner in the dining room rather than in my suite. I began to wonder if Señor Bovio was simply avoiding ever having to sit at a dinner table with me. Perhaps Tía Isabela was right. He did still blame me for Adan’s death and, aside from dealing with my pregnancy, wanted nothing more to do with me.
“Oh,” I said, looking toward the doorway and pushing my dinner tray aside.
“No, no. He is in the office with Mr. Bovio and will be up shortly. Don’t rush your food,” she added. “I’m sure they’ll be a while. They both know you have just been given your meal. I have given the doctor my preliminary report.”
Earlier, she had checked my pulse and blood pressure and then weighed me.
“Fine. I don’t expect it will take me all that long to eat this, anyway,” I said, nodding at the tray. The portions were very small.
“Everything is weighed so that the proper amount is given to you. As I explained before, it’s too easy for a pregnant woman to gain weight rapidly,” she said, “and I don’t intend to let that happen on my watch, thank you.”