I felt my blood boil. “No, Fani. Whenever I am ready to go, Señor Bovio is paying for my college. I’m going to become a nurse.”
“How would you go to college when you have a baby?”
“I won’t go right away, but he’s buying me a car and paying all of my expenses.” I smiled. “I’m thinking I’ll get my own apartment, and maybe,” I said, still smiling, “I’ll have a Mexican lady babysitter. He would pay for it if I asked.”
She looked skeptical. “Why would he do all that?”
“It’s a bargain he has made.”
“I agreed to live here during my pregnancy and let him take care of me so that my baby, his grandchild, would be born healthy rather than go back to Mexico. In return, he has hired a private-duty nurse and nutritionist, bought me personally made maternity clothing, even maternity shoes, and has the doctor coming here and giving me very personal attention. He’s arranged for me to finish my high school work here. A teacher is bringing everything to me today.”
“Buying you a car, paying your expenses after you give birth? You fell into a gold mine, didn’t you? I hope you planned all this. I hope it wasn’t all accidental.”
“Why? I’d like you more if I knew you were as good a schemer as I am, if not better.”
“You’re not going to like me very much, then,” I told her.
She paused for a moment, and then she laughed. “I do miss you, Delia. It’s been rather boring at school, as a matter of fact. I’m not even interested in picking on your stupid cousin Sophia. It was always like shooting fish in a barrel, anyway,” she said, and blew some smoke.
“What are you doing?” we heard Señor Bovio cry out.
Both of us turned to see him walking quickly in our direction.
“Fani!” he screamed louder.
“I asked you to come by and be a companion for Delia but not to blow smoke in her face,” he said, drawing closer.
“I’m not blowing smoke in her face, Ray. Calm down. Jesus.”
“Put that cigarette out,” he ordered. “Don’t you know it’s bad for pregnant women to be around smoke?”
She stared at him and then stamped it out. “Sorry, mi dios.”
“I don’t want smoking anywhere on my property.”
“What about your Cuban cigars, Ray?”
“I’ve locked them away for now,” he said. He turned to me. “Mr. McCarthy is here to see you. He has all of your books and materials. Go change and meet him in the library. He’s waiting there. You don’t want to catch cold walking around the air-conditioned house in a wet bathing suit.”
“Why are you getting so hyper, Ray? She’s not that fragile,” Fani told him.
He turned to her with a look of pain in his eyes. “I would have expected you to think like I do, Fani. She’s carrying Adan’s baby.”
Fani glanced at me and then looked away. “I’ve got to go,” she said. “I have a few silly errands to do for my mother. I’ll call you sometime, Delia.”
“I’ll walk back with you,” I said quickly, and joined her.
Señor Bovio remained standing there as we walked off toward the house.
“Maybe I was wrong,” Fani told me as we drew farther away.
“Wrong? About what?”