“I’m not sure, Edward.” I told him about Señor Bovio’s offer, including the car, the money, the nanny.
“That would be hard to turn down,” he said. “I think nursing is a good career, and I know you’d be very good at it, Delia. After having been to your little Mexican village and seeing what you’d return to, I would hesitate before advising you to return. It’s charming in its way, but it doesn’t offer you a tenth of the opportunities you have here, and I don’t just mean educationally. You’re very young. There’ll be someone else in your life, I’m sure.”
I told him about Señor Bovio’s offer and efforts to help Ignacio.
“I see. It sounds like he’s doing everything he can to make you happy and keep his grandson in his life. But you have to start being a little selfish, Delia. Choose what you want for yourself and your baby first.”
“I will,” I said.
He smiled. “I won’t hold my breath waiting for you to do that.”
“No. I mean it. I’ll try,” I said. “Now, let’s stop talking about me. Tell me about yourself and your college and if you have made some new friends.”
He described his classes, his teachers, and his plans to go to law school. He said everything that had happened with me had caused him to take more interest in international law, and that was where he wanted to be eventually. He didn’t sound as if he had much of a social life, but he talked about college functions and living in Los Angeles.
Fani came back, knocking softly on her door before entering.
“How are we doing?” she asked.
“Good,” I said quickly.
“Let’s go out on the rear patio. It’s beautiful, and I have a great lunch organized for us. Unless you need more time to be alone, that is.”
“No, that’s fine,” Edward said.
We rose and followed her down the stairway to the French doors that opened onto the rear patio. It was a beautiful day, and the table she had set up for us was decorated with fresh flowers. There was an opened bottle of white wine and an opened bottle of red wine.
“Little Mama isn’t supposed to drink. Did she tell you about Nurse Diablo?”
Edward laughed. “She’s not wrong, Fani.”
“Oh, a little bit can’t hurt. Let her enjoy her freedom for a while,” she said.
“You were always the little instigator,” Edward told her. “Maybe you’re Miss Diablo.”
I knew he meant it as a criticism, but she loved that. I sat and did sip a little wine before we were served our fruit cups to start. Edward and she talked about the college, discussing the campus, the events, and some of the teachers they both knew. I felt as if I had disappeared.
“Oh, but we’re boring Delia to death,” Fani said.
I protested, but she said they would talk only about me and my future.
She had designed a wonderful lunch for us. There was a variety of choices, almost all of which Mrs. Newell would have me reject, but I did feel defiant for the moment and deliberately ate what I shouldn’t. Later, I realized that I would probably pay in the form of heartburn. I had to go to the bathroom twice, which Fani thought was amusing, and then, after a rather rich, decadent chocolate cake dessert, we tried to take a walk, but I found my bladder complaining again and had to rush off to the nearest bathroom.
Edward decided it was time for him to start back to Los Angeles. He claimed he had promised some friends that he would go out with them that evening, but just as he could easily read me, I could easily read him and knew he wasn’t telling the truth. He would probably return to a lonely room.
When I got back from the bathroom, Fani stayed in the house while I walked him out to his car to say good-bye.
“This is my cell-phone number,” I said, handing him a slip of paper with the number on it.
“Good. I’ll call you before I come back to t
he desert. Give me your phone,” he said. I handed it to him. “I’ll punch in my cell number for you. Call me whenever you want.” He handed my phone back to me. “Don’t look so worried, Delia. It’s all right. We’ll both be fine.”
He hugged me and got into his car.
“I’ll tell Jesse you said hello. We still talk occasionally, and he has asked me about you,” he added.
“Good. Drive carefully, Edward.”