Delia's Gift (Delia 3) - Page 77

“Where else would

you go? And even if you hadn’t, I would have brought it all to you wherever you were in Los Angeles. I’m pretty sure I have your size, but the tags are on them, so we can exchange anything we have to exchange. Pick out something for tonight, and we’ll deal with the rest later. We’re close to the same shoe size,” she said, nodding at the rack of shoes to match the outfits.

I was still amazed. Despite what she had just said and what she had done, she had sounded surprised that I was coming when I had called. I told her so.

“I didn’t think you would be leaving the Bovio hacienda this soon. You have lots of time before the nursing-school semester begins.”

“I didn’t think I’d leave, either. As I told you, he threw me out, but—”

“Get refreshed. Pick out something to wear,” she insisted. “Then we’ll talk more about it.”

I looked at the clothes again.

“You spent a lot of money.”

“So what? What’s it for? My father is feeling so guilty about what’s going on between him and my mother and what it supposedly is doing to me that he rains dollars down in torrents if I just make a small suggestion. He’s paving his way to forgiveness.” She laughed.

“It doesn’t really bother you?”

“I don’t think about it long enough for it to bother me. I’m not going to get depressed and sick over my parents. You have to be the same. We’ve got to think of ourselves, Delia. You have to learn how to spell ‘ME’ in capital letters all the time. By the time I’m finished with you, I’ll have a smile so deeply planted in your face people will think you’re the Joker’s sister.”


“From Batman. The Joker? Forget about it,” she said when I didn’t register understanding. “You’ll get the point eventually. Freshen up. We’ve got some living to catch up with, or you do, I should say. I’ve been having quite a good time.”

“And school?”

“A minor inconvenience,” she said, laughing again. “Oh, it’s so good to see you here, Delia. Look how far you’ve come from that first day you entered the private school and hovered in the shadows your cousin Sophia and her friends cast over you like a fishnet. You’re a woman, and she’s still a spoiled brat.”

“I know nothing about her.”

“What’s to know? Supposedly, your aunt is working on getting her into another school. I don’t know what for except to get her out of the house. She happens to be in L.A. now, too, you know. She’s hanging out with her friend Trudy Taylor, who goes to a community college here.”

“Has Edward seen her?”

“I don’t know. Ask him when he comes, if you want.”

“What is he doing?”

“I don’t think he knows yet himself. He’s living in some crummy hotel. I don’t know why. Maybe he’s punishing himself. I don’t know that much more about him and what he’s been doing than you do, Delia.”

“You know how terrible things became for him after we met at your house. Mi tía Isabela was very angry and made all sorts of threats.”

“Right, and it wasn’t long after that when he left college and went wherever, so she has no one to blame but herself. Go freshen up,” she said, and left me.

I stood looking around. The room was very nice, and it was very kind of her to buy me all of these clothes and things, but I couldn’t help asking myself, What am I doing here? I belong with my baby.

I heard Fani put on some music. The phone rang. She was laughing loudly. It would be difficult to be depressed here, I thought. Maybe that was a good thing. Nevertheless, without much enthusiasm, I unpacked my basic things and put them in the dresser drawers. Then I went into the bathroom to shower and fix my hair so I would at least look alive when Edward arrived. I was very nervous about seeing him, afraid he would not be as friendly or care as much about me as he once had. Perhaps he blamed me somehow for his new trouble.

I looked for the most conservative outfit to wear from among the clothes Fani had bought for me, but everything was more her style than mine. I had never worn skirts so short, I thought as I tried them on and looked at myself in the full-length mirror on the wall beside the closet. What would Edward think of me? But I didn’t want to insult Fani, either. I couldn’t decide what to do.

There was a black satin minidress with boots to match, a sequined T-shirt dress I couldn’t imagine myself ever wearing, a purple silk halter dress that was cut so low I felt half naked, and a petrol silk layered minidress. Nothing went more than an inch or two below my knees. One orange and black outfit looked as if it came from a cheerleader’s costume. She had bought me a pair of designer jeans and a strapless gray tube top with a jeweled black centerpiece. Both were very tight. I could imagine someone saying they were painted on me. I was about to take these off, too, when Fani came in.

“Perfect choice!” she cried. “I was hoping you’d wear that. How about me coming up with the right size, too? I’ve got an eye for fashion.”

“It’s too tight, Fani.”

“Nonsense. That’s exactly the frame of mind you have to get yourself out of, Delia. You’re free now, really free. Look at yourself,” she ordered, and turned me around to gaze at myself in the mirror. “You’re a very sexy-looking chick. I think I might even be a little jealous.”

Tags: V.C. Andrews Delia Horror
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