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Isabel argues her case

She did not slap her daughter, only leaned against the wall outside her daughter’s bedroom and stared at Estrellita as if seeing her for the first time.

“How?” she asked. “Is this possible?”

“In the same way I suppose it happened with you,” her daughter answered. “But then you never told me the truth, did you? So how am I to know? I only know the whispers that follow me like mice.”

“Don’t be flippant with me,” Isabel stood up straight. She was seeing her daughter as someone she barely knew. “You have no idea what you are doing.”

“You’re wrong,” her daughter raised her chin up in a pose of defiance. “I know exactly what I am doing. For the first time in my life. This is for me. And not because of you or for you or to get you to think well of me. This is all of my own doing.”

“Oh that is for sure,” Isabel said. “And what about this ‘man’ as you call him?”

“He loves me. He will do what is best for me,” Estrellita said. “You do not know him.”

“Obviously,” Isabel answered. “If he is so concerned for you, where is he? Why does he not show himself? What is he afraid of?”

“Certainly not you,” Estrellita told her mother. “He has no need to come here. We will go back to America together. He will take care of me.”

“America? You mean he is not even from here?” her mother was horrified now, seeing a picture that was even worse than she had supposed. At least with a local boy she could exert some pressure through his family or the church. But this was impossible.

“No, he’s … well what does it matter? No matter what I say you will be against him,” Estrellita said.

“That is not the point, Lita. The point is not him, but you. You are too young to know what love is or what it leads to,” Isabel said.

“I am not!” Estrellita screamed at her mother. “I will go. He will take me with him to America. Away from this town. Away from you. And I don’t need you telling me what to do.”

“Lita, please, be reasonable. When is this man going to take you away? And what will he do to support you? Is he working? Because I know very few Americans who come to Mexico to earn their living,” Isabel said.

“He was traveling because his studies were finished. He has a good education. He came to Puerto Vallarta for the whale season – to work at one of the tour companies on the Malecon. On his day off he comes to Sayulita for the surf. Back home . . . back in America . . . his family is rich. Now he must go back home to work in the family business. That is how he will take care of me.” Estrellita said it without a whisper of doubt.

Isabel, Episode Ten

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