Maya can’t hear what Mihai says as she reaches the door and she doesn’t care. It’s most certainly something profoundly unkind, designed to dig a finger deeper into the wound. She has little hope he will set aside all that awful mean-spirited pride long enough to take the hand she left him. By the time she reaches the street and the reality hits her again of what Berry has done, Mihai Stroi is the last thing on her mind.
“So foolish, desgraciado,” the old woman cackles, “so blind.”
Adela sits on the desk watching the young man. She plays with the switch of the lamp just to annoy him. He’s a sour one. Stubborn as a mule. “Trying to ignore me, guapo?” she smiles, blowing a thick cloud from the cigar she smokes into his eyes. “I’m not going anywhere. Not for a while at least.”
She stands up on the desk and begins kicking files off one by one, can-can style, singing in Spanish at the top of her lungs. She stops once Stroi is back in his chair and drops back down, sitting with her legs crossed, studying him as he reads. She sighs heavily and shakes her head with a disappointed smile.
“M’ijo, you had a chance to be generous,” she says, with her chin in her hands, close to his face speaking as if she’s addressing a toddler. “Would it have mattered if you knew she was on her way out after getting a letter from her man that he’s leaving her? What kind of man does that anyway? Writes a letter instead of facing the end of something? You know, don't you? Anyway, that’s not my point. She was only trying to get to the door before she embarrassed herself in front of you. She saw good in you. Even thought you might be friends, though I have my doubts.”
Adela continues to chide Stroi as she swings from the ceiling light above his head. “But you? You chose to be cruel. And Mayita? My bighearted little girl still chose to gift you with kindness. Right in the middle of your big brutish chest, estúpido.”
She jumps down from the light and grins. She begins to circle around him with a singsong voice. “You can’t see it can you? That is her gift to you, m’ijo. Even as you lashed out at her. A chance to take away some of that pain and regret. That’s what filth eaters do, you big dummy. Here she is, your best medicine and you spit her out like poison. And they say you people are the civilized ones? Bah.”
Adela picks up all of the paperclips from his desk and scatters them like confetti before taking her leave. “You try and hurt her again, desgraciado,” she smiles as her eyes glitter with anger, “and I won’t be nearly so patient next we meet.”