Meeting Mr. Rafael De Avila

Suddenly, the door of our sixth grade classroom at my private school Internado Franco Ingles opened and a young lady, the Principal’s secretary, said in a firm voice “Senorita Virginia Garcia Ornelas, se Ie requiere en la Direccion”, Miss Virginia Garcia Ornelas, you are required at the Principal’s Office. I was surprised and so was my teacher, because at eleven years old, I was a good and quiet student.

I got up from my desk, and asked my teacher’s permission to leave the classroom.  “Go ahead Virginia”, she said with a smile.

Silently I followed the secretary through the long corridor taking a look at my navy blue uniform. Everything seems to be O.K. My collar, my cuffs and my belt were white, clean and ironed as my grandma ironed and starched, every single day. My black shoes were polished by my dad, my nails were clean and my hair was perfectly combed and in braids. I also finished my small embroidered tablecloth for Mother’s Day, so what could be the problem?

As we arrived at the Principal’s office, I saw the back of a woman seated in front of her desk. As soon as I entered the room, she turned her face and I recognized the woman. She was my “aunt” Maria Luisa, my real mother. Even if I did not like her, I could appreciate how pretty and elegantly dressed she was.

Getting up from the chair, she thanked the Principal.

“Me dio mucho gusto conocer a tu Mama, Virginia. It was very nice to meet your mother Virginia.” My mother, I thought … Only my Grandma and my Dad come to my school… “You can go, Virginia.  I will see you tomorrow.”

Taking me by my hand, Maria Luisa said “Let’s go Chatita”.

“Where are you taking me?” I asked.

Turning her head towards me, with a smile, she replied. “I have a wonderful surprise for you.  You will see”.

I did not like what she was saying, but I followed her through the school yard into the entrance gate.

“Does my Grandma know that you were taking me out of my school?” I asked.

“Well” Maria Luisa said, “No, not really”, but at that moment the taxi arrived and we left.

It was a rather cold day, we traveled through the Colonia Santa Maria to downtown, Mexico City. I was enjoying the trip, but I was worried about my Grandma.

Once more, inside the Taxi I asked her, “Did you tell my Grandma you were going to pick me up?”

She did not answer, just smiled. Maria Luisa was always flirting, even when nobody was around.

The taxi stopped in front of a toll building.  She paid the taxi driver and we entered. Taking one of the elevators we arrived to the tenth floor. I read De Avila Engineering Firm posted at the entrance. All the personnel looked very busy. Men and some women working with big drawing boards, with bright lights, with large, very large, papers.

“What are we doing here?” Once more I asked her.

“Don’t be so anxious, it is going to be a very good surprise for you.”

We entered into one of the big offices, where a large leather brown couch and a table with fresh flowers and a glass jar with candy impressed me. After talking to one of the young secretaries Maria Luisa opened a door of one of the offices.

“Pueden ustedes entrar”, you may come in, said the secretary.

The door opened and a tall, nice looking man, in his late thirties, wearing a white shirt and a tie,was at his desk. As soon as we entered, he immediately stood up saying “Well, this is quite a surprise Maria Luisa” giving her a hug.  He turned to me…

Suddenly from Maria Luisa’s mouth, came out these words “Chatita” (my nick name) “this is Rafael De Avila, your real father.”

I was in shock.  I did not like what I was seeing, I was angry at Maria Luisa. I already have a father.  Florentino is my Dad. “He is your brother.” I said to her. I was in complete shock.

Taking my hands into his long fingers, the man said “You are so precious. May I give you a hug?” he asked.

He hugged me and I could smell his cologne. Looking at him, I saw some tears coming out of his green eyes. I stood still. I was so surprised, but more than that, I was hurt. I have my own Dad who I love so much, and he loves me a lot too. I don’t need another father.

The man, holding my hands, said “Chatita, I want you to remember what I am going to say to you. I wanted to marry Maria Luisa. I loved her very much, but she rejected me” and looking at her he said “She did not love me enough, so she married Angel.”

Looking into my eyes, and still holding my hands, he said “Also I want you to know that I have been in touch with your father, Florentino, all these years, who often sent me your pictures.”

Well, Maria Luisa said, flirting “We better go.”

“Yes, thank you so much for bringing Chatita to me. Hope to see you again.”

We left.  I was mad, mad at Maria Luisa. Why is she doing this to me?

On our way home, I keep silent, not a word, but as soon as I arrived home and my Dad arrived from work, I hugged him, kissed him many times and thanked God that he was my real Dad.

by Virginia G. Rafelson

Select all Writings of Virginia G. Rafelson

Select Biography of  Virginia G. Rafelson

One thought on “Meeting Mr. Rafael De Avila

  1. Charming story -so well written. I especially like the Latin flavor and how the author was able to use foreign expressions and manage to include the english translation so smoothly . I’m curious and would like to know more about this story and the different characters.

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