Julia, meanwhile, is now waxing her legs with her sisters, while they all discuss Alma’s love life.
Back at Mariana’s, Hernan tries to win Mariana over by offering her some coconut treats she used to like as a little girl, but she says she doesn’t remember that and doesn’t remember him. He asks if she has a boyfriend and she says no. Hernan says he just wants her to listen to his version of things.
Mariana tells him that she’s got no interest in listening to him give excuses for having abandoned her for twenty years. And asks him to leave her house.
At Casa Aparicio, the Aparicio sisters are now putting on face masks and talking about Juila’s love life.
Alma: But you and Mariana kissed, no?
Julia: Yes. And that’s what I’m saying. That now the only logical next step is for us to sleep together so I can figure out if I’m gay.
Alma: But you just know those things, Julia.
Mercedes: Not necessarily. There’s people that are 40-years-old and still don’t know they’re gay. I just think you’re confused, Julia.
Alma: Or, you’re bisexual. Because you’re not going to tell me that your sexual attraction for Armando was just you acting.
Julia: Of course not.
Alma: Well, there you go.
Julia: No, I really, really like Armando. In fact, whenever I see him, I want him. I do like men. It’s just that this thing with Mariana is different. It’s more like … how do I explain it … it’s like a spiritual attraction. Intellectual. Like an emotional inclination. Do you understand? Only, I’m not going to deny that the other day when we were kissing if she hadn’t stopped me I would’ve kept going because I was really liking it. Is that bad?
Mercedes: No. At least you’re honest with yourself. Now, why did Mariana stop it?
Julia: Well, because she said she’s tired of me always doing the same thing. And she doesn’t want to get hurt and she’s worried that I’m going to say yes and then I’m going to say no.
Mercedes: What did Rafaela used to say? “If you’re not happy, then do something about it.”
Mariana is certainly not happy. Hernan hasn’t left yet and tells her he doesn’t have the funds to even get him to a hotel and asks if she has some money she can lend him. Asking for money is totally the way to win over the daughter you abandoned for twenty years. Thumbs up, Hernan. But Mariana has a lot of complex feelings and part of those complex feelings involve wanting him there, even if she doesn’t want to admit it, so she tells him he can crash on the couch.
The next day, over breakfast, Hernan tries to break the ice by opening up about himself but Mariana cuts him short and tells him she doesn’t have time for that and that she’s going to go shower. She tries to soften the blow by offering to leave him a towel in the bathroom.
While Mariana is in the shower, Rafaela calls and leaves a message on the answering machine, which Hernan overhears. “This is Rafaela Aparicio,” Rafaela says, in case Mariana has suffered some kind of blunt force trauma to the head and can’t recognize familiar voices anymore. And because Mexico is the size of a pea, apparently, it turns out that Hernan and Rafaela know each other. Recognizing the name, he picks up the phone. It so happens that the two of them knew each other when they were kids. How serendipitous! Hernan tells Rafaela that he’s Mariana’s father and that he’s having a really hard time getting Mariana to listen to him, what with her still being upset about him abandoning her and everything. Rafaela decides to do what Rafaela knows how to do best: meddle. So she invites Hernan and Mariana over for lunch.
Mariana is pretty upset when Hernan tells her that Rafaela invited them both over but of course Mariana would never dream of being rude to Rafaela, especially with how much Rafaela has done for her, so she ends up going.
Over at the Aparicio kitchen, Rafaela is practically glowing about this sudden turn of events. Julia seems to be the only one that thinks that Hernan coming back is a bad thing and that they’re being really insensitive to Mariana for being happy that he’s returned. But Aurelia and Rafaela are tickled by the fact that the little boy they knew as kids is Mariana’s father. And though Julia protests their meddling, Rafaela thinks that he should get the chance to explain himself before everyone crucifies him.
When Mariana and Hernan arrive, Julia excuses herself and takes Mariana with her to the kitchen where the two of them proceed to rant about Hernan coming back. Julia is completely on Mariana’s side on the matter. Mariana admits that she’s got a billion questions for her father but that she doesn’t want to hear any of the answers.
Lunch turns out to be a huge disaster, what with Mariana and Julia shooting off sarcastic comments at Hernan and Rafaela telling them to stop being rude and Hernan trying to smile through it all. In the end, Mariana ends up exploding and telling Hernan to please disappear from her life. Mariana leaves and Julia goes after her. Rafaela tells Hernan to give her time.
Over at Mariana’s, Julia looks at the baby picture Hernan left.
Julia: I do have to agree with Hernan on one thing…
Julia: That you look just as strong and free and beautiful. Look! Look how beautiful!
And despite all the drama, we end on a high note:
I’m not sure how they got from acting like nothing had happened, to Mariana not wanting to see Julia, to kissing and snuggling on the terrace, but I’m not going to complain, either. Nope.
Ingrid Díaz is the author of Alix & Valerie, a
professional blogger and non-recovering coffee addict. In her college
days, she was a purple-haired LGBT rights activist. These days, she
aims to change the world one lesbian love story at a time. You can read
some of her work at www.midnightisland.com.