Now I am going to confess to you my innermost secret.
I might have looked for another way of doing it: Trying to locate your telephone number, looking for you at one of your conferences or book presentations, meeting you and telling you face to face. But I have always felt incapable, I believe that I would not be able to bear it. Perhaps I am still a cowardly woman.
Today it is December 25th, your birthday; I do not know if you know it. Forty four years have already passed since that day. I have always imagined you on the day of your birthday: when you learned to walk, your first stammers and words, when I took you to school… Time cures all wounds, so they say. But the scar of having abandoned you has never stopped causing me pain, on this, of all days.
The worst thing has been to live concealing this pain. A pain that, like a ghost, has haunted me. Next to him, the guilt and shame.
At this stage I do not want to fall into sentimentalisms, and it would be worthless anyway. I am not going to redeem myself in front of you with this confession. But deep inside, something shouts at me that I have to tell you.
I want you to know that I was just sixteen. No, don’t think that I want to justify myself, excuses would be worth nothing, it would be stupid. I can only say that the situation overtook me. Difficult days they were, and your father… your father wanted to know nothing about it, he disappeared. I never heard from him again. I do not accuse him, not to anyone. If there is anyone to be accussed, that one is me.
With the years, one learns to forgive almost everything, so they say, but it is difficult to excuse myself. And, although I would like it that way, I don’t know if you would be able to forgive me.
To the ‘whys’ you ask I would not be able to give good answers, I have never found them myself.
Conscience keeps gnawing at me when I read in your books: born the 5th of January. If I could only go back!
Fortunately you are all right; this should comfort me. You are a well known and respected writer. I’ve read your novels, and I should tell you that I like Fraser very much. He is a lovely explorer, fragile and strong at the same time, a character that manages to make fun of his setbacks and to come out of everything a winner. Are you the one that stands behind, Jorge? I am delighted with the great imagination that you have, how you create those so extraordinary worlds with such unexpected situations.
I kept track of you. And you cannot imagine the awe that I felt when I saw you in that television interview. Your words, your gestures, your face… I must thank God for your success.
I am also all right. I live with Juan, my husband. We don’t have children. The truth is I was the one that never wanted to. “Am I fit to be a mother?”, I asked myself. “No, I was already a mother. I am a mother without a son”, I answered. And in that way life was passing by. I met Juan more or less when I was the age that you are now, when my rejection toward men was already disappearing. The fear of becoming pregnant also disappeared when Juan, fearful of my rejection, confessed to me that he was sterile. I looked him in the eye, fixedly, I embraced him and, almost crying, I said to him that the important thing is our love. He never knew my secret, nor that his confession soothed me deeply, and made me decide to join my life to his.
So, Jorge, next month I will be sixty years old, and at this age one comes into question how much life is left. So here you have my secret. I want you to keep it, to understand it as a token of the love I have always felt for you.
Sonia, your biological mother.