La fuente de oro 6 (Page 228-400)

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SPOILERS!!!

I feel so sorry for Lele!!! Her life has changed so much and to all appearances she now has everything, but deep down she has nothing.

Everything started to happen when Beltran realised that Lele worked for him. The first thing he does is to wait for her outside the bottling plant in his car, so when it is clear that he is waiting for her, Lele, pushed by her co-workers, go into the car. It is strange that she doesn’t even ask what he wants. Beltrán takes her to a café where they have some hot chocolate, and then she drives her home. It is before leaving that Beltrán kisses her for the first time, but he doesn’t push her to do anything else. Yet, Lele knows that if he had asked her for more, she would have given it to him.

Racked by guilt, the next day when she sees Antonio, she decides she wants to give him what she was ready to give Beltrán. So she asks him to rent a room for the two of them. However, when they are naked and together in bed, Lele realises that when she kisses Antonio, the only face she sees is that of Beltrán. So they stop and Antonio is tender with her and understanding, which makes Lele feel even worse.

Lele doesn’t see Beltrán in days, and then after those days the man in charge of the bottling plant asks her to follow him in the middle of the working day. Beltrán’s car is waiting and like the other time she gets into the car. This time Beltrán takes her to a fashion shop where the woman makes her a lovely dress in just a few hours, gives her new shoes, and even does her hair. When Beltrán sees her, he is flabbergasted by how beautiful she is. Then she takes her to the horse races, and when he bets money she would only earn in six months, she is totally astonished. He loses the first bet, but then he wins the second and gives Lele half, which she first refuses. Then she takes her to his house, and it is there where he kisses her, and she responds to the kiss, but during the kiss she realises what she is doing and she takes a step backwards, and leaves.

The following days Lele refuses to see Beltrán even when he is waiting for her at the end of the day. However, the Second Republic is proclaimed, which is a turning point in Lele’s life. With the republic the extreme supporters of a revolution start burning churches in the town. One of those hot-headed men is Antonio, who is later arrested. When Lele learns about his arrest, she fears for him, and she hears that those who have been apprehended will be sent to prison for a bunch of years. She knows that this will mean his death, so she goes to the person who can save him, Beltrán. She knows what she is offering when he asks for his help, and Beltrán talks to the police superintendent, asking him to release Antonio. The superintendent assures him that Antonio will be free tomorrow, and when Beltrán goes, the man tells himself that he doesn’t believe what the younger man has told him. So he asks one of his officers to bring the officer, and after he questions what he has to do with the wineries of Beltrán de la Cueva, Antonio only says that his girlfriend works there, and when the superintendent sees the photograph of the woman, the superintendent is crude in his comments and has no problem in telling Antonio that his girlfriend has slept with Beltrán de la Cueva for his release.

That is what happens when Lele goes to Beltrán’s house, but she could have stopped things there because Beltrán never forces her. Yet, she finally makes love to him because deep down she knows that if not today, this is what will eventually have happened. This is the love that she had always dreamt of, the love that her mother used to describe as an unstoppable force. This is the beginning of a life that she actually never dreamt of. So when she goes with Antonio’s family to welcome him after being release, Lele hugs her, and very quietly Antonio calls her whore a couple of times, and this is the end for them.

A few years pass, and it is 1934. Lele has been Beltrán’s mistress for years, and her life has changed totally. She now has money thanks to her lover, a house of her own, a car she drives herself, and even a perfumery she now runs. Yet, she has lost so much. It is clear she is not the naive she used to be. She now wears make-up, drinks, and smokes, and she has lost so much. She had to leave her family because her relationship with Beltrán was naturally a conflicting point, and living with her parents turned out to be impossible. She still sees her mother and her siblings, whose education she is paying for, but she hasn’t seen or talked to her father in years. She has no friends either as everybody knows what she is now, and she has even lost her religion as the last times she went to mass she saw the scorn in the people in church. So she has lost everything for the man she loves. This could be a very romantic notion, but I think Lele’s love for Beltrán is not healthy, especially as he hasn’t lost anything. His life is like usual. He married his girlfriend, Sonsoles, and they have a baby girl, Sonsolitas. Beltrán is quite selfish, and I don’t like her at all. His love for Lele is not real, in my opinion. For him Lele is just one of his possessions, like a little bird in a golden cage. She is like her slave, and the only thing that he has to do is give her money and possession he has plenty of. What about Lele’s future? What expects her? I imagine that she would like to have a family, a husband like all women at the time wanted, and Beltrán is just sucking all her life without giving her anything but what he has in excess.

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