In memory of my Aunt Cambacha

A few days ahead, a large package came for me. Yellow cloth -- soft, vaporous -- and the card. It resembled a mirror and had appliques of silk flowers over it, and phrases that carried from far away all the love and tenderness from my favorite aunt.

In the middle of so many piles of fabric to cut and fashion, she remembered me and went out to look for something that would "look like" me, with a color that "went with" my skin and my hair. She wanted to give me joy in that day in which she would have liked to have been near me and to have made me a dress filled with appliques and flowers, a dress that, years later, we dreamed of doing together for another occasion which we would never be able to give while she still lived.

I saved that cloth in the same gift wrap for a year, and I didn't make the dress she was wanting me to make. There was no party and no invitees. I was far from the people I loved.

At school, the girls brought a cake with raisins and sodas so we could celebrate together, and with the money they had collected, they bought me a beautiful pullover that had the colors of my flag and two records. One of Serrat singing to Machado ... "Al olmo viejo / hendido por el rayo / un musgo amarillento / le lame la corteza blanquecina / al tronco carcomido / y polvoriento ..." and another with the theme of "Historia de amor."

Mama bought a tiny rose-colored cake, covered with little flowers, with a ballerina en pointe, dressed in white tulle. The three of us ate it -- Aunt Reina and I, and we toasted each other with a bit of joy and another of sadness for our solitude.

Between other things, the two gave me an immense jar of dulce de leche, which had been my special request. With that, I gave up all the desires accumulated from my infancy that died on that day.

It was my 15th birthday.