As I am in the rush and worry of preparing to leave Brazil for a month, I stop by the office at school to talk with the superintendent’s assistant. I ask her about how to pay my bills, and she offers to stop by my apartment while I’m gone, pick up the bills, and pay them using my checks that I’ll give her. Very, very nice.
While standing there talking with her and the elementary school secretary, we start talking about New Zealand. The elementary school secretary asks why I’m going, and I explain that I’m going to visit my boyfriend. “Oh! You have a boyfriend there!” I laugh and smile and generally begin radiating ultra-violet light from my pores at the thought of seeing Dennis so soon.
“You have saudade for him, don’t you?” she asks. (“Saudade” is this beautiful Portuguese word that means something like “longing”.) When I reply in the affirmative, by holding my hand against my heart and making some kind of noise resembling a whimper, they all laugh. I tell them again how excited I am to be leaving, and I wave myself out the door.
“Gina!” calls out the superintendent’s assistant. I turn around and head back toward her. She stands in the doorway and makes a movement with her arm over her belly, as if it were much larger than it really is. “Don’t come back pregnant.” I hear peals of laughter in the background.