The short story revolves around one man, Alfredo Salazar and his affairs of the heart. He is a man who believes in true love and hopes to find bliss in its wake. The first woman he fall head over heels in love with is Esperenza. Their families are acquainted with each other and they embarked on a fervid relationship. But soon it dwindled as Alfredo came across another woman, Julia, who became the object of his desire.
Esperenza and Alfredo had their engagement after three years of romance.
Alfredo, a lawyer was a man who wanted warmth and compassion but Esperenza was strong willed, impassionate and formulaic woman. So when he came across Julia Salias, sister-in-law of the Judge who Alfredo’s father was friends with, he was smitten. Julia was an effervescent and optimistic person. A woman of hope, dreams and desires. On his visit with his father, he started engaging in profound chats with Julia and started getting attracted to her charm, wit and passion.
In his impassioned state he did not even disclose the truth about his engagement to Esperenza.
In order to avoid the scrutiny of his fianc?e, he started keeping secrets from Esperenza too. One day he learned about Julia’s return to her hometown. The moment of reckoning stared Alfredo in the eyes and he decided to confess his guilt and true feelings to Julia. After the Church’s function, he went to meet her even though his fianc?e was waiting for him to come to her.
However, when he reached Julia, he realized that she had already learned about his lies. She even wished her best on her marriage to Esperenza and left him. He got a double blow when he returned home to Esperenza. She was talking to a friend about loyalty and faithfulness. Alfredo felt an urge to speak. He defended the cause of desire and choice over unscrupulous conduct and unfealty. This got under the skin of Esperenza who declared that she knew about him and Julia. She exhorted him to commit such immoral infidelity and cancel the wedding, all in pursuit of his heart’s content and lust.
However, Alfredo surrendered to reason and sanity and the wedding went ahead as planned. As fate would have it, he was sent on some work duty to a place near Julia’s hometown. He could not help resist the feeling of nostalgia and old lust for Julia. He found an excuse and way to her place where he met her. She was still a spinster and he was forced to dream about a life with her instead of Esperenza. But it soon dawned on him that something was not the same after all. Julia had changed and rather lost something now. Maybe it was her beauty, wit, charm or even her passion, but she was a different woman. She was cold and aloof and did not extend the same warmth and affection to him anymore.
He was heartbroken and pensive and questioned whether he ever loved her truly. Was it all a futile infatuation or mere affair? Was the romance they shared, just a figment of his imagination? Whatever it was, he was no more alive. He accepted the hard reality that anything that there may have been was there no more.