Dead Stars Summary by Paz Marquez Benitez

Alfredo Salazar – a man of love

The short story revolves around one man, Alfredo Salazar and the affairs of his heart. He is a man who believes in true love and hopes to find bliss in its wake. The first woman he falls in love with is Esperanza.

Their families are acquainted with each other and they thus they begin a passionate relationship. But soon it fades away when Alfredo comes across another woman, Julia, who becomes the object of his desire.

Esperanza and Alfredo have their engagement after three years of romance. Alfredo, a lawyer is a man who wants warmth and compassion but Esperanza is a strong-willed, impassionate and woman of principles.

His Love for Julia Salas

So when he comes across Julia Salas, sister-in-law of the Judge who is a friend of Alfredo’s father. He is strongly attracted to her. Julia is an enthusiastic and optimistic person. A woman of hope, dreams and desires.

On his visit with his father, he starts engaging in profound chats with Julia and starts getting attracted to her charm, wit and passion.  In his impassioned state, he does not even disclose the truth about his engagement to Esperanza.

In order to avoid the scrutiny of his fiancée, he starts keeping secrets from Esperanza too. One day he learns about Julia’s return to her hometown. His eyes are doomed with the fear of losing her and he decides to confess his guilt and true feelings to Julia.

His Lies are Exposed

After the Church’s function, he goes to meet her even though his fiancée is waiting for him to come to her. However, reaching to Julia, he realizes that she has already learned about his lies. She even wishes him best on his marriage to Esperanza and leaves him.

He gets a double blow when he returns home to Esperanza. She is talking to a friend about loyalty and faithfulness. Alfredo feels an urge to speak. He defends the cause of desire and choice over immorality.

This gets under the skin of Esperanza who declares that she knew about him and Julia. She encourages him to commit such immoral infidelity and cancel the wedding, all in pursuit of his heart’s content and lust. However, Alfredo surrenders to reason and sanity and the wedding goes ahead as planned.

He Meets Julia Again

As fate would have it, he is sent on some work duty to a place near Julia’s hometown. He cannot help resist the feeling of nostalgia and old lust for Julia. He finds an excuse and way to her place where he met her.

She is still single and he is forced to dream about a life with her instead of Esperanza. But soon he comes to know that something is not the same after all. Julia has changed and rather lost something now.

Maybe it is her beauty, wit, charm or even her passion, but she is a different woman. She is cold and aloof and does not extend the same warmth and affection to him anymore.

He is heartbroken and pensive and questions 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 is no more alive. He accepts the hard reality that anything that there may have been was there no more.

Further Reading

  1. Play quiz on Dead Stars
  2. Discussion on Dead Stars