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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 20

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapMar del Plata, Bosque Peralta Ramos

On some occasions he had questioned himself on this point, especially during the night when his senses reminded him that his repressed virility was lying in wait. He believed in God, he had delivered himself to Him and was prepared to fulfil the mission which had supposedly been entrusted to him on this earth. He had come from his native Spain to raise crosses in Latin America; he fell madly in love with Argentina as soon as he arrived and he had decided to die here. Now he had before him the lamentable scene represented by the pregnant girl, bathed in tears, weighed down with suicidal thoughts. He let his indoctrinated spirit flow freely, searching for ideas that were stuck in him like invisible tent pegs...

“My child, you have a gift from God in your belly, a wonderful miracle which you should be thankful to Him for. Life is sacred, it comes from God, only He is allowed to take it away. We have no right to question these principles, my child, you must accept it as it is. With time, all your sorrow will dissipate, you will get over this difficult time. I’m sure that in the future you’ll look at your child and be amazed that you didn’t want to have it. Think about that.”

The girl listened in anguish to the words of the priest; they showed her that she was inexorably lost, her life could never be the same again.

“Goodbye to my dreams,” the girl thought, “nobody will love me, I won’t be able to get married in white as I’d dreamed. I’ll be treated as a leper, or like a loose woman. They’ll think I’ve slept with lots of boys, that I’m crazy, a whore, I don’t feel mature yet! I won’t be able to bear such a brutal change. God, why don’t you help me?”

When she realised that the priest was watching her in her deliberations, the girl said,

“But Father, you must give me some solution, if I have a child my life will be ruined. Dad has already had three heart attacks, he’ll die if he finds out, it would be as if I’d killed him with my own hands. I’ll kill myself rather than have a baby, I can’t accept the idea of being a mother, not yet! I need you understanding, Father, your help.”

Mabel went on sobbing disconsolately; she was on the verge of a complete breakdown, her senses could not go on assimilating that atrocious reality which annihilated everything she had imagined for herself. Her suffering was too intense, she could not go on living like that, she needed to get away from that truth, no matter how. The priest was not unaware of the girl’s collapse, he tried to comfort her.

“What’s your name, little one?”

“Ma...bel,” she answered, her voice choked with tears.

“Well, girl, calm down,” the confessor went on, “think that it’s the Creator who has breathed life into you. You have no right to meddle, I repeat, it’s sacred. Even your own existence demands the creative action of God. Those who stray from that which He has established, not only offend the Divine Majesty, but also degrade themselves and the whole of humanity.”

Tomás was pleased with himself for remembering so accurately the ancient words of John XXIII.

“Think of that being that lives inside you, how could you kill that innocent creature? Remember the holy commandment: ‘thou shalt not kill’; nature itself which clamours in the same way.”

“But Father, you don’t understand me, I can’t stand this! I’d sooner die than to waste my life like this, don’t you realise? What am I going to tell my friends, my parents? How could I go back to school? I’d have to leave. No! I’ll kill myself! I’ll do anything!”

“Tell me, girl, why didn’t you think of it before? How did you get into this situation? You must be responsible for your acts... You should have foreseen it. Now you have a life to worry about, the purest, the most wonderful thing. Have you thought that this creature is growing inside you, independently? This being is the carrier of a message of love, it’s defenceless, out in the open, nobody is obliged to protect it as you are. It doesn’t matter what you want, it doesn’t matter what you suffer. This little child is real, it’s already with us, to kill it would be a vile murder, there are no arguments to make it acceptable. Can’t you imagine how that being would suffer if it were torn out, destroyed in the womb? Can’t you imagine the pain it would suffer? How can you even think about it? Don’t do it, my child, or you’ll regret it until your dying day. Life is what sets us apart, what makes us privileged and makes us superior to simple things. That baby which is growing inside you deserves to live.”

“In time it’ll be a person like you, who also has the right to love, to grow, to become an individual illuminated by God. It’s not his fault, he didn’t ask to come into this world, you’re responsible. You should assume the commitment you have undertaken with God and accept the consequences of not having followed his teachings. Before thinking about murder, it’s your duty to consider the possibility of giving your baby away in adoption, of giving him to a good family which offers him a future. Nobody’s forcing you to raise him; but what you can’t do is kill him. Don’t even think about it, it’s punishable by the law of God and also by the law of men. In our country, those who commit abortions are criminals.”

“I couldn’t give my child away, Father,” said Mabel, hiding her face in her hands.

“You must be able to! Do you think you can do whatever you want to? It’s your obligation to have the baby! This is what happens to young people for reading dangerous things, for not praying, for not desiring or loving penitence. Bad things like the one you’re suffering are the fruit of so many obscene spectacles, improper conversations, the continual opportunities for sin to which teenagers are exposed. My child, you haven’t paid attention to the advice of the church, nor embarked on the battle against sensuality with the proper degree of force. It amazes me to see that free sex education is still preached. They want to spread it in schools as if it was a magic solution... They want to give preventative instruction to young people and they don’t realise that they’re being prematurely exposed to dangerous situations. Here you have the result, look what’s happening to you.”

Mabel raised her dislocated face and with a gesture that expressed her failure to understand anything, replied:

“But, Father, no one ever taught me anything... I had no idea what sex was, I hardly have any idea now. I’m learning everything on the job, through necessity. I didn’t know what I was doing, nor what consequences it could have.”

“But, little one, how did you get into this situation? Who is the father of the child?”

Translation: Peter Miller (© 2002)
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Copyright ©Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli, 1990
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Date of publicationJune 2002
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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