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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 27

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapMar del Plata, Bosque Peralta Ramos
Saturday 17th June 1989

“Alicia! What a nice surprise! I thought I’d never see you again... Did you get the letter I sent you? I hope you weren’t angry. I sent it because there was no other way of making contact with you. I didn’t feel like turning up at your house; I know your parents wouldn’t have liked an older man to be calling for you.”

Roberto received Alicia at his practice. He hadn’t seen her for more than a month. Her absence had left a bitter taste because the girl had made a big impression on him. When he got the message that she didn’t want to see him, he was saddened, but now she had returned without warning.

“Yes, Roberto, I got your letter, I’m sorry I didn’t get in touch with you, I couldn’t make my mind up, although I wanted to phone you.”

“And why didn’t you, Alicia? I was waiting for you, you know that...”

She couldn’t tell him the truth, that Álvez had forbidden her, that he had threatened her, putting pressure on her never to see him again. She opted to use obvious arguments that also contained a great deal of truth.

“Look, Roberto, understand me, I’m twenty-five, I felt very intimidated. You’re a complete man, you’ve got a lot of experience, next to you I don’t feel like much.”

“What are you saying, dear! What can I say then? I thought you considered me an undesirable wash-up. It was difficult to accept that fact, but I had to acknowledge that it’s absolutely logical. I understand why you’ve had doubts, it couldn’t be any other way.”

“It wasn’t how you think, I wanted to see you, but I was sort of scared... It happened too quickly between us, I suppose you can’t have a very good image of me, you’ll think I’m an easy woman, I can assure you that’s not the case.”

“I haven’t thought that, I’ve simply remembered you, you made me very happy. I wanted to do it again, that’s all. It never occurred to me to criticise you, that’s not my place, I’m very happy you’ve come... Tell me, Alicia, what made you change your mind? Why do you want to see me now and not before?”

“Time, Roberto, I can see things more clearly. At first I thought I’d get over it in a few days, then I had to accept that I still missed you. What’s more, it seemed very inconsiderate to disappear like that; you were good to me, you deserved a reply, an explanation.”

“Is that all you want, to give me an explanation?”

“Don’t be like that, Roberto,” said Alicia, blushing, “you make me feel uncomfortable. This isn’t easy for me. Are you angry with me?”

“All right, I’m sorry, I’ve no right to demand anything from you. The thing is, I fell for you. It’s common for men of my age to fall for tender and beautiful girls like you. Would you like to go out for dinner? We could talk more peacefully, no strings attached, of course.”

“That’s what I’d like, to talk to you, I like it very much, it does me good. Are you sure there’s no problem?”

“None, Alicia, it’s just that I’m going to try not to get my hopes up, you’re bound to disappear again.”

“I’m not thinking of disappearing, Roberto, unless you ask me to.”

“I can’t imagine doing that, girl, I like you too much...”

“Only until you get to know me; then you’ll see that I’m an unattractive woman, I haven’t even got any political ideology.”

“Do you think that’s a bad thing? For me, it’s a sign of intelligence.”

“I don’t understand, Roberto, why do you say that?”

“Very simple, dear. Didn’t you know that ideologies are the work of impostors? Tell me, wouldn’t it have been easier to take on that of your parents? Or somebody else’s? These categorical doctrines that swarm about all over the place are successful because they make it unnecessary to think. Mediocre people learn them by heart and recite them, without daring to argue with them. They don’t even worry about understanding them. When they want to win an argument, they simply bellow that what they state, was postulated before by Marx, or Perón, or whatever leader. Mediocrity does not offer any answers; intelligence does, it argues, fights, debates, denies, criticises. As you can see, a lack of ideologies is not a fault; it can even ennoble you.”

“You’re wrong, Roberto, you’re trying to flatter me. I haven’t got my own ideas, or other peoples. I’m a disaster, I’m not equipped to have an opinion about anything.”

“That’s not what you’re showing me now, look how you’re analysing the situation. You’re brave enough to censure yourself, you’re looking for the truth. To not have a set conception about some subjects could show responsibility. When you’re learning, it’s natural not to have taken up a position. That’s how it should be in the majority of cases, we ought to question everything. You don’t blend in out of fear, you’ve got your own personality, full of sweetness. You’re not polluted by society, not in the fundamental things. You face circumstances with your own viewpoint, you don’t ask anyone to lend you their ideas. What matters is your tenderness, your feelings, your goodness. I believe in it, I sense it. Can I give you a hug? I’m very anxious to feel you close to me.”

They embraced affectionately and he kissed her neck delicately.

“Welcome, Alicia,” murmured Roberto in the young girl’s ear.

Translation: Peter Miller (© 2002)
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Copyright ©Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli, 1990
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Date of publicationJuly 2002
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