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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 49

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapMar del Plata, Bosque Peralta Ramos
Friday, 29 December 1989

“Good morning, Doctor Bareilles...”

“Good morning, Roberto, please come in. Have you had breakfast? I’ve got some coffee ready, would you like a cup?”

“I’ll join you if you’re having one, thank you very much...”

They met in the same office as yesterday; on a small table, near the armchairs, a coffee pot steamed amiably. They had hardly sat down when three soft knocks on the door announced the entrance of Rocío Bareilles. Smiling affectionately, she flooded the room with benign light.

She is a beautiful woman who, at thirty-five years of age, conserves the brightness of youth, softly and delicately tempered by the passing of time. Her wavy blond hair shines with sunny and crystalline tones, coating it with sparkling golden nuances. Slim, five feet five tall, she walks with flexible confidence. Her penetrating gaze preserves the sweet fires of adolescent warmth. Correct and polite, the youthful informality of her clothes is fine enough to make her subtly distinguished. She is wearing a long sky-blue skirt made of lightweight denim, espadrilles and a lacy cotton blouse, both impeccably white. Around her neck is a plain silver necklace. This apparent touch of simplicity clearly reflects some facets of Rocío’s elaborate personality, but the substantial things are invisible. The sentiments that most move her hibernate in inaccessible corners of her soul; life is forcing her to slowly open her eyes, demolishing her rigid codes. She has now managed to understand that she is a victim of her prejudices, of her dogmatic, closed and religious education, but she is still rendered immobile by those incorporeal chains; she can’t help having her conduct conditioned by them. Away from the miseries of the world, part of her life has escaped her as if in a gust of wind. Although she values herself as a woman, individualist, reflexive and human, she feels emotionally isolated. In her yearning for cultural and professional improvement, she has strayed far from the pathways of love, hibernating and repressing her emotions. She establishes purely intellectual relationships which later seem empty to her. She is looking for something that she herself is unaware of, her soul is frozen. Incapable of letting herself become passionate, her ties are schematic, developed on the dialectical, technical or scientific plain. She acts efficiently, amiably, repressing her femininity, her seductive warmth, denying herself the opportunity to release her spirits, of being moved to the point of tears. She cannot surpass certain limits, although, privately, she would like to. In her day-to-day universe, she simply cannot vibrate emotionally, she cannot blush or become emotional. It has been almost a decade since she trembled with excitement for a man, sometimes she asks herself if it’s like that just because she hasn’t found the right person. She begs that it isn’t a personality defect.

“Is it that difficult to fall in love?” Rocío sometimes asks herself.

She doesn’t want to live without love, she needs it. Frequently, when she’s alone, the ungovernable forces that sleep inside her flower with the violence of a tempest. They asphyxiate and confuse her, accelerating her heartbeats. She feels as if a crazy and exciting spirit was circling her with the aim of possessing her. On those occasions she is invaded by a limitless passion, a desire unleashed with no target, like a misty feeling that someone seductive and incomprehensible is gazing at her from the shadows. When she mixes socially, that interior cosmos disappears. She hides it, disguising it with diplomatic manners and polished diligence. This disquieting duality has been torturing her for almost ten years, only a little at first, discontinuously and briefly . But then, these experiences became more and more assiduous and prolonged. She doesn’t want to be free of them; when all is said and done, they are the only experiences that make her feel like a real woman. When she makes incursions into those veiled and stimulating territories, each one of her cells is hungry, alive, intoxicated by an irresistible ancestral calling.

Rocío showed signs of the impact of meeting Burán personally. She had read the long letter he had sent and talked about him with her father. She was before a man who had savoured the pleasures of life and suffered its blows. Burán was not afraid of getting burned in the fires of passion, he didn’t care about ridicule, or running the risk of making a mistake. Rocío knew enough about Roberto’s career to know that he couldn’t stand mediocrity. The beautiful lawyer was especially impressed by the story of Alicia. She asked herself what she was like, how she had lived that brief and passionate romance with Burán; if she had been happy, if she had betrayed him, if she had pretended, self-interestedly, not to be bothered by the age difference. Secretly, she felt a mixture of envy and admiration for Alicia Sandrelli.

“Had she really loved Burán? Did she love him still?” Rocío asked herself.

Alicia had been able to offer herself unconditionally, without worrying about obstacles which would have been insuperable for others. She agreed to go to bed with a stranger to help her sister and, in the end, she didn’t hesitate to tell her lover the whole truth. She didn’t know why she was inclined to believe the version of that charming young girl. On the other hand, she told herself she lacked the courage of Alicia, her firmness of character, so necessary to fully exercise her liberty to love, to enjoy sex, to feel a woman. The epistolary tale of Roberto had entrapped her, she was immediately interested in the case. When her father asked her if she wanted to take it on, she didn’t hesitate for a moment; then, when she started to study the problem from the legal angle, she understood that she had become involved in a difficult, complicated matter.

Before the awaited presence of Rocío, a lukewarm enthusiasm, a barely perceived sensation, ticklish and indecipherable, made Roberto shudder slightly. He had imagined her like that, attractive, restless, sparkling, enigmatic. His future was unavoidably tied to that woman; his happiness would partly depend on her astuteness, her determination. Inexplicably, the physical and spiritual proximity of Rocío had affected his mood, energising him positively. He couldn’t deny it, he liked her...

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