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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 69

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
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Roberto continued:

“Let’s be honest, what have we got to lose? Afterwards we’ll behave with total freedom... So why not know all the data? What do you think’”

“I’m not used to it, Roberto; don’t make me move too fast, I could fall and get hurt.”

“Shall I stop then? Is that what you want?”

“No, go on. Forgive me, Roberto: I get disturbed easily. I’m not ready to face these situations, but I don’t want to deceive you... Today I’m going to allow myself to act with total frankness. By not doing so before, I’ve isolated myself from the world, I’ve turned into an ice floe.”

“Don’t say that, Rocío, if you’re an ice floe, I’m a supernova.”

“That’s not true, I’ve lived wrongly. Years ago, I wouldn’t even have started this conversation... I wouldn’t have given myself permission to show my weaknesses and doubts. I gave my professional development priority above all else; I wanted to imitate my father, to be a renowned jurist, to be valued for myself. I left many things by the wayside... The best people, those who gave priority to the really important things, seemed strange to me. I was competing, getting ahead. The very few opportunities I had to love and enjoy true affection or to give it, I passed up... I thought I’d have others, but it wasn’t like that. Life offers you few chances to vibrate and feel deeply. You have to know how to make the most of them at the exact moment. I preferred to ‘look after myself’. It got out of hand, so much so that I grew armoured plating: now I don’t know how to get rid of it. You can’t imagine, Roberto, how much I regret it. How many things I could have learned! So many years had to go by for me to realise, it makes me want to cry... I don’t want to make the same mistakes, I need encouragement, don’t hold back, don’t let me withdraw...”

“It would be beautiful to help you, but I don’t want to be selfish with you, nor to confuse you. I don’t want to hide anything, in fact I’m not.”

“Don’t worry, Roberto. I know you’re in love with Alicia, don’t think I’m blind...”

“How can you be so sure I love her?”

“It looks like it to me, I don’t think I’m wrong...”

“And what do you suppose I feel for you, Rocío?”

“Affection, friendship, perhaps a little attraction, I don’t know... Why don’t you tell me? Aren’t we being honest with each other?”

“You’re right, I don’t know what I feel, but it’s lovely... In the beginning, when I’d just met you, I didn’t think about you very much. But as time went by, something strange started to happen to me, you began to invade my dreams... Not only that; before going to sleep, I felt the need to remember you, I conjured up a mental representation of you, I saw you talking to me, embracing me... But do you know what the strangest thing is?”

“No, what is it?” said Rocío, embarrassed but happy.

“I didn’t have sexual fantasies about you, it’s remarkable, this is what surprised me most of all. In my dreams I enjoyed your company, your presence... And that’s what it’s like in reality, it’s wonderful to be by your side, it fills my breast with emotions...”

She smiled a little sadly and said, “Thank you very much. It means you find me as attractive as an ironing board, it’s always comforting to know that one is sensual.”

“You’re wrong, I find you very attractive. If not, I wouldn’t feel as good with you, so motivated... You know what? The thing is I haven’t got enough confidence, I haven’t opened up, I’m still on guard, fearful. I’m shy, well, quite shy, especially with you, because I love you very much and you’re very important to me.”

“You hide your shyness well,” said Rocío.

“I swear I’m telling the truth,” he assured her.

“What do you swear on, God?”

“You don’t seem to believe me, Rocío, do you think I’m lying?”

“No, I believe you; it would be very silly of you to lie to me, there’s no need. I like what you say, but it scares me: I’m afraid of losing my balance. I’ve already told you, I’m not used to it, I’m like a teenager in this respect. I feel inexperienced. What experience I had, I’ve forgotten... As you see, I’m a lost case...”

“What do you mean by lose your balance? Fall in love?”

“Yes, and suffer. I tell you, I’m very scared, my emotional vacuum

is enormous. But on the other hand, by thinking that way, because of my fears, I stopped living. I don’t know what to do...”

“Rocío, I’m not going to pressurise you, although I’d like to.”

“And I’d like you to, although I’d suffer later on. But it will be worth it. I can’t stop living out of panic, I need a bit of calm in my soul: it’s absurd to want everything to be perfect.”

Give me your hand, Rocío, it’s warm. Contact with you is beautiful, I wanted it...”

Her hands reached out sweetly and tenderly. She surprised herself. She never thought that so soon, so unthinkably, she would get close to Roberto, but there she was, touching him, intimating with him. It wasn’t difficult to predict the near future, and it didn’t displease her...”

“Roberto, I’ve made up my mind, let’s give ourselves the gift of tonight, I’m no longer a little girl, I’ve lived a bit. Let’s think about nothing but the present, today. Let’s leave feelings of guilt and fear of hurting ourselves to one side, there’s no commitment. If you don’t feel ready to act this way, let everything finish now, you understand me, don’t you? I don’t want you to see me like a potential victim of yours, I insist, I’m a grown up. What would hurt me is something else, to go on being so cold; now I understand that life is something in permanent flux. The important thing in life is the journey, not the destination. The secret of happiness lies in each curve along the way, in the meanderings of the river, in the beautiful landscapes. Do you know what I’m doing now?”

“Tell me,” he said, caressing her with his gaze.

“I’m stopping at a bend in the path, without caring where or how the path ends. I’m ready to enjoy love, like I would be ready to enjoy birdsong, or the sound of rain. If the thunder stops, if everything goes quiet, I will be full of memories. That’s much better than a frozen soul; I became an ice woman because I didn’t want to suffer, I didn’t want to lower myself to the level of human being. I told you I was evolving, I thought about it a lot... Believe it or not; you helped me; ironically, so did Alicia... I wish I could be more like her.”

“Rocío, I want to kiss you on the lips.”

They kissed gently, enjoying surface contact which had repercussions in their most intimate fibres. Ten minutes later, they were outside. They had an urgent need for solitude. They reached Roberto’s house and went in without speaking. Rocío was almost paralysed, it was difficult for her to think that she was the protagonist in that love scene. She was a little frightened and embarrassed. After all, she hardly knew that man. When she realised that those thought froze her emotions, she decided to get rid of them; from now on she would only feel, she would follow her impulses...

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