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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 84

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapMar del Plata, Bosque Peralta Ramos
Sunday 4 March 1990

“It makes me said that you’re going, Rocío, I’m going to miss you... It’s been an exciting few days, unforgettable...”

“For me too, Roberto, but everything comes to an end, as you can see. I must get back to my routine... I want to tell you something, I’m not the same woman, thanks to you. I owe you a lot...”

“Are you joking? What do you owe me? After all you’ve done? Please! If not for you... You devoted a lot of time to me, you abandoned all your business, I could never repay you for that.”

“Don’t mention it, don’t prostitute what I did. I acted as I should, as I felt. I was very happy, it wasn’t like work for me, on the contrary. I was on my honeymoon, fighting for someone I love. I’ve felt like a woman, it allowed me to be one. I took off my lawyer’s disguise without tearing my skin... I was able to separate Doctor Bareilles from Rocío. And the fundamental thing is that I didn’t have to renounce either of them. Both are important, I see that clearly now.”

“They’re not only important, they’re also beautiful...And sensual, I can testify to that, dear.”

“Thank you, worshipper... Do you know what? I learned something else... The most important thing is to feel, without that nothing’s worthwhile... I’m going home, full of affection, humanised.”

“And what about us? What are we going to do now, Rocío? I’d like you to stay...”

“My love, think about it seriously. Do you think it would be for the best? Use reason... In your house, there’s a baby waiting for you, you can’t go on living like before, you’re going to have to adapt to a new life. Like it or not, you’re going to have to make a great effort to get used to it.”

“You’re frightened, aren’t you? Now I’m a man with complications.”

“Don’t be silly. We’ve only got a few minutes to talk, the plane will soon be here. Don’t ruin these moments by playing the victim, you’re not the victim, not at all... I admit I don’t see myself in the role of mum, it would be very difficult for me to adapt to life under those conditions. I’ve got my own life, my circle, my things, it’s like I’ve been resuscitated, I need oxygen... I don’t think it’s a good idea to close the doors now, I need to reflect, to plan my future freely, although I’ll miss you very much. I don’t know what I’ll do, that’s the truth. This doesn’t mean I’m spurning you just because you’ve got a little kiddie. That would be stupid on my part... No, it’s not that simple, I’m saying something else. I think we need time, you too...”

“What do you mean, Rocío? Explain yourself.”

“There’s no need, you know as well as I do. I’ve gotten to know you, Roberto. You’re a good man, easy to love, but you’ve got to find your way, you don’t know what your destiny is. You don’t even know how you’re going to face the challenge of raising your son, at your age...”

“Agustín again? Is that the problem?”

“No, dear, the problem isn’t only him, there’s Alicia as well. But even if she wasn’t there, I’d still need to think about it. Don’t be offended, I’m being honest: it’s one thing to have a passionate affair like ours, but it’s quite another to make a commitment. You’re too honourable, I’m going to tell you what’s happening to you...”

“Are you telepathic now?”

“I am where you’re concerned, dear, I’ve gotten to know you. Look, you’ve got a highly developed sense of responsibility. You feel under obligation because I helped you and, in a way, you love me. If you were to obey your intimate impulses, you would also ask me for time. You haven’t, because you’re afraid of hurting me... You didn’t think I deserved it, that the logical outcome was for you to declare your everlasting love. The truth is you’re full of doubts, am I wrong? Please, I ask for absolute sincerity, I’d be hurt if you lied. I ask you again, am I wrong?”

“No, I don’t think so... It’s not exactly like that, but it’s not far wrong, I’m not just thinking about you. To be honest, it’s a shame you’re going, you’re so wonderful... You’re right about one thing, I’m confused, kind of bewildered, I need to think. You have to understand, it’s difficult for me. Now I have to go home and look after a baby a few days old who, to cap it all, won’t have a mother. I don’t know what I’m going to do, I’ve forgotten how to behave.”

“Come on, Roberto, it’s not just because of that... Admit it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Come on, Roberto, I’m talking about Alicia.”

“Well, all right, I can’t deny it. Yes, I’m worried about her... No! I’m not worried! It’s different... I don’t know how to explain, it’s as if she was nearby all the time, as if she’d never gone away. I’d like to see her, I admit it...”

“You see, Roberto? We need some space now.”

“But, Rocío, I swear I love you! In a special way, it’s different from Alicia, but very beautiful. You’re so adorable, having you was a gift from life...”

“Your gift has to go, the plane will be leaving in a few minutes. Let’s not dramatise; perhaps this won’t be our last goodbye. I repeat that it annoys me that you consider me a victim, remember my words: what I did, I wanted to do, I’m a big girl. It’s been a very pleasant experience to free myself of my armoured plating, which you took off. Now I’m light, I face the world with more optimism and hope. The significant thing is this, Roberto: I feel full of new things... I don’t want to go cold again, even if we never see each other again...”

“Is that what you think? Is it? That we’ll never see each other again? That’s what you think, isn’t it, Rocío?”

“It’s difficult to answer you, I know I’m going to think about you all the time. But if we don’t see each other again, don’t think I’ll commit suicide. Is that clear? You follow your path, perhaps I’ll be on it, perhaps you’ll be on mine. But if not, I’ll feel just as well, I’ll know you’ve found happiness, I’ll look for mine.”

“You seem so distant, as if you were deliberately trying to freeze your emotions. Do you want to set me free?”

“What do you mean, I want to set you free? You’re round the bend...”

“No, my love, you’re giving me permission to clear up my ideas. You could have left without saying anything, but you’re a good woman, I’ve been fortunate to become intimate with you.”

“You’re dreaming, Roberto. What are you talking about? I’ve already told you I need time to be on my own as well.”

“I accept that, I know you’re indecisive, but beyond your doubts, you want me to define myself emotionally. And as always, you’re right... I’m going to speak frankly, I’m going to do what you say, I’ll think about it, I’ll try to get used to my new situation. Then I’ll see what direction I take... If I try to get back with you, it’ll be because Alicia no longer exists. If that happens, I hope you’ll be available. It won’t be so easy, now that you’ve learned to fly... Is that OK with you?”

“Yes, Roberto, I can’t compete with Alicia, and neither can I deliver myself completely. I think that if we get together, it should be without reservations, after keeping our distance for a bit. Neither you nor I can do it now. I have to make up for lost time, I’m going to search, to feel. I won’t stay locked up in a library, reading stupid, important things. I’m thirty-five years old, I’m no spring chicken.”

“It makes me happy to hear you say it. Let your dreams fly, someone will catch them. Knowing you, let me assure you that there’ll be lots of men trying to catch them. Don’t forget me too soon...”

“I’ll never forget you, Roberto, you know that perfectly well. What’s more, I’ll always be your friend, even if we never see each other again. If you need me, I’ll be there...”

“So will I.”

They were both tearful: this farewell could be the definitive one.

“I must go, dear, the flight’s leaving, I love you very much, take care.”

“Wait, don’t go, not yet... Give me a hug first, hold me tight...”

They embraced affectionately, then Rocío hurried away, as if she was fleeing something. She went quickly to the runway. The plane was waiting, her golden hair fluttered in the wind.

“She’s so beautiful,” thought Roberto, “will this image of Rocío be the last one?”

Translation: Peter Miller (© 2002)
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Copyright ©Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli, 1990
By the same author RSS
Date of publicationNovember 2002
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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