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After having faked his own death, Rudolph Valentino returns to Anna.Having forsaken fame and fortune, he has assumed a new identity in order to live freely with the woman he loves, unfettered by time and space.A country house, a child in the works... It all seems so perfect.But how did Rudolph take Anna back in time? What is the mystery behind their love story?It begins again, veiled in mystery and a pinch of joy...Life or death, fantasy or reality.The actor takes on the role of the common man.Lost in time, Rudolph Valentino and Anna plunge into adventure with an agility worthy of the best acrobats.The common denominator is, as always, love.Anna and Rudolph, whether they are in the roaring twenties, the present or the future, continue their adventure beyond time and space, clutching onto that wanderlust that characterizes them.A new and exciting chapter of the duo’s adventure, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page.Don’t be fooled. You know how it is: nothing is as it seems.
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My fabulous Roaring Twenties
(Valentino & I)
Titolo | My fabulous Roaring Twenties (Valentino & I)
Autore | Anna Piccolini
ISBN | 9788827806401
Prima edizione digitale: 2018
© Tutti i diritti riservati all’Autore
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And so the adventures of Anna and Rudolph start again.
The unusual encounter between the two began in the year 2014. Anna initially believed Rudolph to be a ghost who watched over her in her daily life.
Only after repeatedly insisting that she live with him did our heroine end up in Rudolph’s time: 1926.
Love thrives on excitement, passion, joy and great willpower, a combination which our protagonists, through thick and thin, cling to as they face and overcome destiny.
I hope reading this book will be as enjoyable to you as it was for me writing it.
August 16 2016, 10:30
Fiorella: Excuse me, when were these books published?
Bookshop owner: 1920.
Fiorella: Can I take a peek?
Bookshop owner: You’re in for a surprise. One of them’s a real doozy. The title’s “Valentino & I (Timeless Love)”.
Fiorella: That’s the title of a book my friend was writing. Where is it?
Bookshop owner: I doubt that ma’am. It’s from 1926.
Fiorella: Please, just show me.
Bookshop owner: Here you go. Just know that it’s not exactly cheap.
Fiorella: Nevermind! Impossible. It really is Anna’s book. How can she have written this in 1926? I must take it to her family. It could contain some vital clues on what happened to her. This is too much. And to think I found it by pure chance today in Genoa’s De Ferrari square.
Bookshop owner: Consider the price I put on it a gift, as the original’s pretty steep. That’ll be 120 euros please.
Fiorella: Well! My pockets aren’t that deep.
Bookshop owner: It’s from 1926 and shows no wear.
Fiorella: Fine, say no more. I’ll take it.
I can’t wait to read, no, devour it, and figure out what’s with this weird time paradox.
Bookshop owner: We’re getting another from the same author next week.
Fiorella: I’ll leave you my number.
Bookshop owner: Fine by me.
September 23 1926, 15:10
Rudolph, tell me how all this is possible. I still can’t work out how I ended up in 1926. Back in 2015 I was at home, lost in my worries. I was sad and alone, in love with a man I couldn’t spend quality time with, as his occasional visits were marked by long absences. One day, I woke up with you by my side, and I noticed that the room was different. I felt that it wasn’t just the house that changed, but the century itself. I’d gone back to 1926!
How many adventures we’ve had. There were some hiccups along the way, but we’ve had so much fun.
Then the day came I feared I’d never see you again.
I was in pieces. My greatest love could have died in surgery.
The days went by, and the only thing keeping me going was the tiny life I carried in my womb, a life I love immensely, because it is a part of you. I knew that I would see you in it. I would have rediscovered your eyes, the scent of your skin, your laughter and... I turned on the recording device you gave me, which projected not only your voice, but your image too. You seemed so real! It all felt real, and I could almost touch you.
The emotion got to me. I felt I was going crazy. I needed to see you.
I feared that Rudolph Valentino’s tragic end had happened after all.
When I heard your voice break through the suffocating silence in my soul, I felt I’d been reborn. I missed everything about you, my love. Now I look into your eyes and think...
You’re an asshole, Rudolph. You get me knocked up and leave me for a week. What is this “thing” of yours anyway? It projects a life-like image of you! It’s even recorded hours of you, but how is it possible!
It’s all too convoluted, like some Agatha Christie novel.
Rudolph: You mean the author of Poirot a Style Court?
Rudolph: Dear, how I’ve missed your weird moods. You interrupt your romantic musings with sudden bouts of anger, though I admit you have a point here. Sorry for interrupting. Keep going.
I’ve got nothing else to add, unless by request. Now give me that explanation you promised!
Rudolph: The future.
I know everything’s warped, but... What did you just say? The future... You’re out of your mind!
Rudolph: That is what I said.
I’ve been thinking about the best way to explain everything without further confusing you. I simply couldn’t find a simple way of explaining these journeys through time.
So my future is your past?
Rudolph: No, I was born on March 6 1895!
Listen, I was shown the future during one of my days of pining for the good old times. Before I go further, could you come a little closer? I want to hold you tight. I’ve missed you so much. I want everything about you.
I now understand the nostalgia you felt when you couldn’t see me, and the absolute faith you had in our love, which made you sure we’d pull through. I acted appallingly to you back then. I like to touch you and watch your movements. Your smile and charm brightened up my days.
I pictured the day you’d finally see my face and be shocked at how long I was prepared to wait. I loved the insistence with which you confronted me, as I knew that your only desire was to see me. Granted, you sometimes hurt me to get a reaction, but you always waited, trusting that the moment would come.
I on the other hand dreamt of holding you, of feeling your body on mine. How many obstacles did we have to go through to stay together? You’re the one I treasure most. Nothing exists other than you. My life was complete before I saw you, then I understood that it was all an illusion. I was missing my better half. I will never let circumstance keep me away from you anymore. You’re the only reason I live now.
I want to feel the warmth of your body too, and forget all the worries I’ve been through.
But as I feel these emotions sweep over me, I keep thinking about what you said. You mentioned the future. Maybe you’re right when you say I need to relax, but I can’t get it out of my head.
Believe me, Rudolph, when I say that what you said makes me really curious, but also scared for what you could reveal.
Let me rest my head on your shoulder. They give off a warmth which does away with all my fears.
I shouldn’t have raised my eyes. Whenever they meet yours, my heart stops. They make me smile with joy and my cheeks blush with embarrassment. I don’t know how it’s possible, but even now I am so self-conscious.
Stop staring at me, or I’ll lose my mind!
I want to cry out to the world about how happy I am. Thank God I’ve found love again.
I’m going to close my eyes now and savor these feelings. My mind ploughs through this storm and comes back drunk with joy.
I don’t understand what’s distracting me now. Maybe it’s my crazed hormones.
How I’d love to be like the others. I wish my thoughts wouldn’t rush so quickly, like some constantly late train. I need to slow down. My life needs to take the track of peace and quiet.
It’s no use. Curiosity’s got the better of me and I want answers.
Everything needs to be explained, every gesture needs to have something behind it.
Please, help me change. I want to live like it’s my last day on Earth. Help me to let go. I don’t want to become what I was before. I want to be the woman of your dreams.
Rudolph: I dream of you, and desire you. I like you as you are, spontaneous and cheerful.
I like that too, but it can’t be the default of my existence. I wish I could be at peace, to have my mind float in nothingness, ignoring the cries of what needs to be done or examined.
Peace! I want total peace.
There is no madness in this period, or at least nothing involving my own time. Please, teach me all of this, listen to my pleas and help me find tranquility. Dammit, I can’t, I just can’t! What must I do to stop mulling over the word “future”?
You insist that my mind is too open. Don’t remind me of how different I am.
I think I’m going crazy now!
Thank you for the beautiful things you’ve told me, but you can’t just disappear for a month then come back spouting a bunch of nonsense. Do you see now why I look on edge!
I think that rage you know so well is going to overcome me. What year are we talking about anyway?
2210, of course! Now why didn’t I think of that? Duh. So you’re not a ghost after all. You took me from 2015 to 1926 and used the future to place the last piece in this puzzle.
You’re insane! Totally insane!
Do you think I’m some kind of plaything? You think you can toy with me?
Don’t give me that look. I’ve just told you that I feel helpless before those deep eyes of yours.
You won’t make me bend this time.
Stroking my face won’t douse the flames of my rage.
Rudolph: How about that? That’s my girl. You’re even talking like a twenties dame.
I’m tired and confused. I can’t take this idiocy anymore.
That’s enough. I need to lie down.
Let me hold you tightly, so you can’t escape.
I’ve missed you so much.
Rudolph: Whenever I hold you by the chin and gaze into your emerald eyes, I never stop feeling like the luckiest man in the world. They make me feel like I’m the only one who truly knows what love is.
Rudolph, your words go straight to the heart. That’s why I ask you to offer me an explanation in simple terms that won’t blow out what little of my neurons remain.
Rudolph: I see you haven’t lost your sense of humor.
I think it’s what helped me get through the time you were gone.
Rudolph: Am I still the love of your life?
You’ve always been good at making light of the most difficult situations and distracting me from the issue at hand.
Looks like you’ve done it again.
Rudolph: And yet, just a few minutes ago, you were crying and saying heart-breaking things.
Yes, because it is, and always shall be, hard to forget you.
Someone, however, has taken care of me every time you left me.
Rudolph: I can’t believe you’d cheat on Rodolfo Guglielmi, A.K.A. Rudolph Valentino.
And to think there are thousands of women who’d die to be in your place.
It’s only been a month since I faked my death.
Why are you staring at me like that?
No! You’ve raised your eyebrow again. You’re kidding. I should never have used that expression in the movie “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.
Where are you running to?
You can’t touch me. I’m pregnant.
Rudolph: You should be ashamed of yourself! You almost gave me a heart attack.
I doubt that, considering all you’ve gone through.
Put me down! Where are you taking me?
Rudolph: I’ve been waiting for this for a whole month.
What, offering explanations?
You’re not thinking about “that” are you?
Rudolph: No, I just want to cuddle you in bed.
Good, cause I’m really confused. Heck, my nerves are shot.
So the vitamins you gave me also come from the future?
Rudolph: Yes. Now put on these gloves and glasses.
Rudolph: You haven’t changed a bit. You can never fully trust me. I have to explain everything.
What do I need to do to get you to totally trust me?
Sorry, I guess it’s a defense mechanism.
Rudolph: Against me?
No, against everything. Even with your beard and mussed up hair, you’re so handsome.
Rudolph: You too. You’re positively radiant. Pregnancy has made you even more beautiful. I didn’t think it was possible.
How charming. I missed the way you make me feel desired.
Rudolph: That shows no one ever really tried to come on to you.
No one ever managed to steal my heart. I have eyes only for you!
Rudolph: I never imagined women from the future being so romantic.
Of course we baby boomers are!
Why are you tutting like that? This is one of those moments in which I insist on getting answers. I sense you’re about to tell me something just as shocking as when you took me to 1926.
Please, the only certainty I have left is the life that I led in my present.
Rudolph: Alright, we’ll talk about it later.
So I’m right then? There’s something else which will turn my convictions upside down?
Rudolph: Yes, but now let’s concentrate on the orchard. Has Giovanni been doing his job?
Yes, me too! You should see how good I’ve got. I’ve become quite the farmer! I don’t know why, but I recently recalled I time in 2015 in which I found myself in hospital. I chatted to a lady there, and she told me that the correct term is agriculturalist. I prefer the term I used. It just seems more evocative of being in contact with the soil.
Rudolph: You say that with such pride.
I do! It’s hard work, but I put my back into it. Believe it or not, I enjoy it.
Rudolph: I’m glad.
You know, I don’t faint anymore, but I get very tired. Alberto’s started kicking. You did say we’d name our little man after your brother, right?
Rudolph: Are you sure it’s a boy?
Yes. If not, we can use your mother’s name: Marie Berthe Gabrielle.
Rudolph: That would make me very happy. Thank you Anna.
Rudolph, I find it hard to call you by the name you’ve chosen. I can’t get used to calling you Raffaello, as nice as the name is.
Can I address you by your surname?
Yes. We’ve never talked about it, but I call everyone I’m close to by their surnames.
I did it a lot back in 2015, except when the surnames were weird or had too many Rs. In those cases, I simply shortened the name. You remember Debora? I called her Deb, Fiorella Fio and so on. There’s one thing you should know though. If I call you by name, it’s time to worry, as it means I’m really agitated or nervous.
I might even use it in times of danger.
Rudolph: No one said you weren’t strange. I prefer Guglielmi to Raf. It’ll feel strange but I’ll get used to it.
Thank you, Guglielmi.
Guglielmi: What about our son? Will you call him Alby?
Don’t be silly!
However, it wouldn’t be unusual of me. I’ll think about it.
Guglielmi: Why haven’t you ever called me Rudy?
You told me not to, remember? You had me correct all the first pages of my book, replacing Rudy with Rudolph. That’s why I called you that.
Guglielmi: I’d forgotten. Indeed, it reminded me too much of my acting days, and I wanted a fresh start for us.
I understood that.
Guglielmi: Will you put on these gloves and glasses now? That way I can explain how the recording device works.
Guglielmi: I’ll keep it simple, like you asked.
It’s funny. I should be the one to explain future innovations to you.
Guglielmi: You can say that again! Anyway, the device is called TIL.
When turned on, the TIL automatically activates a “flird”, a microscopic camera which projects into empty space. It rotates 360 degrees, capturing the image at every angle. When the TIL’s in an enclosed space, it avoids obstacles, like walls. When in an open area, it doesn’t capture anything too far for the human eye to see.
It’s programmed to show the footage on special glasses, so it also captures images from behind the wearer. A simple turn of the head gives the wearer a complete view.
The gloves are for touching any object or person present in the footage.
So I could touch you if I wore these glasses during a movie you shot?
Guglielmi: Yes. All of my movies made before the development of this technology have been converted. Not bad, huh?
And to think that I noticed that I had sand on my clothes in “The Son of the Sheik”.
You’re right. It’s crazy.
Can I try?
Guglielmi: Sure. Just turn it on.
Hello my love. I’m watching you as you walk through the fields. You’re as curious as always. I don’t know if I’ll be coming back from New York, so…
I can touch you. This is so “hot”!
Sorry, I mean beautiful.
Couldn’t you have told me about this before? I could have looked at you and touched you this past month.
Gugliemi: Just a moment ago, you didn’t even want to hear about it!
Sure, but this is different. Anyway, you know how curious I am. Curious and weird.
Guglielmi: And I’ll love you forever for that very reason, and I’ll never tire of it!
Poor Alberto. What a strange family he’ll find himself in. A dad born in 1895 and a mom from the future. He’ll be using technology unknown to both generations.
Stop, you’re confusing me.
You look so funny in the footage. I can even touch your lips and smell your skin. These inventors from the future are geniuses! How did they do it?
Incredible, I can even touch the grass. It’s moist! Maybe it’s the dew, or it’s just rained. I don’t remember.
So you already knew you weren’t going to die on August 23 1926. That’s why you set this all up.
Guglielmi: That’s right.
“What a bummer”! Pardon my French. Did you really have an ulcer?
Did you get peritonitis after the surgery?
Guglielmi: No, I didn’t.
What do you mean? You had me bring antibiotics to save you. Heck, you insisted that I call them vitamins, as antibiotics hadn’t been invented yet.
Guglielmi: Please, don’t get mad. I needed you to think that I belonged only to my specific time period.
I could kill you Rudolph! I almost died of fright.
When I saw you on the floor in the hotel, I wanted to die with you. I lost my mind in the hospital and spent a month of hell. And now you tell me you knew nothing would happen!
Guglielmi: Aren’t you supposed to call me by my surname now?
Start running Guglielmi. You’re about to find out just how violent a dame from 2015 can be.
Guglielmi: I’ve brought you a present from New York.
Run! I’ll get you once I get these gloves and glasses off.
Guglielmi: You haven’t changed a bit. You’re still just a little girl. Ah, I see I’ve made you smile.
Of course. You really are a pirla, as we say in Milan, my city of birth.
What are you doing?
Gugliemi: This is my Latin lover pose.
But you’re not a Latin lover anymore!
Gugliemi: True. Now the main feature, which will require all my passion and devotion, will be the one in which I recite alongside you.
Our life together will be my biggest hit yet!
I love you.
Guglielmi: And I you.
September 23 1926, 19:00
Guglielmi: Where were you?
I was thinking. I went out because I found your revelations so shocking. I needed to walk, to move, and I saw the letter I found yesterday on the desk.
I wrote it when I still couldn’t see you, only feel your presence. It’s quite emotional.
Guglielmi: Read it to me.
I don’t think I can describe how I feel. Emotions come from the gut and rise to the throat. Sighs are then expelled from the lips, bringing life to thought.
My heart’s bursting with joy, my mind’s eyes picture you. I sense that it will burst on the next beat.
I love you, I love you hopelessly. Stay with me. Without you, life is pointless.
You’re my life’s greatest dream, and nothing will keep me from you, unless you say otherwise.
Love me as I do you forever.
I can feel your passion and I sense your frustration coming from wanting to be with me.
You’re a dream I don’t want to wake from.
I want you, I desire you insanely.
I want to hold you, I dream of squeezing you tightly, gazing upon you for hours before bursting into embarrassed laughter.
I want to joke and have fun with you. Don’t ever leave me. Let me see you. Gift me with your presence. That’s all I ask of you.
Guglielmi: No one has ever written anything so beautiful to me. You’re truly special.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
In retrospect, what happened was incredible! I was living a normal life in 2014. I was happy. No, I’m kidding myself. I wasn’t happy at all! I did however have a lot of friends and people I cared about. Then you came, and I thought you were a ghost. I couldn’t see you, only sense you. Do you remember how you used to move my hands? My hair moved by itself, and when I was lost in thought you’d lightly stroke my face, reminding me you were always there.
It was certainly an unusual situation, as you were one of my greatest phobias: a ghost. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t fear you. As time flew, I got inexplicably more and more involved.
I remember the shock of finding out that you were in fact a living person, and had never died! I now realize you’ve lied to me many times, but...
It was hard to leave my world and abandon all my loved ones. Now that you’re here, I can shelve those fond memories into a special archive in my mind. A new chapter has begun in my life, and I finally know what it means to let go, though I still have to work on it.
You’ve taught me many things, but this has been the most important.
I love without thinking of the consequences or about what could happen if I act impulsively. I fully embrace passion and thoughtlessness in my life now. There are no longer any remnants of my past worldview.
Thank you for everything, but please don’t lie to me again.
Guglielmi: Of course. Now listen to my explanation.
I imagine it has to do with bringing me to 1926.
Guglielmi: No... I’ve been watching you and I realize that we need to distance ourselves from the topic. Although you’re more talented than the average person, this is something that would be too much for anyone. It’s better if we start over. The time will come when we can discuss it in more depth.
Indeed. Although my time period is more technological than yours, this is too much. How did you keep your sanity?
Guglielmi: It takes time to understand what will come, but when I saw you, I made your life more exciting, and I was overcome with emotion. I couldn’t care less about the how and why.
That’s right, the why is still elusive. Do you think there is a reason for all this?
Never mind. I’m going for a shower.
My buffer’s full for today.
Gugliemi: What’s a buffer?
The space for my memory.
Guglielmi: Can I come too?
No, I want to be alone.
Guglielmi: Are you mad at me?
No, just really tired and confused. I need to relax.
Guglielmi: See you in bed.
September 23 1926, 20:00
Guglielmi: I asked Amelia to leave lunch in the fridge. I didn’t know when you’d be back.
Gugliemi: How’s it going?
Guglielmi: Come closer.
What are you doing? You’ve got no decency! Please, don’t. Hands off!
Guglielmi: Look at me.
I know, you’re really hot. Cover yourself.
Well, I can see that you’re still toned, despite the difficult surgery. Too bad for the scar.
Guglielmi: I did some sport before coming back to you. I wanted to make myself “hot”, as you say.
Even when you were sick, you didn’t look half bad.
Sorry Guglielmi, I don’t want to seem rude, but I’m really hungry.
Guglielmi: Even this aspect of you hasn’t changed. You’re always hungry. You haven’t lost your figure, though your tummy’s starting to show.
Thank God no one can hear this, otherwise people wouldn’t get why a person like you is using such words unsuited to your age.
Guglielmi: You’re wrong. You’re the one who doesn’t understand! This is 1926, remember. We don’t use that foul language you do.
What about when you’re angry?
Guglielmi: I’m a beast when I am, so it’s permissible.
More like a storm.
Guglielmi: I need to change subject. I can’t take this anymore. I need to distract myself. Why am I so easily riled up? Just stop!
Listen, I have a gift for you. You’ll get another tomorrow.
Fantastic! Show me, I’m really curious. Where have you hidden it?
Guglielmi: I haven’t hidden it. It’s in my coat pocket.
What is it?
Guglielmi: It’s like an MP3 player. Turn it on.
It’s music from my time. Hey, this is the radio channel I tuned in to every time I drove to work! How is this possible?
Guglielmi: Do you really want to know?
No! Just tell me how it’s used.
Guglielmi: Just choose a song, a channel, whatever you feel like listening to, and it will sync to it.
But it’s music from the future.
Guglielmi: Seeing as you’re not ready for clarifications, just know that these radio frequencies are from 2016. You can even download tracks if you like.
Guglielmi: Just say “scarica”!
I’ve set the language to Italian.
Awesome! Sorry, that’s not the first time I’ve said that. I need to correct my expressions. Wonderful!
Guglielmi: Are you happy?
I’m on cloud nine!
Guglielmi: You’re choking me! Okay, I get that you’re happy.
And the other present?
Gugliemi: There comes the child in you again. Playtime’s over!
Yeah, make that face. We’ll talk about the other surprise later. Weren’t you hungry?
Anna... can you hear me?
Oh, sorry. What did you say?
Guglielmi: Nothing. Keep using the MP3.
I like this song.
It came up on my feed. Look. It’s called “7 years” by Lukas Grahams. This is crazy, just too cool.
Guglielmi: She’s distracted now. She won’t even know I exist for a while. How I love watching her when she’s enraptured in something she’s curious about. She’s like a little girl!
I’d smother her in kisses, but I want her to see me as the superman she thinks I am. I must pretend to not be overcome by emotion. She needs stability, something to hold on to, to support her in times of need.
Of course, once she becomes a mother, it will be difficult for her to figure out who the child will be. What does it matter? I’ll be the grown-up around here.
Hey, I forgot that I’m hungry. Are we going to eat or not?
Guglielmi: Just what I was thinking.
Why didn’t you tell me?
Guglielmi: Take my hand. Let’s go.
What’s on the menu?
Guglielmi: Amelia’s done stuffed squid.
Amelia’s great. Stuffed squid is one of my favorites.
Gugliemi: It’s so good to see the joy in your eyes, the thirst for life. You’ve no idea how painful it is to see them shed tears.
It makes me think that bringing you here was a mistake.
What’s all this? Don’t be silly! You’re the most important thing in my life. You’re the reason I wake up happy every morning. You’re the light in my eyes, and although I lived in fear during your absence, I knew that what we started together couldn’t end.
Guglielmi: Sorry. Sometimes I let my fears get the better of me. I only want the best for you.
Guglielmi, stop being stupid. Who wouldn’t be happy living with Rudolph Valentino?
Guglielmi: Diplomatic as always. Maybe it’s better this way. Come on, let’s eat!
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