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Translated by SC Seccombe Vinciguerra
Written By RonyFer
Copyright © 2014 RonyFer
All rights reserved
Distributed by Babelcube, Inc.
Translated by SC Seccombe Vinciguerra
“Babelcube Books” and “Babelcube” are trademarks of Babelcube Inc.
Shared Gloria | RonyFer | Translated by: Susan Seccombe
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS | My gratitude to Susan Seccombe, for her excellent work in translating this novel
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Copyright © 2012 RonyFer
All rights reserved.
To you, my dear, who has always been by my side. For your patience, your tenderness, your generosity, for the love which you give only to me. To you, my beloved, my wife.
«I come to ask for your wife´s hand in marriage».
“THE WOMAN I LOVE IS CHEATING ON ME WITH HER HUSBAND”.
— Hey, other one! I´m going!
It was the only thing he could think of saying to the old tramp when he saw his most beloved enemy appear in the doorway of the hospital room.
─Soon I will catch up with you, my friend,
The same, I assure you.
He returned the visitor´s greeting, looking for a place to rest his heavy load of accumulated years.
─I leave her to you, now that I won´t be around to take care of her.
— I give you my word that I will not!
And he was right; his rusty and ossified body would not allow him to take care of another body, even her, the woman he had loved for most in his life. He could hardly look after himself. Although he said it disagreeing with his inquisitor, because of the love he had for her, he would now take care of her with vehemence and total surrender.
The three were now victims of time. So many years had already passed in which they had proposed to break with established rules and live that life of three. That life which they were destined to live. What were they supposed to do?
Their cobwebbed keepsakes accumulated over decades in their minds, their reflexes didn´t respond properly and they gave into sleep all the time.
Their long gossips and discussions, those of yesteryear sometimes violent, now converted into light mumbles and monologues which made no sense.
Their hands full of colored brown spots and their veins inflated to the point of bursting.
Their damaged bodies, patched up in almost every part. Rivet after rivet, and ever more rivets.
They were exhausted from the grind, a long time defeated. Leaks were even more and more constant, as was their stubbornness to visit the bathroom almost continuously, if only to check that the toilet had not been moved to another location further away, by mistake or negligence.
Trapped in time, each had to accept that things along the way were as they were meant to be. The inevitable was mixed
with resignation and indifference.
Their slow steps, their mistimed movements, living off nostalgia from a time long since gone by.
The years pass by and weigh heavily.
Their now rusty bodies, scourged by the years. Their hides, once skin, now glued to their bones and their stares, saturated in cloudiness and their hair, if it still remained, turning the colour of lead grey.
Of the two, Cleto was the only one to suffer from alopecia. Even in this, Lico was lucky as he had demonstrated that those of low stature are less consenting to the ungrateful curse which befalls the male being.
They missed sentences, they forgot context and then they would start again from scratch with another subject.
If today dawned cold, it was because of the ineptitude of the idiot referee that we lost the game last night, that the runaway youth of today is crazy, that those were the years, our times when everything was quieter and there was more respect for the elderly. Not like nowadays where everything is topsy-turvy, now the boys look like girls and vice versa, how awful, look at her with that miniskirt more like a belt, but her maiden name this or that, but always finishing with other conversations far removed from those at the beginning.
The three of them grew up together. They were well-known and after many years of living in the same neighbourhood, frequenting the same schools, going to the same mass and the same parties, and picking up the same viruses and epidemics, all of which had served them as good excuses for their failure to attend regular classes.
Aniceto was the oldest. He always hated his name as he thought it sounded more like an insult. He had convinced himself since birth that his father didn´t love him.
If he had given himself even one single nickname, he would remember who his father was for the rest of his life. He thought the name was diminutive and derogatory of the darkest and most hidden part of the human body, so his friends decided to call him Cleto, once and for all. And that is how we shall call him from now on so he won´t feel offended.
Gloria, the girl with the beautiful eyes, hidden by anti-aesthetic square lenses with a face full of freckles looking like banana stains in full maturity. With a delicate face and curly hair which she let fall like cocky cascades of golden lace around her beautiful face. Cleto, two years younger and Federico, more commonly known as Lico, two years older. And by popular cliché, she was known only as Glory.
Lico was short in stature, a bit chubby and nice. Noble as early-baked bread but available at any time if required. He understood the impact of forgiveness, not forgetting the shame awarded to him and always accepted with wise resignation, or almost, the things which are impossible to change.
His low stature compensated him with the old belief, in his case at least in reality, that children seemed more like tripods denied a larger size. As such were the Cosmic Laws of Balance and Compensation or karma, according to the logic of each. I give you this, but I take away that.
They nicknamed him the dwarf, but so he might not feel so bad, they called him Elena for short.
They mocked him, always reminding him that "half a man is synonymous with half the potency".
Cleto was his Guardian Angel. When bullies made fun of his short stature, it was always Cleto who jumped to his defense, ready to punch anybody who dared to offend his best friend. And he was an all-round talent when it came to punching faces.
And in between them both, Gloria, her infallible feminine figure always present. She lent her very own touch, subtle and consistent. She was an accomplice to their tireless antics and adventures, which in most cases ended with the accompanying punishment. To each his own.
Most of the time, Gloria was confined to her room, not able to go out even to mass. If the transgression was worse, she was then obligated to kneel naked on grains of corn.
Held to account for her allies forever, whatever mistake she committed, be it in class, in mass, at home, the end result was always sore, red buttocks.
Parents, priests and teachers opted for changes to corporal punishment. Ever more severity was demanded for the incorrigible.
As such, the punishment of sustaining heavy books above the head was now considered inefficient, imprudent and unethical. Also, as they came to realise, books were made to teach and not made as a means of torture, even less so to punish so they had to replace them with a ruler to the fingertips. They made them put their fingertips together and held high, they were given a swift blow. The ruler not only served to measure small distances in inches and centimetres. It also served to warm the temples.
Famously standing there with long donkey ears only fuelled Lico's ego further, which confirmed that given his hidden talents, "donkey" was precisely the most suitable adjective for him.
Then, as a last resort, the original, infallible and convincing leather belt.
And so they grew up and then adolescence appeared. A coal-type stain started to appear below Cleto's nose and around his mouth. Proudly, he called it a moustache but for everybody else, it was just a stain of something.
Gloria started to form some small pointed volcanoes on her chest. Her face defined perfection, synchronizing her decorative small nose with her rounded cheeks.
And then there was Lico or Elena, as he liked to be called.
He wasn't exactly a midget as you might expect him to be, he was just shorter in stature than everybody else.