El pasado mes de noviembre estuve impartiendo en la Universidad de Orivesi (Finlandia) un taller sobre personajes literarios.
Uno de los ejercicios consistía en leer el primer capitulo de mi novela "La isla de la última verdad" e inventarles vidas anteriores o posteriores a cualesquiera de los personajes que formaran parte de ese fragmento.
La alumna Tuuli Hostikka escribió un texto realmente curioso, que ha tenido la amabilidad de cederme para su publicación en este blog:
My mom’s coffin is in the ground. I cry silently. With my mom died the truth about my father. Like with my father died some kind of truth about me. Now I’m an orphan.
I saw my mother’s body when coffin was still open. Body did look like her, but it was just empty shell of a human. Home, when residents had gone. I can’t see any point of standing next to her grave, but there are lots of people wearing black behind me, and I don’t want to turn around. I hear Martin sniveling and getting closer to my back. I can smell Amy´s perfume before her soft hand pets my cheek and Martins hand touches my elbow at same time.
- Honey, Amy whispers and steps next to me.
-Are you okay?
- Don’t know, I answer to her and I really don’t know if I am or if I am not okay.
I think Martin can see it from my face and he takes my hand to his hand and he leads me through crowd. Amy follows us and her high heels are making loud noises. People’s heads are turning and I can see dozens of eyes looking at me. I can recognize only some of them. They all have certain look in their faces. There is pity in their eyes and some kind of sick joy in their hearts.
Martin leads me in a pub nearby cemetery. When Martin opens the door, little bell start jingling above it. Pub is small and dark. There is only five tables, one in every corner and one middle of the floor. Counter opposite of door is very high and there is a bowl full of dusty peanuts on it. Waitress in a pub looks like dead herself, but sells us tree beers. Immediately when she gives Martins change back she vanishes at kitchens side. In a pub there is also one of my mom’s other old friend. I think his name was Ian and something about castles. He is staring in his pint and there is pool of tears on a table next to big envelope. When he sees us, he is trying to smile, but fails, and his facial expression turns to sneer. We go and sit to his table in a corner. There are no chairs, only long benches go around large wooden table. There is so cold, that I don’t want to take my jacket off. Amy puts her hand to Ian´s leg and tries to comfort him. For a moment we all are quiet. There is no music in a bar, so you can only hear pints clanking towards the table. Then Martin talks to me:
- Do you know how your parents met?
For a moment I forget to breathe, because I get so excited. I have waited so long to hear the truth. Could it be that these three my mother’s friends would know something? And why they are telling it me now? Even when my mom knew she was dying she didn’t tell who my father was.
Ian lifts his head and now he looks like he is smiling a little.
- It is actually pretty funny story. I was there too. It was Martins party, and everyone was there. What were we even celebrating Martin?
Martin shakes his head and says that he don’t remember either. He says that night was too weir itself.
- We were celebrating your promotion from Assistant Dean to Dean!
Amy gets intervene to the conversation. She looks like she is also exited from the story now.
- There were very strange atmosphere in our house that night. It started when your father showed up.
I try to ask who he was, but Martin hush me right away when I open my mouth. Amy continues the story.
- We had many candles in a coffee table and those were blown off all the time. Even ceiling light was blinking.
-It was like ghost were fighting, Martin laughs.
I stare at pub´s floor while listening. It’s made of little black and white squares and it looks like a chessboard.
- Anyway, Ian start talking, your mom came with her husband John. John was wasted and cried all evening. He locked himself to downstairs bathroom and everyone had to go to upstairs to use toilet. And, Amy you don’t know this yet, but some of the male guests peed in your flowerpots.
- What? I wondered why those flowers died after the parties. I really did blame some ghosts.
All three of them start laughing. I don’t want to ruin their moment, but I really want to already hear something about my dad. And my mom too, I really miss her already. My eyes move from floor to tabletop. There is some scratches and old cigarettemarks on it. Someone has scraped there letter P and M and little heart in the middle of letters. I am pushing top of my little finger`s nail in letter P and thinking how that couple met and what did they look like. Ian looks at me and I thing he notices that I don’t have such fun time as they do.
- Yes, your mother. Oh, she was a beauty back then, like you are now, Penelope. You look just like your mother. But you are tall and thin, like your father was. Anyway, back to the story. Your mother nearly cried also when they came. She was so frustrated to John. But the moment she saw your dad, Dr. Prendel, I mean Mathew, she started smiling. I was so jealous. I had loved your mother since high school. And then I understood that Effy stood right next to me and she had seen the same vision as me. Effy was in love to your mother`s husband and that’s why she pandered your mom and your dad together right away. In that point when, your mother and father were getting know each other’s, I did took some random women with me and left from the party. I was heartbroken.
- Ha, that “random women” were my cousin and she was heartbroken also after that night. because of you. I didn’t know that bastard who took my cousins heart was my own friend. I blamed that weird guy, Mathew’s friend, Bob or whatever.
I really don’t feel like listening old peoples fighting about old matters. I notice deer´s head on a bright red wall behind the counter. Deer´s glass eyes are staring to the door so hard that it seems to be important guest who it is waiting for. Amy notices that I’m not listening their party stories, and she looks ashamed.
- There is still information left about your father. He was also something else but a regular tall man in party with your mom. He was shipwrecked captain of yacht called Queen.
- He was a sailor? I have wondered why I always loved the sea.
I feel wistful and solid at the same time. It’s like someone is giving me something important I had lost and didn’t even know it did exist.
- Yes your father loved the sea, but there is something else. No-one knows what happened to him in that shipwreck in coast of Africa, but it was something terrible. You father was weird sometimes. Martin continues his wife’s matter, and he looks like he is thinking hard.
Suddenly Ian looks sad again. He takes a big envelope from the table to his hand.
-You mother loved your father. That’s why she didn’t tell him that he is going to be a father. He would have died so sad if he had known. Being a father was only thing he ever really wanted. And for you she didn’t tell about him, because she left you this.
Ian takes bundle of papers out from the envelope.
- Here is everything about your dad, about the shipwreck. Your mother just didn’t want that you start hating him because of the truth. She knew that truth is most important to you, but it is always just black and white. Truth is flat; it doesn’t count feelings in it. She wanted that you could imagine a father just like you would have wanted him to be. She wanted you to have good childhood, and worry later. I think now it is time to worry. You can read this, it is yours.
I take bundle of papers from Ian´s hand and put it back to envelope. Truth can still wait. It is important that truth exist. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter.