Teófilo, with a heaving heart and faint legs, went to Rosina’s room. Very near the entrance, Apolinar was smoking a cigarette, leaning against the wall. Teofilo rapped his knuckles on the door. Conchita came out to open:
p. 191″It’s Don Teófilo.”
“Come in, child,” Rosina yelled from within. And when he saw the poet appear: “You already made me uneasy!” Why haven’t you come before?
“For the people.” Theophilus was going to sit on a small couch.
-That’s it; you sit without having kissed me. That seems very good to me.
“Sorry, baby.” I didn’t want to bother you. ”He approached the woman and tenderly kissed her forehead.
“That’s what you call bothering me.” Rosina made a cuddly pout, which Teofilo felt in the pulses of his wrists like a sweet swoon and laziness, as if he were gently bleeding to death.
The maid was finishing her hair for Rosina, who was sitting in front of the mirror, wrapped in a light tobacco-colored silk robe.
“It seems that we are in the gardens of Haz el Primete and Abultadín, right, Don Teófilo?” Conchita spoke, looking round the bouquets and baskets of flowers that crowded the little room, and she laughed with that copious and bubbling joy that was saturated that night more than ever.
“But what’s the matter with you today, girl?” Rosina asked with some severity.
-To me? As it is not the debut, that has me out of control.
“Let’s see what it’s going to be … yours.” Conchita’s face reddened.
“Don’t be in a hurry, child.” You can go, if you want, with your Apolinar to see the show, I no longer need you. Today Teofilo will be my maid, he will help me dress. I mean … what do you think, Teofilo?
“Admirably.” Theophilus was smiling blissfully.
Conchita threw a mantilla over her head,p. 192 He took his long-laced handbag and hurried to the door.
“Wait a minute, Conchita, Teófilo can’t fix this for me.” This chichi —and he pointed to a golden corkscrew on the nape of his neck.
Conchita, as she was and without leaving her hand pocket, went to put the finishing touches on Rosina’s hairstyle.
-Now it is OK. Jesus, what a blow you have given me with your pocket! What do you have inside?
“A hard piece of change,” and the maid escaped, agile and laughing.
Rosina came to sit on Teofilo’s lap and leaned over him, trying not to spoil the headdress. I was a bit brooding.
“You see, Teofilo, what goes from woman to woman.” I’ve already told you about Conchita, huh?
“No, but I presume it.”
“It’s already going for eight days.” Well, nothing, one night he did not appear at home. What a scare! We thought some misfortune had happened to him. Finally, the next morning, here is the girl crying like a Magdalena. But what? The cry lasted two minutes. In a word, that she had spent the night with the groom. You were to see her. Crazy with happiness. They say they are going to get married, and I believe it, because the boy, from what I have seen the times he was at home, seems a formal boy. But what I was going. They say that a woman was born for that, to be a woman, and that she is not, nor can it be said that she lives until she has something to do with a man, and that is why in this case all women are so stupid, happy and proud. Yeah, yeah … As far as Conchita is concerned, that’s how it seems: she’s crazy and it makes me nervous. But you had to see me when my thing happened … I thought I was dying, yes, Teofilo; I wanted to kill myself. You know: Rosa Fernanda’s father.
p. 193-Who was?
-I have already told you. Don’t torment me!
-Do not; you never wanted to tell me. You have told me unlikely things.
-So that’s true. A man as if fallen from the sky. I mean it appeared and disappeared as if by enchantment. ”She began to cry, and between tears she sighed. Maybe that was for the best!
“What, what is that?” Teofilo asked, seizing her busily.
“That …” he hissed, his eyes clouded. That, what is it to be, but disappeared forever?
“Rosa, I can’t take it anymore, I can’t take it anymore.” This can’t go on like this, ”Theophilus said hotly.
-I do not understand you.
“I don’t even understand myself.” I have spoken without knowing what he was saying. I don’t know what I think, what I want, what I say, what I do. Can’t you see that I adore you?
“And I, don’t I adore you too?”
-I dont know.
-You do not know?
“I don’t know anything, Rosina,” and he nibbled her mouth.
“Don’t be crazy, I have to go on stage.” Now you’re going to help me dress, will you?
“Yes, baby, nice chrome,” and these faded praise took on ridiculous shrillness in her mouth.
Rosina took off her robe, and was left in pants. Teófilo rushed to kiss her bust, made of aurialba flesh, as if it were soaked in matte light.
-No no and no! Rosina kicked her feet in funny anger. Be formal. Good friends would make me if they knew that I allow such trusts to my maid …
Theophilus felt obliged to laugh the grace, and all he did was make a gloomy and desolate grimace.
“Do you like these stockings?” They’re from the Gastineau house. ”She leaned over to look at her legs, encased in dull red stockings.
Teófilo imbibed himself contemplating the legs of his beloved, polished, with sweet flesh accompanied, lazy, and with a pure curved line that the muscle did not twist abruptly or break: legs more made to lie and stand out on dark silks than to walk hidden between clothes . Teofilo knelt to kiss Rosina’s legs.
“You’re going to get me mad, Teofilo.”
“It’s not my fault, you’re so cute!”
“Hush, can’t you hear?”
They stopped a point with their ears strained. Echoes of angry cheers rose from the stage, then the last sleepy waves of distant music.
“A garrotín,” Rosina said. Son, what a success. Who will it be?
-Do not; that goes in the last part, with the princess and with me. We are the force numbers. So this is an unprecedented success.
“Greater will be yours.”
—Pss. Will you think that I don’t care?
Rosina took down the dress in which she was to go on stage and put it over her head.
“Buckle me up, Teofilo.”
Finishing to fasten Teofilo, Rosina raised her arms and turned in front of the mirror, examining herself. It was the long, society dress: a narrow tunic-shirt, slit at the sides, of gray silk muslin, set against a cherry red background and supported by a steel belt at the base of the breasts.
p. 195—I want to break with that ridiculous fashion of the Spanish cupleistas, taken from the French. Short suits already suck, boy. You like this? And this precious rose that you have given me and I kiss, here. ”He placed it on his chest.
In response, Teofilo held Rosina in his arms. The roar and roar of new cheers and applause came from the scene; but Teofilo and Rosina did not hear them this time, who had abandoned themselves to a fading of tenderness. When her strength was partially recovered, the woman, with moist eyes and soft voice, spoke:
“Teofilo, my owner, I don’t know what’s wrong with me today.” I have never lived in peace, my dear; but I have never felt that I do not live in peace so disconsolately as today.
“Calm down, Rosina, my baby.” Are you nervous.
“For going on stage, you mean?”
“It seems incredible that you know me so badly.” What does that matter to me? It is a very deep thing, much deeper … It is that I have always looked for something that satisfied me and I have not found it. Your love is very close, but something is still missing. I do not know. Perhaps it is because I am surrounded by fictions, hypocrisies, baseness and I cannot get used to it. Damned money! Because you have no money? I would like to live alone and retired with you and my girl, with you who have loved me like no one has loved me. It is necessary, it is necessary, it is necessary that I belong to a single man, that I live in peace. ”She squeezed Teofilo’s face with her hands and spoke tightly to him, delivering kiss and word, word and kiss. That drama … why don’t you write it if it has to give you so much money? We only lack money. If you are a man and it is true that you love me, look for money, steal it even if it is,
p. 196The poet replied rapturously:
“I will, we will.” If necessary I will steal it.
—Noise of people coming. You must have finished the second part.
-So I leave you.
-Nerd. I better go.
They said goodbye with a very long kiss.