Frederick and Geraldine

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Chapter 11 –Chiara Has a Secret

(Chiara was talking to Francesca in their shared bedroom.)


(Chiara said,)


''I like to watch you painting while playing the piano.

We're both passionate about painting and music. I think this

Is why we like each other; '' '' you can sing the high soprano.''

''We shared this love of Arturo; as he died, so passed our bliss.''


(Francesca replied,)


'' What did you say about sharing? I was only his daughter.

''I loved him enormously; I wished to give birth to his

Girl; '' ''Your dream was like the image of a star in the water,

Because he wanted a boy, and you should be some kind of wiz


To give birth to his boy; '' ''All my valuable books about

New discoveries and religion burned on that carrack.''

''I'm sorry to hear that; I liked them; there is beyond all doubt

That our spiritual Eden is secured from the devil's attack.


(Francesca continued,)


I've thought of the book you had read as I've thought of a visual

Art form; that monk and that nun were in contact only by

Knowing God to get an equilibrium; that biblical

Space was like a ship never sinking, where the people didn't die.''


(Chiara replied,)


''I've tried to understand God; we must be pure to meet Him.''

''They are educated through prayers to love God and to

Maintain their virginity; I thought that love was for a whim,

When it was based on attraction, not for a marriage; '' ''It's true.''


'' Love must be rational to develop over time while

Finding fulfillment in being a mother; '' '' These mothers

Are devoted givers; there's a lot of bliss in their smile.''

''A husband must love his wife very much; '' '' Closer than brothers,


The man and the woman in togetherness must live,

But no love can save you if you do not want to be saved.

I think you run into the art's world your mother's death to forgive.''

''If my dad had really loved her, she would not have died.''


'' Your thinking is totally wrong; your father was not

Orpheus to save her from her inferno of life.

She didn't accept her human condition; he loved her allot.

You're like your mother while denying everything in this strife


With your fate; Lucca made a mistake when he married you.''

'' Indeed, I did not feel free. Maybe it is because I was

Forced to marry him while my sufferings were painted new.

Why was Lucca talking with Ivan? '' '' I tell you why, it was because


(Chiara continued,)


Ivan was released from the position of a serf.''

‘‘Lucca wanted to know the mindset of the exploited class.''

''As a diplomat, while walking down the end of the Athens wharf,

Lucca studied Ivan to know if he was cruel or crass.


(Chiara continued,)


As a wealthy man with a political power,

A decision-making capacity and some business skills

To avoid some complications he had a desire.''

'' He had charming manners and talked concisely about rents and bills.''


(Chiara replied,)


'' All his life he had worked to increase his wealth and to make

A career in diplomacy; this is why he was forty

Years old when he asked you to be his wife; he wanted to take

Care of us; he paid your father's remaining debt payments


And this trip while wanting the stability of our family.

And how did you reward him while rejecting him

Or being cold as an ice when not doin' what comes naturally.''

''Chiara, he needed a positive image; '' '' your tears are dim.''


(Francesca continued,)


'' He took time to know his new family away from any

Social obligations; '' ''your father needed a groom like him.''

''Why? '' '' Because he had lived with his memories, much and many.

Der Eyck’s instrument is not new; his memory was slim.


He took refuge in the game world of the cards and destroyed

His property; '' '' But those who played with him were your friends; why

Didn't you save him? '' ''I couldn't do anything; to avoid

This misfortune was impossible; your love will set awry


If I tell you a secret I hide for fear of hurting you.''

Chiara's eyes gave Francesca a real scare, '' I know he was ill.''

''Your father didn't love you as you thought; '' ''How can this be true?

''He didn't care of you while passionately playing cards till


(Chiara continued,)


He lost his fortune and wanted to commit the suicide.

Do you realize that we could live as poor women

While lacking any support and having nightmares inside?

I've told your father about Lucca; he sent me to you then.


Lucca was the son of my friend and she told me her little

Secret; I thought Lucca would help consolidate the debt

Of your father with a loan, but his intention was a riddle.

I had to convince you to marry this man; a roulette


Was your entire father's life; all I could do was to listen

To my husband; the gold was more important to him than

You have ever been; '' ''Before the neighbors could find what was missin'

I had to marry; but when my father was rich, he had


Many relationships, he could borrow from one of his friends.''

''Dear, his relations have deteriorated because he was

No longer a reliable man; '' '' friendship never ends.

Why did Lucca want to marry me? '' '''He trusted my word; applause! ''


(Francesca started to cry. She had a conscience. Chiara was her benefactress.)


(Chiara continued,)


''It was based on this friendship I had with his mother.

I had done some business to multiply the wealth I had.

I had an illegitimate little son and rather

Than letting him be poor, I would make money, good or bad.''


(Francesca was surprised to find this terrible secret and questioned Chiara,)


'' Did my father know about this child? '' '' Of course he knew about him.''

''What's his name? '' '' His name is Gregorio.'' ''Where is his father? ''

'' I fell in love with a nobleman as a maid, '' her eyes grew dim,

''In his parents' house, I'd gotten pregnant; then, he asked his brother


(Chiara continued,)


To talk with their parents about our marriage, but they

Immediately arranged his marriage with a noble girl,

And I was fired; they hoped that my sighs would pass away

While giving me some land and money; my mind was in a whirl.


(Chiara continued,)


A wealthy farmer wanted to marry me, but I took

The money, and I ran to the town, '' ''What have you done there? ''

''I've worked as a laundry woman; one day, in a wayside nook,

I've met a band of actors; I was hired to play and, my dear,


(Chiara continued,)


On another day, another nobleman asked me to be

His wife; I've married him, but I've lost him shortly after

The marriage; then, one thing remained above my fame and me.

''The money! '' ''The suffering! '' Then, she said, ''Oh, my dear daughter! ''


(Chiara embraced Francesca because Francesca started to cry.)


(Francesca said,)


''You were unlucky! You were more unfortunate than me.

''Why? '' '' For thou hast known some happiness and thou lost it.''

''I've tried to convince your father not to play; he didn't see

Love; that you were his whole family, he should admit.''


(Francesca replied,)


''He was aware of the relationships in the society,

But he was hardly able to understand the women.''

''He understood them, but he didn't believe them, in reality.''

'' Lucca had a positive influence on him; then,


(Francesca continued,)


Lucca tried to help him change his life while being so busy.''

''He was shocked when he was threatened by the pirates; '' ''He was

Very resigned; '' ''While lacking his pipe that made me dizzy.''

'' He was powerful, and he joked when he was nervous because


(Francesca continued,)


He wanted to be untouchable; he loved the things

Of value, which were rare and authentic; while appreciating

The arts he didn't want to be sensitized; '' ''when the heart sings,

Love sensitizes it; eccentric while depreciating


(Chiara continued,)


The limitations, he wanted to be your partner in life.''

''He had known that this trip carried a high risk, but he needed

This danger to control me; '' '' he protected you as a wife.

He was willing to pay for his life while being mistreated


(Chiara continued,)


And while thinking that the pirates wanted wealth; did you see

How did Quintus disappear? '' '' No! I appreciate that Lucca

Has not betrayed the state secrets; in death, he started to be

A hero needing the strength to block the sun as Garuda.''


(Chiara said,)


‘’My first husband had been Italian, but your father

Has been Spanish and I was proud when he asked me to be

His wife; '' Francesca hugged her, '' I consider you a mother.

Rosa said that you're a witch, but you're like an angel to me.''


(Chiara said,)


''Rosa was able to play to the extreme for her happiness

While putting her victims in the other extreme; '', ''I think

You have a wrong impression about her; '' '' her rose of success

Withered quickly; her death was creepy upon her existence's

brink.


(Francesca began to cry. Chiara said.)


''Rosa didn't help me when Bella fell into the water.

I didn't know that Bella could not swim. When that jellyfish

Attacked her, she clenched her hand so hard that I couldn't help her

Any longer'' '' Rosa helped me; if I could have one great wish


(Francesca continued,)


I would love to be instead of Bella; when Fargo and

Geraldine boarded the boat, you unbalanced and pushed me.

If Rosa hadn't kept me tight, I would have been in

Bella's place; '' Chiara exclaimed, '' So lucky how could you be?


(Chiara continued,)


How did you feel it? '' ''What do you mean? '' ''When you've painted that

Jellyfish; '' '' Yeah, it was like a premonition; maybe

We had to listen to Fargo; it wasn't good, '' ''What? ''

''To be exposed ashore; the pirates could see us; '' '' you know me! ''


(Chiara said that she hadn't known about the pirates' existence.)


(Chiara kissed Francesca's forehead. She said,)


''Who would have hurt a pure, innocent soul as yours? '' ''You're more

Sensible than me; you're not like those women, who are

Apparently introverted because of hiding some core,

Dirty secrets; ’’ ‘‘the power of a mother's love no one can mar.''


(Francesca said,)


''I love you; thank you for accepting to be my mother.

Do you think Fargo is trustworthy? '' '' He didn't intend

To save Bella; more than this, I've talked with your father.

He said that Fargo's attitude proved that he was the pirates' friend.


(Chiara continued,)


It wasn't good to take with him some women to go into

An unknown zone without having the possibility to

Protect them; '' '' you've searched for anything appearing in view

While walking along the shore; '' ''I did what I had to do.''


(Francesca said,)


''I enjoyed painting while Bella was playing the violin.

Those sounds inspired me; I would have liked to have a sister

Like her; how old was her child when he died? '' ''That's where mares begin.

In an epidemic measles, this child was ill and left her.


(Chiara continued,)


They fled the war and have spent time in England; Bella

Didn't want to be saved; she couldn't have another child.

She lost hope after using the Hindu powers of chela.''

''On the shore, you helped me fight depression when you smiled.''


(Chiara said,)


Remaining on the shore was the only salvation.

If the fire had been extinguished, our husbands would have

Found us; '' '' I can't forget those moments of desperation.

Yet you have not betrayed Fargo' s secret; '' '' I believe in Yahve.


(Chiara continued,)


This was why I wanted to protect those accompanying

Him; I give you as much love as I have! '' ''I like this contrast

Between who you are and who you're suggesting you are; being

In this contrast is my desire; '' '' hope is engraved in the fights I've passed.''


(Francesca said,)


I loved my father too much because I had no other

Parent; I was afraid of losing him and I sacrificed

A lot; I would have been different if I had had a brother.

He married you to release me and gave me this advice


(Francesca continued,)


To start a new life; I think he wanted me to be happy,

But I couldn't be; I've missed my mother so much that I wanted

To die for the purpose of being with her; ’’ ‘‘you feel so crappy,

But we're brought to death by this life which by Almighty is granted.''


(Chiara continued,)


Much sooner than we imagine, that final hour comes to us.

It can be excruciating, but we must accept this fate.

We're puppets in front of it acting as we know everything, thus

We know nothing; you were afraid of this sudden poorness, a gate


(Chiara continued,)


That could make you be catapulted to a lower social

Class, where you should marry a commoner; it was another

Motivation to accept this marriage that was crucial.''

''I was glad to know that my father loved you; there came the sequel.


(Francesca continued,)


I didn't want him to suffer; '' '' you pulled the boat while

Considering my age and the helplessness of Pedra.''

''I wanted to be sure that the boat is well hidden; smile!

Our life is like this slow balance of the moon called Libra.''


(Chiara embraced Francesca tightly while not understanding what was happening to herself.)


(Chiara said,)


''Let's sleep; it's late; before turning the lamp, check the documents

And lock the box of the values; tomorrow we go shopping

In Corfu Town before talking with the governor

To help us go home securely; '' he needs arguments.''


(Chiara also told Francesca how much to set aside for expenses explaining that she wanted the rest of the riches and the documents to be transported in some conditions of the maximum security. Chiara opened her medallion to show Francesca the portrait of Gregorio. A new thought sprouted in her mind.)


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