What could happen if an old man is given the possibility to become a young woman?
tale explores that
possibility, and will help you have a good time with Charles'
adventures inside Caroline's body.
But under that façade of fun and good time there is always some food for thought, about the woman condition and her circumstances in deep Twentieth Century, and how things can be improved, when you really want to. And also that some people are evil because they had not been given the chance to be otherwise..., or they never had the courage to!
This is the first long short story in English by the author of over 30 books in Spanish. Let's hope many more will follow.
Here you are presented the 6 pages of the third chapter:
I saw Christine coming up the terrace greeting me with her characteristic smile and joy. I knew it was her as I saw her: if I was the blonde I saw when I met the imp, Christine was the brunette who was with her that day. I was very surprised.
“Why, hello, Christine! You look beautiful today!”
“Oh, hello, Caroline! You are very kind”.
After greeting her with a couple of kisses, we sat and asked the waiter for our meal. I felt I loved my friend, but I had not the feeling I had had that day in Albacete. For Christine is beautiful and attractive, but I could not even think of going to bed with her. I had not that feeling, but that of female liking, the feeling I was on her side, and we could count on each other to solve any problem she could have. She also seemed to feel the same to me. I had the feeling we had been friends for years, probably since primary school. She had always been a good friend of mine, and we had become women at the same time..., hell, what was I thinking about? It was a brand new dream of mine. I could not have met her twenty years ago! For goodness sake, was I in a mad house and imagined things?
“I could not imagine that you
separated from your husband, my dear Caroline”, Christine was
“We all saw that you seemed to be happy together. You were the
I sighed. “Well, my dear Christine”, I said, “I hold no secret from you, but I would not like you to repeat what I am about to say”. Bloody hell! What was I on the verge of inventing? Well, keep calm, I said to myself. Just keep cool. Why don't you let yourself go? Ok, let's hear myself out...
“Of course, Caroline. I am all ears. But my mouth is sealed. Do you mean you were you not happy with Raymond?”
“Do you remember the accident I had last year?”, I said slowly, with a lot of sadness on my voice.
“Yes, you were in hospital for a week. You fell on the stairs on your house”.
“The hell I fell. Your magnificent Raymond gave me a beating. Then he pushed me on the stair case, but I could grab the hand rail and did not fall”.
“What are you telling me!?”
“The bastard coaxed me into not telling anyone, and I was very frightened not to obey him”.
“Why did you not tell the police?”
“I told them at the police station after his previous beatings, but they only went with me to my home and gave him a warning. However, they told me they could not do anything else. I could not leave him, they said, because that would be deserting my home and husband, and I would lose all my rights”.
“My poor Caroline. I wish you had told me”.
“I was very frightened. I could not tell anyone. If I had told my brothers they could have killed him, and then I would feel very bad. So I was silent and hoped the situation to improve with time”.
“Why did he beat you?”
“He drinks. When he gets drunk he starts complaining about everything and after getting mad he slaps me and beats me. At first I faced him, but he got very violent. Then I tried to keep silent, but that was even worse, as he got emboldened from my submissive attitude and started slapping and punching me. The police could do nothing, as they said the law stated I had to be a loyal dear wife and not make him furious”.
“However, you succeeded separating from him. How did you manage?”
“Well, he did not want. He said he owned me because of holy sacrament of marriage. He said what God had tied nobody could untie. And slapped me because he wanted. In the presence of others he was the charming, witty husband you knew. But in the privacy of our home he was a bastard”.
“My poor Caroline. You are scaring me dead. What happened, then?”
“Well, to cut the long story short, when I came from hospital, he took me home in his car. On the way he thanked me for sticking to the tale he told the doctors, that I had fallen down the stairs at home...”
“It is a pity you did not tell the police then”.
“Well, the police can do nothing because the law is male chauvinist in this country. I hope that changes some day. We don't now how many wives get a beating every day in their homes. How many children grow with that traumatic picture in their minds, when they see their father beating their mother”.
“It is a pity, yes. It is good that I never got married...”
“Well, I don't think all men are the same. Probably most are great people who would never set a hand on a woman or a child. But that's the way it is in Spain in the seventies. So many centuries of evolution and we still have cavemen in our homes”.
“So what happened, how could you get out of that spiral of violence, my dear?”
“Well, I said nothing on the way home. But I had thought it over while I was at the hospital. The problem was not that he was drunk, only. When you are drunk, your sense of prudence and shame disappear, revealing what you are really like. You know Raymond is a little shorter than I am. He also is less bright as a person. He never finished his career, as I did. He felt a sort of jealousy to me, he felt an inferiority complex. And for some reason he felt superior when he bit me. I had thought it over, and there was something clear in my mind: I wouldn't take anything more of that”.
“And you didn't!”
“Well, the minute we came home and he closed the door, I got a chair a broke it against his head, without any previous word. I held only one piece of the chair in my hand, and before he reacted, while he was standing still there, looking at me with a stupid face, I kept beating him with that piece of wood once and again. I kicked him on his balls and threw him to the floor and kicked his body once and again. The only thing I said was: “I'll kill you, son of a bitch!”
“Waw! I can't imagine you like
that, Caroline! What did he say?”
“He was covering his head with both arms and started to cry and shout: Please, don't beat me. I won't do it again! I'll do as you say! So I stopped beating him, but did not leave the stick I was holding, that part of the chair. And then I told him my conditions”.
“Oh, what did you tell him?”
“I told him he had to leave the house immediately. I was keeping it for myself. If I ever saw him again, I would kill him. Because jail was a more pleasant place than the hell he had turned my life into”.
“Did he agree?”
“He said yes. I told him the following day I expected him at our lawyer's with a separation agreement, which he should sign and then we would be apart for good”.
“Did he accept that?”
“He was crying, and promised me everything, and said he would change, and we would be happy. But I told him to go away, that I could no longer love a man who abused his wife, and if I ever saw him near me, I'd kill him. I told him I did not love him, but hated him”.
“And what did he say?”
“He lowered his head and went away. He must have seen something terrible in my face, for he was very afraid and went away. The following day he signed the agreement and I have not seen him again”.
“My poor Caroline. I wish you had shared this with me before”.
“Well, I had to cure my soul, my friend. With the money he gives me every month as a compensation I have travelled abroad, I have been to places and met people. I have had a few romances here and there, nothing serious, however, and now I came back here, because I think I overcame everything”.
“Would you kill Raymond if you see him again?”
“I doubt so, but surely I'll beat him if he does not behave”.
“Well, I saw him a few weeks ago. He was with a girl I don't know”.