The Girl with the Crystal Eyes

The Girl with the Crystal Eyes by Barbara Baraldi

Book: The Girl with the Crystal Eyes by Barbara Baraldi Read Free Book Online
Authors: Barbara Baraldi
big.'
        Everyone
laughs.
        'It
looks very old,' Eva adds, embarrassed.
        'It's
a tapestry, from 1860. It belonged to a noble
        Spanish
family that lived for a while here in Bologna. I bought it at an auction.
Giuliacci wasn't ready to let it slip through his hands, but in the end I bid
enough to leave him standing. Just think…'
        'You
shouldn't talk about money at the table, dear.'
        'You're
right, dear,' and he dabs at his mouth with his napkin, as if to wipe away the
sum of money that he was going to disclose to her.
        Miew
seems bewildered by the suffocating atmosphere and by such a vulgar show of
wealth. She jumps on to a piece of furniture, wood with an ochre grain,
endangering the safety of a cut-glass vase.
        'Oh,
please. That vase came from my mother's collection. Stop that animal now!'
cries the mother without, moving her silicon lips.
        The
cat looks at her defiantly and starts to purr, rubbing herself against the
vase.
        'It's
worth more than the two of you put together. Stop that animal!'
        'Got
her,' says Eva with the cat in her arms. 'She was just playing. She's never
broken anything at home.'
        'And
I was only joking, what I said. I can't even remember exactly what I said,' the
mother giggles nervously.
        After
dinner Giulia starts to show her round the house. It would be more appropriate
to call it a museum. Antiques, collections of everything worth collecting, and
finally her room.
        She
carries a bunch of enormous keys, like Bluebeard. And she boasts about having
made copies of even the 'forbidden' keys, because every now and then she likes
to readjust her pocket money.
        Hers
is truly a room for a princess: a four-poster bed with yards of pink taffeta
curtains, silk sheets, and ornaments everywhere. Photographs with Giulia in
close-up and full-length, her head turned to the right, then to the left; now
smiling, now serious. But always artfully posed.
        'Now,
let's go' Giulia says. 'I can't stand your cat when it miaows like that. You
wouldn't expect me to let it run around loose in here, would you? And anyway,
Luca's expecting me. Remember, if anyone asks, I've been with you all this
evening,' Giulia says.
        'No
problem. It's not as if anyone ever asks me anything anyway.'
        'Yes,
but if anyone does, I've been with you. Say you'll say so, or I'll be upset.'
        'Yes,
yes,' repeats Eva.
        'Thanks,
you're a star!' and Giulia hugs her on impulse. 'Oh, by the way, you're looking
a bit muscly, you know. Your arms - it's revolting. You shouldn't overdo the
gym, or you'll end up looking like a man.'
    ----
        

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO
        
        'How
many times have I told you?' He glares angrily at her. 'I don't want you going
through my things. I don't want you wearing my jumpers, my socks or any other
fucking thing of mine, do you understand?'
        'It's
just that I feel comfortable in them.' Viola stretches out her arms to show how
good she looks in the jumper a couple of sizes too big for her.
        'Viola,
I've told you time and again. You need a jumper, buy yourself one. You're not
short of money. But I don't want you using my things. I just don't want you to.
It drives me mad. And I don't want you going through my wardrobe.'
        'But
I have to open the wardrobe to put your things away after I've ironed them…'
        'No
excuses. Socks the other day, today my jumper. How can I make you understand?'
        'But
what harm is there?'
        'Wash
my things and put them on the chair, like I told you. I want to put them away
where I want. If you do it I can't find anything. You know that. You've got
your own wardrobe, I've got mine. You've got your things, and I've got mine. I
don't pinch your things and put them on. And your perfume gets on everything
you use, and I smell like a whore.'
        'But
Marco, what harm is there if I use one of your

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