DISEQUILIBRIUMS The Individuals. Chapter 33

Thursday 22 December 2016

Time: 11:00 pm


So, my father said goodbye before going away on his trip and never returning!

But where did he really go? How did he disappear?

I’m imagining all kinds of scenarios and it scares me just thinking about them. What if he’s still alive?

I want to cry. I want to shout. And by all accounts from what they have said, even my mother is probably aware of everything. And she’s hidden it from us her children. I can’t believe it. This is worse than any film I’ve seen up to now, and today I am the main character. For a moment, I want to think that none of this is really happening, that what Erik and Samuel are saying is all rubbish. The fact is that, if only one of them had said it, I would not have believed it. But it cannot be a coincidence that two different people who had never talked about it beforehand should know the same thing.

What am I doing?

Shall I call my mother and tell her? I don’t really know what to say to her. I feel deceived. She doesn’t have the right to hide it if she really knew about it.

I feel them looking at me. Apart from the story about the Disequilibriums, the group and all the rest, what really eats at me is the thought that my father could be still alive. Everyone is still looking at me. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. It’s the first time I’ve felt like this. I am unable to make a decision.

I bury my face in my hands.

I’m sure that they’re still looking at me.

I’m going to wake up from this nightmare.

Daddy!’ Daddy! but he’s not answering.

He’s not here.

I’m going to wake up from this nightmare and everything will return to what it was before.

As before? When can I say ‘before’? Could it be before my dad disappeared almost a year ago, or half an hour ago?

That’s it! I’m not going to be the one to stop this.

Perhaps to lighten up the mood, David picks up his computer and has started to search the Internet. The others follow his lead and we are all again fully immersed in this adventure. Suddenly, I stand up and look at the screen. I cannot help blurting out:

“Sacred Geometry! That’s what Elsa was telling us about! The Fibonacci numbers that I found in my father’s briefcase. I’ve just seen how it all works on this webpage. In fact, I’ve seen reviews in the books I saw in my father’s briefcase.”

No one is taking notice of me. They are all working on their computers. I prefer it like that. I don’t want to be the leader here. No one is asking me anything, which is just as well.

I point out the webpage to each of them and they all see the PHI relationship and how many shapes conform to it. I find a webpage in which they describe some constructions designed using sacred geometry with the application of the golden number. Suddenly I stop, look at David and smile.

“Can you lend me a ruler?”

As soon as he brings it to me, I take out the city plan from my bag, on which we had placed the solstice rectangle as Nicola had instructed. I spread it out on a clear area on the table. I notice them observing me, and after measuring a couple of things, doing the calculations and noting them down on a sheet of paper, I show them what I’ve written.

“I can’t believe it!” David exclaims.

“It’s the PHI number,” Erik says aloud and adds, “the relation between the long and short sides of the solstice rectangle is practically the same as the golden number. It’s all sacred geometry.”

At that point, I return to the computer and read three pages. Then I lean back on my chair, sigh, look up at the ceiling and say:

“I think I know what my father discovered.”

They all stopped looking at their screens and turn to watch me, even Samuel.

“Neither London, Paris nor Bergamo has the same relationship found in Zaragoza. If he was looking for the true city of balance, he found it because that’s where he was living.”

Erik and David approach and observe the computer screen. At that moment, Erik makes a comment:

“Look! What shocked me most was the little statue with the two faces. I have searched on the Internet, for Greek or Roman gods and found this.”

He shows us a photo that’s exactly the same as the one we saw at Nicola’s house.

“It’s the god Janus!” Samuel jumps up and exclaims.

The way he said it, with so much certainty, made us all go quiet, even David who was looking at the maps and checking the measurements of the squares and circles with a ruler. I notice that I no longer regard David in the same way as I did before. Something has changed as of today. It’s going to be difficult to treat him in the same way as I’ve done until now.

Suddenly I felt Erik’s hand on mine. At any other time, it would be the most normal thing. In fact, I like it when he does it occasionally. But now, today. What a muddle! No. I have to be self-assured and to show it. If I’m going out with Erik and I like him, I must not conceal anything from him. But that was before I enjoyed the kiss.

“And how do you know this?” Elsa’s question to Samuel jolts me from my thoughts.

“I had seen it at some time in a book,” he answers as if it was of no importance. “He has two faces because one face looks towards the beginning and the other at the end; one towards birth and the other towards death, towards day and towards night. Therefore, the first month of the year, January, is named after Janus because it represents the face that looks to the start of things.”

“It makes sense that Janus is at Nicola’s house, as it’s at the point of balance.” Samuel’s conclusion has made me hold him in affection once more.

Erik and I look at each other. He squeezes my hand and smiles. I reciprocate. Everything is becoming more intense because things are squaring up. I read the explanation on the webpage and I become increasingly excited. We have to do the jump, we have to travel back and find the answer.

I’m quiet for a moment and spread out the plan of the city with the tilted solstice rectangle.

“What I’ve discovered and what you are going to see now is the number of churches there are in Zaragoza. And where are they located? We already know that at the Eastern Gate, there is the Church of La Magdalena, but if we go to the Western Gate, it’s next to the Church of San Cayetano. And now you will see it.”

I take out another transparency which I had worked on at the weekend. What I did was to draw a square which will include the solstice rectangle. On each of the short sides of the rectangle, I drew a centre line with the same longitude on the long side of the rectangle and, afterwards, I linked the ends of the new lines with other perpendicular lines to form the square. Then, I matched up the ends of this square to the mid-points of the other square so that it would wrap around it and did it like this several times. I was inspired by the symbol we saw at Nicola’s house and in my dad’s office.

I allow them to observe it for a while and then say:

“If you look, the two lower ends of the first square coincide with the location of the Church of San Miguel and the Church of Santiago.”

At that moment, I see the same surprise on their faces as I had on the day I discovered it. I was stunned when I saw it. Drawing the squares, each within the other, was a great discovery for me because the coincidence I saw afterwards was jaw-dropping.

“But there’s something else here!” David exclaims and I go closer to the plan to get a better look at the detail.

He stops and also approaches the city plan on the table to get as close as possible to see it.

“How pronounced it is!” He adds. “Since the explanation in class, and considering the four elements of nature and of balance, I had deduced that if Emperor Augustus thought that this was a sacred city, it would be because he discovered the balance of the four elements.”

He stops for a moment for a drink of water. I observe every movement he makes with the glass. He’s one who gets pleasure when he is having a drink and you can see it from the way he closes his eyes like I do. He does it so smoothly. Today, his fringe gives him an intellectual look, making him more attractive.

But, what am I thinking? I am holding hands with my boyfriend and at the same time looking at another boy in the way I am doing. Sofia, get a grip of yourself! Be true to the decision you have made.

I compose myself.

“The air is clearly identified by the intensity of the wind in the area.” I listen to David’s explanation. “And the sun, of course. So, it’s an area with many hours of light at the end of the year, and the Cardus and the Decumanus are oriented to find it. The concept of the earth occurred to me when we were in the museum and we read that on the day the city was founded, a priest was pulling a golden plough with two oxen. Specifically, there was a person throwing the earth from the ditch into the inner part of the city to be built. And the water… I had taken it for granted that it was the Ebro River.”

At that moment, putting his hand on David’s shoulder, smiling broadly, almost comradely, and pointing at the map, Erik says to him:

“You’ve just discovered and have made us see that the water does not refer to the Ebro River but to the Huerva.”

The picture they present is intense, because they look at each other and smile. They look almost like friends and I feel awful. What happened earlier in the kitchen has me turning over inside.

“That’s right,” he indicates on the map all the points where the vertices criss-cross with the Huerva River to the south.

I have to admit that I had not seen it. It’s mind-blowing, I had only noticed the intersection between the streets and the churches, but the intersection with the Huerva River is even more astonishing.

“It’s incredible! It’s incredible!” Elsa shocks us all with her school-girlish screams.

She can’t stop saying it over and over again. We watch her to see if she realises that if she does not calm down, we won’t be able to understand what she’s saying.

“We have to go and see Nicola right now! It’s almost midnight and we’ve only a few hours to dawn.”

“Why are you so sure? Don’t you think it’s very late to go to someone’s house?” I ask her.

Elsa becomes serious.

“I think that we all have an idea of what happened to your father.” I feel a lump in my throat, but this we cannot stop. I am with them. I want to continue. “Although I don’t have proof of everything, This is how I think it was…”

She stands up and, like a teacher, she begins to gesticulate with her arms:

“Emperor Augustus was from a prominent family in Rome and he was sent to Greece to study the classics. He must have acquired an in-depth knowledge of geometry and, specifically, sacred geometry. The truth is that when I told you about the PHI number earlier, it is because when I discovered it, I began to do some more reading on it and I couldn’t stop. Everything that is linked to it is fantastic.”

She pauses to calm down and then continues,

“I don’t know how, but Emperor Augustus discovered what occurred in the location of the original city and established the city of Caesaraugusta, which bore his name, and the construction of the Roman walls show that, in addition to the solstice rectangle, all balance was based on sacred geometry.”

At that moment, Erik stands up and intervenes:

“I totally agree. The only thing we need to do now is to sort out the tune to open the portal.”

“I think,” says Samuel, “that we need a clue and it must be within everything we have in front of us here.”

I look at him as he observes the plans on the table. I would like to know what is going through his head. As a chess player, I sometimes think that he’s three steps ahead of us. But I agree with him. There is something that does not quite add up. I nod.

“What I can’t understand in this whole puzzle is how Janus is connected to all of this,” I commented.

There is silence. Instinctively, we pick up our mobiles and without saying anything to each other, we send five text messages from David’s house to five different families. It’s amusing because Elsa is reading out aloud what she is writing home, which coincides with what I’ve written to my mother: ‘Today we’re having a sleepover at David’s house to be with him because of what happened to his mother’.

I watch David and I know that he’s also sending this message to his Uncle Daniel. I don’t know what excuse he’s giving. Erik, for sure, is sending one to his mother. He’s very close to her.

How I would love to find out who Samuel is sending his message too.

When we finish, hardly saying anything to each other, we pick up our coats and leave. This really is good rapport. What a cool group, as my little brother would say.

Turning around, I see David putting the dulzaina, which was in the living room and which Erik was playing before, in his coat.

We all went down into the street, and without saying anything we started walking quickly towards the town centre. It’s no longer raining, but the ground is wet and it’s very cold. We have to be careful so that we don’t slip.

Elsa and I walk a little behind, taking care to put on our scarves and gloves securely. The three boys are walking together ahead of us. Elsa has been quiet for a long time and I realise that she used the excuse of the cold so that we would be together at the back.

She breaks the silence as we walk, “The other day we were talking in the street and you asked me a question.”

I don’t know what she is talking about, and so I let her continue without interrupting.

“But today, I recognise that I was not completely truthful.” She lowers her head as she continues walking.

Without saying anything, I turn towards her so that she can see that I’m listening to her. We are half-way down Paseo Sagasta and, despite the cold, a couple are sitting on one of the benches in the centre, kissing each other. Elsa looks at them for a moment and then continues speaking:

“Today when he took charge after all the commotion with the computer screen, I realised that I can’t hide it anymore. Not only was he handsome and a decisive leader, but he also transmitted a feeling of security and courage.”

I’ve only just realised who she is talking about. Oh! I can’t say anything to her, just after the boy she is talking about gave me a kiss that I will never forget for as long as I live.

Elsa stops as we reach the department stores, holds my arm and, whispering in my ear so that no one else can hear, she tells me:

“I decided to tell David that I like him and I want to go out with him.”

Goodness gracious! What do I say to her now? Everything is whirling around me. As if we didn’t have enough on our plate, with all the historical conflict in which we are enmeshed, now I have to contend with one of my best friends wanting to ask the boy who I’ve just kissed in secret to go out.

“What’s the matter, Sofia?” Elsa looks at me very strangely. I must control my expression. “Is there a problem?”

“No, no,” I hasten to answer. “Forgive me.” This is the only excuse that occurs to me. “With all this trouble with Nicola, I haven’t taken it all in at first.”

I move away a little. I hold her gently on the arms and smiling at her, I respond:

“I wish you all the very best, Elsa. He’s very nice and a good friend. I’m sure it will go very well for you both.”

But, suddenly Elsa becomes very quiet and stops smiling.

“The problem is,” she hesitates before continuing. “The problem is that I think his heart is already captured by another.”

Darn it! I hope she never finds out who she is.

She lifts her gaze, stares at me and says:

“But I don’t care.” With greater determination than normal reflected on her face, she continues speaking, “I am going to tell him, whatever happens.”

I can say the only thing that occurs to me:

“Good luck.”

She takes my arm and we hurry to catch up with the boys who haven’t even noticed that we had stopped. She seems better and even walks with her head held high. The problem is that I suddenly feel a lump in my throat. I can hardly breathe. At this moment, I prefer to focus on my legs moving.

WriterGlen Lapson © 2016

English translator: Rose Cartledge

PublisherFundacion ECUUP


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