Who are you? by Camilla

Summary

In the last century, an extraordinary man lived in Italy, Gustavo Rol. He was a psychic with astounding paranormal powers, which he never used for personal gain. Very appropriately, he was from Turin, the white (and black) magic city in Northern Italy.

I like to think that, in the '30s, he and Carlisle met. This is the story of their momentous meeting.

Story notes

- Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I don't own Gustavo Rol, he was a real person. I only played with his biography and borrowed some of his sentences. When he speaks of his gifts, I am quoting his words, as translated into English on the website dedicated to him. www(.)/English(.)html

- Many thanks to my pre submission Beta Kellyam.

Carlisle

The waters of the Atlantic were as dark as the sky above. Day after day of sunshine had forced us to stay in our cabin, feigning a severe case of seasickness. Meal trays were left practically untouched without raising suspicion. Only after sunset could we go out and enjoy the clean sea air.

No, this trip had not been a good idea. The hospital routine helped me to stay focused on my patients. Esme had a number of pleasant endeavors to pursue at home, or so I thought. Here, on the Atlantic Ocean, though, there were no barriers to prevent my tortured thoughts. My wife, as pained as I was, had to dissemble, unwilling to add to my burden.

In her arms I could forget for a while, but then I was at it again, every hour, every moment. I looked at the black sea, always the same questions swirling in my head.

"Edward, where are you? I thought that I could save you from death and give you eternity. But I was not good enough, not convincing enough to keep you with me, and now…what are you now? Are you a nomad with crimson eyes, shed of humanity, and thinking only of your next prey? What did I do to you, my son?"

We were travelling to London for a medical conference, an event meant to advance and make available to practitioners the medical knowledge of the day. Invitations to attend had reached my hospital well in advance, and I had proposed to Esme that we made this trip, hoping to find distraction from our continuous agonizing over our lost son. The conference attracted me for the sessions on psychoanalysis, a relatively new field that was not my own, but fascinated me.

Finally, the Olympic docked at Southampton and we made our way to our hotel in London. The first night we went hunting in a forest not far from the city.

The conference held no particular interest for Esme, so she took the opportunity to visit London, which she did not know at all. We reunited in the evenings. British weather did not disappoint, it was raining most of the time.

One afternoon, the monotone voice of a particularly dull lecturer lulled me into barely contained boredom, He spoke in circles, not managing to hold my attention in the slightest. In addition, the loudspeaker produced an unpleasant, eerie vibration. I sat on my chair, remembering to move from time to time, crossing my legs, touching my face. My discarded green scarf, a present from Esme, rested on my knee.

I looked at the man sitting near me. He was no older than thirty, had a pleasant, intelligent face and looked very bored as well.

My mind wandered on its usual track. "Edward, could I have done things differently? When you said that you had had enough and wanted to follow the true call of our nature, should I have accepted it and not turned you away? No, not possible and yet… "

The man near me froze. He was looking at my scarf. Then he turned and looked me in the eyes. With a gentle voice and a slight Italian accent, he asked if he could borrow the Conference program, as he had lost his. I handed it to him wordlessly. He placed the booklet between his hands and closed his eyes. Minutes passed. I was looking at him, quite disconcerted. Then he gave the program back to me. On its white cover one word had been written, but he had no pen, nor had he moved his hands. The word was …..

Edward

I almost jumped.

How was this possible? What did he know? Did he know where Edward was? Did he know who Edward was? I needed answers; I could not go another moment without answers. Fortunately, the speaker had ended his lecture, to scant applause.

"Who are you?" I rasped.

"My name is Gustavo Rol." He offered his hand, warm to my cold one, while I introduced myself. He shuddered, his eyes wide. "Yes, we should speak, but not here."

I followed him in a daze. I was probably doing something dangerous, rash even, but I could not stop. We ended up in the darkest corner of an almost empty pub, our two beers forgotten, since I could not drink mine while he had taken a sip, grimaced and said that he liked wine better.

"Please, tell me who you are," I pleaded.

"I am an Italian bank employee sent to London for high level training. I am privately interested in psychoanalysis," he added, "so, I attended the Conference. I am also visiting antiques shops around London, because I am thinking of quitting the bank and starting a business in this field. I have discovered that I have a talent for spotting fakes…."

This was ridiculous!

"What do you know of my son? Where is he?" I insisted.

"I don't know where your son is, but I saw a sea of green, your scarf, possibly. The color has an ….effect on me, and you were screaming his name… you were in such a pain…"

Rol's eyes were warm, comforting.

"I will try to explain. All this is rather new for me too, but afterward, you will have to answer my questions."

I remained silent and he continued.

"I studied law, but I was always interested in the powers of the mind. I naturally possess a deep and instinctive intuition, of which I have been aware since I was a young boy. When I was about twenty five, I discovered that there was a terrible law linking the color green, warmth and the quinta musicale, an interval between notes. I looked into the abyss, and I was so terrified that I took refuge in a monastery. My mother convinced me to come out into the world again, to have faith and use the talent I had been given. And so I did. I started experimenting with my abilities, and now I pass from discovery to discovery. As it happened this evening.

But I will not be called a magician! My mentality is very distant from the world of magic. My modest experiments, and their results, are part of science. They are things that everyone, with God's help, will be able to achieve in the future."

"So you believe in God?" I asked, and he said that it was so.

A kindred spirit, then. This man could be my friend, if circumstances allowed. But they did not, and it made me very sad.

"Now is your turn," he said. "When I touched your hand, I felt something very odd - like you are not alive - yet you are here. Doctor Cullen, who are you?"

The time had come. Either I answered and betrayed myself, or I said nothing and he would leave. I would never find out what he knew of my son.

"I am… undead," I whispered.

He was silent for a while and then spoke.

"Undead, as in Bram Stoker's Dracula?"

"Yes, more or less."

"You don't seem to be a monster, though."

He believed me, yet there was no fear in his face.

"I try not to be. I have chosen not to kill...people."

For the first time in centuries, I was telling a human the truth about me. I described the way I lived, and told him of the two people I loved and had changed, because they were dying. I revealed everything to him. I knew it was forbidden, and I was putting Esme, myself and him at risk, but I could not stop. His eyes commanded the truth. I told him about Edward and hung my head in shame, because I had been unable to prevent his rebellion. So now a deadly killer prowled the streets, and it was my fault.

It was getting late. My wife would be fretting, and I had to leave very soon.

"I should not have told you about me. There are those of my kind that would come after you, if they knew…" I warned him.

"Don't worry about that. I will not tell anybody, and there is no way my mind can be read, if I don't allow it. But, please, let me do a little experiment. Take your scarf, and put your hand on it."

I complied. He placed his hand over mine, not touching, but near enough for me to feel his warmth. He hummed a barely audible tune and closed his eyes. When he opened them again, he smiled.

"Return to the States, Doctor Cullen. Your son will come back to you. Your son IS coming back to you. He will live as you wish him to live. And one day he will find happiness, I promise you."

Endnotes

- There is nothing fanciful here. I have an aged relative who met Rol, whom she knew socially. He told her something about the future that proved to be completely true.

- Please review, tell me what you think.

- Who are you is the story that was published, translated into my language, in the Italian magazine "Dark",