The conversation about what happened on that distant sunny afternoon fifteen years ago started casually, as they expressed their contempt for people who believe in the evil eye and other similar nonsense. Like that time their aunt brought them to get cleansed during summer.
Giulia recalled going to that house together with her aunt and Gianluca. The cousin was clinging onto her, as if she were his anchor, as they climbed the steps of the country house. It looked harmless from the outside, a typical August sunburned country house. Giulia couldn't wait to go inside to spend some time in the shade. She didn't remember much of the journey to get there.
The memory was no longer very vivid in her head. She didn't remember how they got in. She cna still see the big table of thick dark wood, the chairs. She's sure there were women in the house. In her vision as a child, they were all big and tall and old.
And she remembers the bowl. It was in ceramic, white and blue. Inside a steamy green liquid, similar to tea. It didn't look reassuring. And she has never liked tea.
She remembers going second. In her memory she remembers running across the room trying not to get caught, wriggling, hiding under the table, putting chairs between herself and her pursuers, screaming at the top of her lungs. In her memory that event was a source of pride, a proof of her rebellion from an early age. A test of her innate fortitude. Finally she was caught, her face covered in tears placed in front of the bowl, so that the steam hit her face.
Gianluca listened in silence. He remembered an opposite scene. It's true that he was a year younger, perhaps his memory is even more unreliable than Giulia's. He recalls the torrid heat that glued them to the seats of his aunt's car. The roads that went up and down, Vesuvius in the distance, the pine trees that offered refreshment only for short moments. He didn't remember holding on to anyone, but shaking someone's hand.
According to him, the liquid in the basin was clear, not greenish. And he was certain that he was the one who had escaped, screaming, running. After all, he had always been a restless child who never stood still.
He spent his afternoons forcing his cousin to play, while she just wanted to read her books. Giulia was known for being calm and quiet. How could it be that she was the one who had escaped? Gianluca refused to believe it.
They both agreed that he went first. Gianluca thought that, since she had gone later, he was sure she had remained calm. She had already understood that nothing bad was going to happen.
He was shocked to discover, at the age of twenty, that his cousin remembered something different. His foundations had faltered. How many things did he not remember well? And was he sure he wanted to know?
Gianluca told her his version. The cousin refused to believe it, but there was a little worm eating her brain. Was her memory unreliable?
The aunt found herself attacked by the two nephews as she put the salad bowl on the table. They asked her the truth.
She can still feel the heat on her skin, the old car struggling on the hot concrete. She had taken them to Concetta, who had always done this type of thing, she was reliable. The aunt could see the raised eyebrows of the two youngsters, but she didn't feel guilty. It was something that had always been done, it was better to do it than not to do it. Of course, she didn't want the rumors to get around too much. Everyone knew her as a devout Christian, who relied solely on religion.
The aunt turned her mind to the past. She remembers that one of them had been running around, maybe they thought it was a game. They were only six or seven, after all. She couldn't remember which of the two had escaped. She wondered for a few seconds whether it was better to lie. Make one happy, upset the other. With a smile she said she just couldn't remember. After a few minutes, she went back to cooking and the memory of the event returned to hiding in the mud of his mind.
The two, however, did not forget. When the aunt died and no one was able to settle the matter, the relationship between the two deteriorated. They couldn't come to an agreement, but they couldn't forget either. They began to notice holes, inconsistencies, to wonder if they could find a way to know the truth about that event. On all their memories. Who knows how many could be distorted, different from reality…
In the end, Giulia and Gianluca found a solution: they relied on an experimental product, the Ri-Corder 2056. At the time, it could only read memories in their original version, as they had been imprinted in memory the first time, without subsequent revisions. The rest is history. I think you all know the truth, the one that Giulia and Gianluca have sought so ardently. It made the news years ago and it's textbook study, now.
Today, after many years of honored career of the Ri-Corder 2056, we are here to announce its evolution, the Ri-Corder 2066! Like its predecessor, it allows the viewing of original memories. But in addition, it lets you check all the different versions your mind created and even copying them on digital and holographic screens, with compatibility with all operating systems.
You can watch them everywhere, anytime. No more issues, arguments. Only facts.
Ri-Corder 2066. To finally trust one's memory.
About the Creator
I'm an italian girl who grew up eating many stories. I devoured so many, that I decided to try to do my part.
I hope you enjoy my stories!
My blog: http://mangiastoriecantastelle.wordpress.com