After three days filled with tears and telephone calls (obviously, smell is not transmitted by cable, and the telephone line provides a slight distortion to Tentorea’s voice, allowing Mefito to withstand it stoically for a few minutes), the two lovers meet again. They cast a long, passionate gaze on each other. And they realize that nothing will ever tear them apart.
Swept up in an inevitable wave of destiny, they decide to live together. They find clever solutions to their audio-olfactory problems: he begins wearing earplugs that transform his beloved’s voice into a gentle murmur, and she places special pincers on her nose that do not even prevent her from passionately kissing her dear Mefito. Also, within a few weeks Mefito and Tentorea start attending sign language classes offered by the Ministry of Education and Science, intended for the parents and relatives of deaf-mute children. And in just a few months, the daily annoyances of nose-pincers and earplugs are replaced by a fluttering of hands, in an amazing, complex, silent communication. Tentorea even manages to dream “aloud” with her hands at night, and Mefito learns an ancient Chinese technique for yawning without opening one’s mouth. The adaptation is impeccable.
They go on like this for years in silence, with certain matrimonial ups and downs, avowedly, but such as never manage to destroy their bulletproof love, until eventually they almost can’t remember their own voices. But one peaceful afternoon in autumn, a primordial dread resurges from oblivion: Tentorea has become pregnant.
A terrible disquiet appears, first in their eyes and then in their hands: it’s a delicate situation. The baby has to learn to speak, and if its parents don’t teach it, who will? But, what if the baby can’t stand the father’s breath, or the mother’s voice? It’ll never stop crying, and then of course it’ll never learn to speak… And what if the baby gets irreversible hearing damage? Or olfactory damage? Mefito and Tentorea look at each other, anguished, and in both of their minds (in unison, obviously) the same idea arises: but what if they can’t bear the child’s howling? Will it have a foul, stinking mouth like its father? Or will it have an unbearable voice like its mother? Or… both at the same time? Shrouded in silence, Mefito and Tentorea remain fixed in a mutual gaze, trying to suss out each other’s thoughts. Then a wave of panic suddenly overcomes Tentorea: Mefito is shaking his head insistently, and in slow motion, his hands are pronouncing a horrible message: yoouu haaave tooo getttt aann aaboorrrtiooon, Tenntooreaa, aannn aaabooortiooon…