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Therapist: You’re always saying that love is about giving…

Me: And you’re always saying that love it’s a two way street.

T.(smiling): And isn’t it true? How much can you give without receiving? How much can you love without being loved back?

Me: A lot…

“She took his hand and place it on her chest to make him feel her heart beats. He pulled her closer and kissed her passionately, making her melt inside.

-Alessio…amore mio, i never felt this way…i love you and i trust you and…i want you with all my being…

He smiled laying her on the bed and kissing her neck. She moaned softly and ran her fingers trough his hair.

-I love you too…I can’t believe it, baby…that’s the best birthday present i ever got…tell me again…

-Yes…i wanna make love to you…i wanna make you happy, Alessio…you’re the love of my life and it will never be another one. And…in my heart we’re like married…i wanna be yours because i love you, not because you promised me…

He took her face in his hands and kissed her again and again…His hands were reaching to the buttons of her blouse when he suddenly stopped.

-Damn…if i had known about your plans…but my parents should come and also the friends i invited…

-Yes, the party! You gotta help me…what should i wear? I wanna impress your parents…

He was quiet and she knew that something is wrong.

-Cari…i thought about this…it’s not the best moment to introduce you. You know how my parents feel about your family and also my friends…I tell you what…why don’t you come when the party is over, and we’ll have our own private party…

She felt so disappointed but she didn’t wanted to have a fight with him.

-I just hoped…i imagined we’ll spend the evening together…but i guess you know better…

-Come on, baby…don’t make this face…i’ll spend the night with you. Cari…

He took her in his arms and wiped away her tears.

-Look, if you don’t stop, i’ll cancel the party. My parents will get upset, my friends too and i’ll feel like an idiot…Is this what you want? I thought so…You’re the best! And you’re making me so happy…

She smiled and tried to say something but then she saw the message on her cellphone. It was from her mother…She started to read and suddenly became very pale.

-Cari, baby…what’s wrong? Come here…sit down, you’re about to pass out…

-Is my grandmother…she’s dying…Alessio, it can’t be…i knew she’s sick but no one told me is so serious…Come, we gotta go…

-Where, baby?

-To Palermo…i need to see her, i know that if she’ll see me…

He didn’t knew how to react and he had a hard time controlling his anger.

-Baby…that’s nonsense…think better. If she’s that sick, she’ll die till we get there. And you know about our plans…Do you think she’d want to see you like this? You’ll only make things worse, for her and for us…

Acting like a robot, she said yes…He pretended he believes her and she pretended that everything’s alright. She left his apartment feeling empty. The small drops of rain ran down her cheeks along with her tears. Walking without direction. Suddenly she felt someone’s arms around her shoulders.

-Heeey…sweetie…what are you doing so close to my home? Wanna see Luisa?

-Oh, Matteo…

She couldn’t keep the feeling inside anymore and she burst into tears. He took the phone from her hand and read the message. His voice was serious.

-OK, stop crying. I understand you wanna go to Palermo? (she nodded) And…let me guess…your prince is unavailable…God, Carissa, stop crying…there’s nothing more annoying that hearing you whining. You’re done? Now get in the car…

-What? Why? Do you really mean…

She was too shocked to be coherent. His tone, his voice, the way he was talking to her…In other circumstances she would turn her back but he was her only chance.

He took her hand and helped her with the seat belt. She felt like a child ready to go on a long adventure. Scared of the unknown.

-Matteo…wait, i didn’t took anything…

-No problem, we’ll stop by the boarding school so you can pack. And i’ll have the chance to talk to the Principle so you wont have problems for missing school.

-But how…

-Sweetie…i’m one of the main contributors…i don’t think anybody will refuse me if i’ll say i need you to some humanitarian project…

She was overwhelmed. And then it hit her…the thought that Alessio will be disappointed…

-Matteo, i can’t…I promised Alessio i’ll spend the night with him. Is his birthday and…

He stopped the car so suddenly that she felt dizzy. Then he turned to face her and spoke with a calm that made her froze.

-And you’re the present. I get that, Carissa. You need to decide now. I’ll give you exactly ten seconds. Do you wanna say good bye to your grandmother? The woman who loved you more than anything on this world? Are you generous enough to let her see you for the last time? If you’re not…stop wasting my time, will you?

She started to cry again, unable to speak.

-Time’s up! What will it be? Your grandmother or Alessio?

-Take me to Palermo…please…

He smiled for the first time.

-Good girl. For a moment, i had my doubts…Now what? Oh, you’re upset with me.

-No…i’m not used to take orders like that…and the way you spoke to me…it scared me. You’re so cold sometimes…

He look at her a little amused and he tried to soften his tone.

-I’m sorry, sweetie. It’s just the way i spoke…i guess old habits…I’ll try to talk to you more…softly. All i want is to help you, nothing else. And we’ll get along just fine, as long as you follow one simple rule…When i say something, you’ll do what i say. No arguments, no “but”. I’m not going to convince you of anything, you’ll gonna do it because i said so. Is it clear?

She wanted to argue to that (absolutely outrageous to her) rule but she felt she has no choice…

-Matteo, what if i won’t follow your rule? Then what?

-You will. Don’t worry, you will.”

Therapist: You felt like you have no choice…i think that these words can define your relationship with Matteo.

Me: I was very lonely…and there were times when i needed help. I couldn’t count on my family, or on my boyfriend…at school no one was meddling in personal problems. And he helped me…and i felt that my wounded pride is just a small price to pay…

T.: Cari, there’s no need to be defensive…no one is judging you, in fact, your actions were somewhere between bravery and madness. Typical for a desperate child…You were so hurt and you just accepted hurtful situations because all you ever heard is that you need to be generous and loving. No one told you that you need to get something in return…  

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