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Therapist: Let me recap…so, you signed a paper where you were giving away your heritage from your grandmother, including the house and a bank account? That’s crazy…and illegal! You were only 17, i don’t think you could legally sign that paper…

Me: But i didn’t knew! It was only two days after my grandmother passed away…i was grieving and the last thing i ever imagined is that i might need a lawyer…in my ignorance i believe them when they threatened me with a legal trial…

T.: They?! Cari, we’re talking about your parents! The people who should protect your interests…

Me: When i saw their lawyer, so serious…and he told me that if i don’t sign…they will attack my grandmother’s will in court and they will declare her mentally unable to decide…Imagine, the person you love the most, declared mentally ill…

“She was starring at the window, looking at the clouds and feeling miserable. The thoughts were mixing with emotions and she felt like is impossible to separate wrong from right anymore.

-Carissa, stop tormenting yourself like this…you did the only decent thing you could do. Sweetie, i was trying to tell you…

-No, Matteo! I’m a coward! I should fight for my rights…like she always told me. And me…stupid me i got scared! That lawyer was so…creepy…And my father had this cold look in his eyes…They accused me of manipulating my grandmother, i swear i never knew that she’s planning to let me the house…

-So you lost a house…people are losing houses in earthquakes…And about the account…you know there’s nothing sure about the finance…Your parents are risking a lot with that deposit in Cyprus…

-Matteo…it’s not about the house or the money! I lost my self esteem by letting them intimidate me like that…

He took her face in his hands, looking deep in her eyes.

-But you gained my respect…Carissa, you don’t know what you’re dealing with. I got a few questions for you…

-OK…

-Why were you home schooled? And why weren’t you allowed to talk to strangers or even to children of your own age? Why were they sending you so far away from home when you were only 15…with no life experience at all?

-I don’t know…

-Next one: Why weren’t you allowed to use Internet?

-Stop it! I don’t wanna hear this anymore. I don’t have the answers you’re looking for, Matteo…

She wanted to deny that voice inside her and she blamed him for bringing to life all her questions, all her insecurities. She tried to push him away but he kept holding her firmly by her shoulders. She avoided his gaze.

-Sweetie…i’m not the bad guy here…but someone certainly is. All it takes is for someone to look at you to realize…sweetie, you’re not Sicilian…i wonder if you’re even Italian. OK, half Italian, cause your mom is American, i understand…But my question remains: why do they raised an American child in Sicily…so overprotected…almost like a prisoner?

-Alright, Matti…let’s hire a detective…or better…let’s investigate ourselves…

He started to laugh.

-Sweetie, irony doesn’t fit you…Now, seriously, Carissa…The best we could do is to leave Palermo as fast as we can. And you better stay away…this is not your home, it never was and it will never be…I talked to your father…

-WHAT? You…manipulative bas…

He covered her mouth with his palm, gently but firm so she couldn’t say the words.

-Sssssshhhhhtttt…bad language doesn’t fit you neither. I talked to your father only to tell him that you’re protected by the Moretti Family. La Famiglia Moretti, si…la piu potente…I was lucky to be born in a very powerful family and i’m gonna use everything i can to protect you. I never imagined you need protection from your own father but…stranger things happened before…

She started to cry and he let her go. She almost collapsed on the bed.

-Carissa…i made a deal with your father. He wants you to stay away from Palermo and to stop trying to contact them, your brothers or your friends from the local church. He offered me his word that you’ll be safe and they’ll pay for your tuition if you wanna go to College. That’s the best deal i could get. Your father is a brilliant business man when it comes to negotiate…

-You made a deal with the Devil, using my soul as bait! And you had no right! You know what? I’m not afraid of my father or you! How did you said…La Famiglia Moretti, si? Piu potente? And i’m in some kind of danger, right? Cause “La Famiglia” Provenzano is going to…what? Hurt me? Kill me? What?!! Or better…let’s see what the Police has to say about this!

He took her hands making her feel unable to move. His voice was very deep and dark.

-Carissa, maybe you don’t care about yourself…but think about your mother. And be wise this time…You think is a game, but is not…and you don’t need to believe me if you don’t want to…All you need is to stay away from this place…No one wants you here, anyway…

The reality hit her like a cold shower. He was right…no one wanted her here…

-Hey…sweetie, don’t cry…

-Take me back to Rome, i don’t wanna be here anymore. I’ll be wise…i don’t wanna talk to you anymore or look at you anymore. You and my father are the same…And you’re right, i don’t believe you! My family and yours are normal people, that’s all. I know what were you implying and you’re out of your mind to even think like this about my family. They may not love me or want me but they’re not criminals. But you are…you killed my trust in you. Now, let me pack my bags, i wanna be alone.

He left the room with no words, letting her crying inside with a sense of emptiness she never felt before.”

Therapist: You still think he was bluffing, right?

Me: Yes, i have to believe that everything he told me are just lies. Cause if they were true…I just don’t wanna live with this truth.

T.: I guess it’s all in the past…true or not true, it belongs to the past. But tell me, how do you feel now that you recovered the house? 

Me: I recovered the house but i never recovered my broken relationship with my parents. Yes, it’s true…we’re all trying to be reasonable to each other and i finally feel respected…Not loved, respected… So, to answer to your question: in an empty place like the house i recovered, i just feel empty. And i don’t wanna live there…never again…

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