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Dave: It’s alright, I wont let go…do you even realize how brave you are?

Me: Yeah right…very brave…I always end up in your arms, ruining your shirt with my tears and your working time with my problems. Remember when you were my therapist? I always wanted from you to hold me or to go to the park and talk there…I ruined therapy too…

Dave: I remember that I was pushing you in a direction I thought was the right one. Away from Ryan…at a point I realized I’m angry with him…I mixed my personal feelings in the therapeutic process and…

Me: And you agreed to go to the park…

Dave (laughing): I did…didn’t I? Welcome back, Cari…I missed your friendship and your habit of finishing my sentences…Sometimes, losing a friend is worst than losing a love.

Me: I know…

Dave: You know? Tell me more…

“She couldn’t understand…how could she feel this way? A guest to her own engagement party. A perfect doll, smiling and dancing. People were telling her that she’s beautiful but she didn’t felt this way. Her emotions remained blocked again…this time into a moment she shouldn’t had lived…

She was 18 and feeling like 100 years old. She was always smiling in public. In private, she always looked down. Burdened by her own choices. Ashamed of her own lies. Afraid to look inside her heart but always ready to offer what she did’t had…happiness, hope, courage, healing.

Another rose, another gift box with red ribbons. Another questions…”How you two met? Ohhh…that’s so sweet…And, your parents…? Yes, of course, if they have a business, they must be very busy…And, you’re planning on going to University after the wedding? Well, dear…you’ll change your mind once the babies will appear…Do you wanna have children, right? You’re not pregnant, are you? Girls these days have no morals, is so nice that you two waited… .”

She knew the right answers by heart and she knew how to fake the loving smile while she was looking into Matteo’s eyes. She also knew that she lost everything.

-Come with me, sweetie…you look lost.

Matteo took her hand, leading her to a private corner of the garden. A few pairs of eyes followed them, but he didn’t cared. He kissed her and help her sit in his arms.

-Now, are you ever gonna tell me what’s wrong?

-Nothing’s wrong…what could it be? Your parents organized the best engagement party ever…And you’re so carrying, people are so nice…

-Carissa, I know you. Something happen a few days ago, right? And ever since then, you’re not yourself. I will find out, sweetie, you know I will, so why don’t you just tell me?

-Matteo, I…I…did…something terrible…and you wont forgive me…never…

His eyes darkened and she felt cold. She wanted to shout her truth and still she was frozen. A warm voice interrupted her struggle.

-Carissa, Matteo, sorry for bothering, I heard about the engagement and I wanted to congratulate you.

-Danielle! Dani! You’re here, you’re really here! I thought you’ll never come back!

She hugged Danielle so tight, afraid is just a dream. Matteo laughed.

-That was my surprise for you, sweetie. If I couldn’t bring your parents, at least your best friend is here. Now, I’ll let you two talk while I’ll keep the guests entertained. Carissa, I wanna continue our conversation later.

Matteo left and she smiled, truly smiled for the first time that evening. She took his hands and held them. Daniele had a sad smile.

-So, my Sunshine is engaged…

-Oh, Dani, no one called me Sunshine, for so long! I can’t believe you’re here! I needed you so much…I heard you left school and I was devastated…please tell me it isn’t true…

She started to cry and he touched her hair.

-It’s not true, Sunshine…we’ll graduate together…at some point I thought I wont be able to catch up…but it looks like I did.

-Dani…are you alright? The depression…

-Sunshine…I did horrible things…trying to take my life, trying to take you with me into my madness…Sometimes I feel there’s another person inside me, an evil one and I’m afraid I’ll harm you again. But I don’t want to…I’m sorry, Cari…I did what I did…I thought is the right thing to do and there was that voice…

-Shhhhsssstttt…Dani, it doesn’t matter. You were not yourself. I forgave you long time ago. Please, don’t even remember, don’t even mention it.

He took her in his arms.

-Cari…Sunshine of my life…I’m broken inside, I’m still on antidepressants and I’m still seeing my therapist. But I’m home…

-My best friend! My Dani! My twin soul…you know how lonely I’ve been without you? You’re my only family here…

-See…I do have a purpose on this world. Cari, we’re the same…my folks don’t wanna hear from me neither…We’re both orphans, Sunshine!

-Not anymore! Cause you’re home, back into my life, where you belong! And from now on, I’ll be your shadow. I mean it, Dani! You wont be on your own in school. I’m starting my anti-bullying campaign and you’re my right hand. Come here, let me hug you…I thought I have no one and you came back…

Later in the evening she kept smiling. Planning, dreaming, hoping. Matteo saw the change.

-Sweetie, I can’t believe how you’re glowing…Carissa, it means so much to me that you agreed with the party…I know it was hard for you and you still did it for my parents. And I know you have doubts. You think you’re too young…but marrying me doesn’t mean that your life is over…sweetie, we’ll live the fullest…Now, the truth.

-The truth?

-The terrible thing that you did…the one you’re so sure I wont forgive. Tell me now.

She closed her eyes imagining how she’ll say the words “I cheated. I lied. I tried to kill myself. I love him, not you. He left. I’m nothing. We’re nothing.”

-Carissa!

-No, nothing…I mean, a silly thing…it seemed important but it’s not…The crystal vase that your mother gave me…the expensive and unique one…I dropped it…It’s broken…I tried to fix it…

He started to laugh so hard, out of relief…he kissed her eyes.

-Silly girl…I’ll buy you another one, more expensive and more unique…And you cried your eyes out three days and nights! For a vase!

-I broke it…

-Sweetie…as long as your precious heart isn’t broke…who cares about a stupid vase? And let me tell you something Carissa…as long as you love me and you’re being faithful to me…your heart is safe.

“No…it isn’t… .”

Dave: When he brought Daniele back into your life, he was actually buying you a doll.

Me: No…what do you mean? Daniele was my best friend…not some doll to play with!

Dave: No, he wasn’t your best friend. Not that Daniele. Dani…the one who came back was a psychotic young man who couldn’t get in touch with his own emotions, not to mention with yours…

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