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Dave: It’s never too late and it’s never in vain. But only you can decide when is too much for you to bare.

Me: I already decided. It’s not easy for me and he wont make it easier. But I’ll face the problems one by one.

Dave: Cari, Alessio will do anything in his power to undermine your marriage. He has nothing to lose. And he’s fooling himself that he’s doing everything in the name of love. And you think you’re protecting Ryan…but the only real protection here would be the truth.

Me: Again…this truth everybody is so crazy about…already destroyed too many lives. So, no thanks…I will do things my way…

 “She tried to breath but something was pressing her neck making her choke and suffocate. Her first thought was that she’ll die. In the darkness of the room, she could only see a black shadow sitting on the edge of her bed. Not a single sound, only her fastened breath in a desperate search of air and life.

She tried to organize her thoughts. Think fast. Don’t struggle, you’ll only waist essential oxygen. Random rules from all the documentaries she watched about surviving. But none of those rules could help her now. It wasn’t something, it was someone. Someone trying to  suffocate her.

The adrenaline rushed trough her body and she was completely awake in seconds. A terrible way of being awake. She tried to push him away using her nails to scratch his skin. Not strong enough to escape. Still, the marks she probably left took him by surprise. He let loose her neck, concentrating on immobilizing her hands. She took a long and deep breath and tried to talk.

-Wh…who are you…why…

A steaming pain on her face and she realized that he’s hitting her. She could feel the taste of blood from her own lips. He suddenly stopped.

-Take the money…take everything…just don’t kill me…don’t hit me…

His voice sounded harsh and metallic.

-Don’t be stupid. You have no money. Your boyfriend messed with the wrong people, Carissa.

Hearing him speaking, using her name was almost a relief. But his words weren’t relieving at all.

-Now that you said it…there is something I could take. Maybe we should have some fun…before using this on your pretty face.

She saw the reflection on the window and she felt the coldness of the blade. Her terror increased when she heard a second voice, a few feet away.

-There’s no time for this, Aldo. Do I really have to do everything…give me that knife…I’ll make sure he’ll get the point. That bastard will know better next time.

She started to cry in desperation.

-Who? What point? You’re confounding me, I don’t have a boyfriend! I don’t know what you’re talking about!

The second voice kept the silence, processing her words.

-If I’m confounding you, well…I guess you have a terrible bad luck, girl. You know, for someone who tries to fool me…he’s a real dummy…finding you was so easy…boringly easy…I guess that’s what you get when you’re dealing with retards!  Such a waste…

-No, wait! If you’re talking about Matteo…

-What Matteo…I’m talking about Alessio…the bastard who took my money! OK, enough talking…

-But he’s not…we’re not…anymore…

She couldn’t focus anymore. Realizing there’s nothing she can say or do. She heard someone’s voice down the corridor and she started to scream as loud as she could. The door pushed away, the sound of a punch, someone falling…She couldn’t remember the next minutes, the shock ad the fear were too much…

A warm blanket and his warm voice. His arms around her.

-It’s alright, Cari…Police it’s on its way. I called the Ambulance too. Please, talk to me, Sunshine…

-Dani, thanks God you’re here…You’re hurt…ohhhh…you’re bleading…you saved my life.

-It’s my fault, Cari. Mine and only! I took you to this motel, I exposed you to those robbers…I’m the only one to blame for this…I hate myself! I hate being so helpless!

-No, Dani…don’t…I didn’t wanted to go to the boarding school and I had no place to sleep and no money…you’re a hero…I would be death without you. Dani…they knew about me…from Alessio, they were hurting me on purpose, to send a message to Alessio…

She told him everything, still in shock, still in terror. He held her close and she could hear his heart. He had warm hands, caressing her bruised face, gently exploring the small cuts on her neck.

-Dani…I’m giving up…I can’t live like this anymore…

-What are you saying, Sunshine?

-I’m going back to Palermo, back to my parents. I’ll do what they decide for me.

-NO! Never! They don’t love you! Remember when your father came to school and slapped your face in public! Remember when your mother threatened you. They can’t love you…they only know about hate…

-It’s only hate, anyway, Dani! Love doesn’t exists…it’s just hate. A hate so strong, so powerful that it’s killing me…Look what these people did…

She showed him the cuts and the bruises. She continued.

-It’s not just that…Alessio…he messed things and he left…he didn’t even cared what will happen to me after…and Matteo…do you know that his parents don’t even talk to me anymore since we broke up. Luisa…I loved her…she had so much hate in her eyes…and Leah, my friend…she was so cruel, telling me that I don’t deserve someone like Matteo…with so much hate…after all I’ve done for her…Only hate…

-Please stop, Sunshine…I know how to make it right. I will love you…I will live for you. If we love each other, our love will be stronger than their hate. We’ll finish high school and we’ll move somewhere…you and me, I’m ready to give everything for you…

-Your life, Dani…you wanted to become a priest, remember? To support your family, to raise your little sisters…And I don’t…

He cupped her face.

-Don’t say the words. I know. I never even dared to dream…that you’ll love me. I have nothing to offer you, I’m poor, I’m an average guy, not even handsome…I’m not that smart and I didn’t traveled trough Europe like you did…But right now, I’m more that nothing. Am I not? My love isn’t better than their hate?

-It is…I’m sorry, Dani…for being like that…

-You’re perfect. A princess. I’m not asking you to love me. I’m asking you to let me love you.

-Yes.

-Alright, Sunshine…then it’s settled. You and me…I’ll move mountains, Cari…just to keep you happy.

The Police came and a doctor took care of her wounds. She convinced herself that she’s safe. Loved and safe. She looked at Daniele who was smiling so happy. “Please, God, don’t let me destroy him like I did to myself”. ”

Dave: You never had the chance to be on your own…that can be scary…

Me: I always felt helpless. And there was always someone stronger, willing to protect me.

Dave: Like I said…you decide when is too much to bare…protecting or suffocating you, love or hate…make your decisions and re-define your beliefs…or your past will repeat. 

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