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Dave: You were very sad these days…how’s Ryan?

Me: Getting stronger day by day. And I’m grateful that it was just a false alarm. Still, next time…

Dave: You know, he’s not a child…He’s an adult, he knew that his lifestyle is not appropriate for someone with high blood pressure…What happen was a warning for him to slow down…

Me: Or for me…to stop burdening him with my anxieties, my fears, my thoughts…

Dave: Cari, he fell in love with you…a real person with fears and anxieties, not a perfect doll…Don’t do that to yourself, don’t do it to him…

“She look stunned as he put her clothes and her belongings in a big suitcase.

-We’re done here. You’re moving to my apartment, this place is too small, too dark and I don’t like it. Look at the furniture…my fiancee wont sleep in a boarding school!

-Matteo, stop it! We broke up, remember? I’m not your fiancee anymore and I will sleep where I want to!

He grabbed her by her arm and made her sit on the bed. She tried to push him away, but he took her chin and made her look at him. She moaned in pain when he touched her bruises.

-Look, Carissa, I will say this one last time. I broke up with you, I changed my mind, I’m taking you back. I’m still upset with you so you should be on your best behavior.

-Or what? What if I don’t feel like being on my best behavior? Then…what?

-Sweetie…

He had a dark glimpse in his eyes. His fingers traced her neckline, touching the scars and pushing lightly but enough to cause her pain. She couldn’t hold back her tears.

-Am I hurting you? (she nodded) How was it? Tell me…

-What…

-You know…what Aldo did to you is nothing…compared to what he could do…there are so many ways to hurt someone…

She started to tremble, feeling sick. Then she realize that Matteo couldn’t possibly knew that name. Unless…

-How do you know his name? I only told to the Police! I thought…I thought…

He started to laugh. A cruel laugh that made her froze.

-You thought…Sweetie, this naivety of yours is so charming…You thought that Alessio, the love of your life is responsible for these bruises? And now the Police is looking for him…Oh my…

-You…you send these people…to hurt me…you…but why? Matteo…why do you hate me so much?

He immobilize her hands and held her very tight. She was afraid to breath or to cry. He looked at her with cold eyes.

-Carissa, look at me. This conversation we’re having never took place. Do you understand? If you ever say a single word…you’ll wish that Aldo would finish what I asked him to. Say yes, I understand. Now!

-Yes, I understand.

-Good. See, sweetie…I was such a fool…I thought I’m the luckiest guy on earth. To be with the nicest, smartest, sweetest girl in this world…The one who made me wanna be better…for her. I gave you everything, Carissa…Didn’t I? Was it anything you wanted and I didn’t gave it to you? Answer me! Answer me, bitch!

The brutality of his words took her by surprise and the firm hold of his hands left red traces on her arms.

-Yes, Matteo, you gave me everything.

-You cheated me. You slept with that bastard. Alessio…you thought I’ll never find out…well, I did! I wanted both of you to be death.

-He’s…please, Matteo…tell me he’s…

He pushed her violently and she started to cry.

-He’s in the US. Alive and well, unfortunately. Married to some chick. You, on the other hand…ohhhhh…it was so easy. First, I broke up with you. No hard feelings, right? Then, I wanted you to feel the pain, the real pain of being raped, of having your face cut. I wanted you to die slowly and in agony.  And I wanted you to hate Alessio till your last breath.

-You’re a monster.

-I’ll ignore that. Just like I ignored my own pain and I decided to let you live. To give you a second chance. I guess you were lucky…I told them to do anything they want, but to let you alive. Aldo got back pretty frustrated, so I guess you escaped again. You’re like a cat…nine lives…Now, how do you thank me? By refusing my invitation. That’s something a good and polite girl like yourself shouldn’t do…

She lifted her face and looked into his eyes with a feeling of power she never knew she has.

-You asked me how it was. Let me tell you how it was…Look at me, Matteo. Be a man and look into my eyes. I was afraid and I felt betrayed. I was horrified by the perspective of being raped or tortured. I was pleading with God in my head to do something. To take me away…I was praying for someone to save me. I tried to talk to those animals but I realized is in vain. I hated Alessio and I hated myself. But in the end, when I was convinced they’ll kill me…

-Keep saying…

-In the end, with my last power, I forgave Alessio. For everything. I told him, in my mind that I’ll always love him. And I prayed to God to give him happiness and love. And to never let him know the way I suffered. The final image wasn’t Aldo or the pain I was feeling…it were the eyes of Alessio, his smile, his face…

She thought he’s gonna hit her or strangle her and he probably felt the same.

-Let her go. Now. I’m death serious.

-Dani, don’t…put that down…you’ll get hurt…

Daniele pointed the small gun to Matteo’s head. It looked threatening and, for the first time, she was truly afraid. Matteo laughed again.

-A little boy with a little toy…Don’t worry, I’ll let her go, she’s all yours. Enjoy while you can…By the way…this never happen. You know, Dani…is so hard to make the right choices. And you have two adorable little sisters…it would be such a shame…to protect the wrong girl…

He headed to the door.

-And Dani…one more thing, cause I like you. Your toy, put it aside, you could hurt yourself with it. And you’ll need it later…to shoot yourself when she’ll run with Alessio. Right from your arms, right under your nose…Remember my words, my friend…

He left slamming the door and she collapsed into Daniele’s arms.”

Dave: You are not to blame for Ryan’s health problems! Or for Daniele’s choices! This guilt trip…Cari, stop punishing yourself.

Me: Am I not to blame…but somehow, every time someone allows me to be a part of his life…

Dave: Every time you enter into someone’s life, you lighten everything around you. I know, because I feel it…and I’ll always want you and miss you…

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