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Me: The hardest goodbye I ever said…was saying goodbye to who I used to be…do you understand me, Dave?

Dave: Yes, I understand you. You created in your mind an image of your own identity. When that image was shattered away…You know, Cari, I’m proud of you!

Me: Oh, don’t be…I made one mistake after another…

Dave: They aren’t mistakes, they are lessons! And you’re still the bravest person I ever met.

“The tiredness was visible on her face, but when she knocked on the door, she gathered all of her self control. Her mother warned her that Franco (her dad) is in a bad mood. And she knew how he dislikes to have company when he’s cleaning the guns from his collection. But she needed answers. Urgent and honest answers.

-Dad…

There was no warm embrace or affection, but he seemed calm so she felt encouraged.

-Wow, dad! These are new? I like this one: it’s a revolver, right? I think is the smallest gun I ever saw…

-Don’t be fooled by his size, this jewelry has the same potential as the bigger ones. What do you say? It costed a fortune, but it was the missing piece…any gun collector would be proud with such valuable pieces…Carissa…you didn’t came all this way to admire my new guns, right? So, what brings you to old Palermo?

-I need some answers…about me…I need to know the truth about my identity.

-Then you can go back, little girl. What have I told you last time? You made your choice. I told you to stop consider me your father if you’re loyal to Moretti Family.

She had a hard time stopping the tremble in her voice.

-I wont consider you my father. I came to you because I still consider you an excellent business man. And an honest person.

He smiled. Her words reminded him about a sweet little girl, wanting to be bigger…to be like her daddy. He melted for a moment…a much too short moment.

-Alright, let’s hear the business proposal.

-OK. I’m willing to give away any legal rights over any material inheritance. I wanna sign the papers as soon as possible. In return, I want you to agree to a paternity test.

-A paternity test…I see…

-You win both ways. If I’m your daughter, my signature will assure you the peace of mind knowing I can’t claim anything at all. If I’m not your daughter…then I’ll be out of your life, just like you wanted.

He studied her face for a moment. She blushed, feeling analyzed…he offered her a seat.

-Carissa…that’s brave of you, foolish but brave. Are you really willing to sign?

-Yes. Now, about the paternity test.

-There’s no need. I know it and you know it…so, what’s the point? Your mother had an one night stand. You’re the result. End of story.

Hearing the words, she felt how her entire world is shattered into pieces. Her eyes filled with tears.

-Dad…I mean Franco…who is he? My real father. Is he American? Am I catholic? Am I Italian? Who am I?

He wanted to be cold, but seeing her so devastated stroke a cord inside him. A long forgotten feeling…the need to protect her. He took her hands into his.

-I don’t know who your father is. But, judging after his daughter, he must be an idealist…the type of man always wanting to save the world, to protect the planet, to feed the starving children…Yes, you are catholic, at least from your mother’s family. And no, you’re not Italian…both of your parents are American. So, somewhere in the US, a very lucky guy is your father and I do hope he’ll find out one day how blessed he is…

-Thank you…you never…I never thought I’d hear from you…

-You know, Cari…I wanted to hate you. I tried to hate you. In fact…I honestly admire you. You’re everything I dreamed to be…morally speaking. Now, about the legal papers…

-Yes. Just send your lawyer…

-Carissa, I’m not sure I wanna do that. I’m not sure I can give up on my little girl…

She hugged him. For the first time in years, she felt she truly has a father.

She closed the door behind her. The look on her mother’s face was a mixture between anger and fear.

-Have you lost your mind, Carissa? Are you trying to destroy me? My marriage? Who gave you that idea…a paternity test, the most absurd idea! If Franco leaves me, I’ll kill myself! Do you understand? You’ll have me over your conscience!

-My conscience is clear, mom! Let me go now!

-Yes, go! Go and never come back, this isn’t your home anymore, you’re not welcomed here!

She ran outside. The cold air froze her tears and she realized she forgot her jacket. The beach was empty. The water seemed black.

-Goodbye Sea…goodbye Palermo. Forever…I’ll leave my heart here, with you…and maybe, one day…Don’t forget me…you held me in your arms when I was crying…you saw my first kiss…you threw me back when I tried to drown myself in you…Goodbye…the best part of me remains with you, forever…

-This is the saddest thing I ever heard, and I heard plenty…Can I help you with anything? Here, take my jacket, you’re trembling. What is your name?

-Carissa…

-Nice to meet you, Carissa. I’m Angelo. Not an angel, but always trying to help if I can.

-Nice to meet you too. Now I have to go…my train leaves early in the morning and I’ll go to the train station…

-To sleep there? By yourself? No way! I’m staying to this hotel, right on the beach, in fact I went out for a walk before dinner. I’m from Rome, by the way. Don’t tell me you were going to Rome too…

-I am. There’s my school, my life, everything…Do you hear? Music. It’s “November Rain”, one of my favorites!

He took a bow.

-Will you do me the honor of dancing with me?

She smiled and said yes. They started to dance on the beach, under the sky. She thought is the best way of saying goodbye…in the arms of a stranger, when she was surrounded by strangers all of her life…

-Carissa…

-Yes, Angelo…

-There’s something about you…you seems lost. You have this look in your eyes, like a scared and lost child. Don’t go to the train station, stay with me. Join me for dinner, stay with me over night, we can even travel together to Rome. Just think about it, our meeting cannot be a simple coincidence…

-Thank you, Angelo, but…

-My room has two beds. Separated beds. I’m not trying anything with you. I’m old enough to be your father but I feel young enough to be your friend. And you seem to need a friend. Am I wrong?

-You’re right. I do need a friend. I’m very, very cold, Angelo. Here (she pointed her heart) is cold…I will accept your invitation…

-Great! I’ll do my best to keep you warm. There, in your heart.”

Dave: You never told me about Angelo. Is he one of the people you wanna forget?

Me: No, Angelo is…he was…my only light in the darkness. If I’d have one wish…it would be to have him back. And I hope he’s proud of me and he’s watching over me from time to time. From up above…

 

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