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Dave: You changed…you’re stronger and I don’t know if that’s a good thing…

Me: Dave…it’s easy to be vulnerable when you have someone to fight your battles. It’s not my case, right?

Dave: Tell me honestly…have I failed you? Were you expecting something that I couldn’t give? 

Me: Your friendship…the way I used to feel with you…unbreakable…but you took it away when I learned to be myself…

“Angelo took her hands into his. She looked tired. The emptiness in her eyes was visible and he didn’t knew how to give her back the light…

-I really don’t wanna do this, Angelo. What’s the point? Why do I need to confront Matteo…when all I want is to put this all behind me? And I’m not strong enough…

He caressed her hair.

-Cari…you can’t spend your life looking over your shoulder. Being exposed to his abuses…You’re trembling only imagining…and I don’t want this for you. I want you to be strong. To look into his eyes and to tell him everything. I will not leave you alone with him. I repeat: I will not! Now go…I’m just a few steps behind you…speak your mind freely. Tell him to go to hell!

His words gave her strength, but she was still shaking. She wondered what she’s gonna say…how she’s gonna feel…

Matteo opened the door and took her hand. He invited her in, studying her from head to toes. She felt so exposed, so vulnerable and weak…

-Hmmmm…Two minutes late…and you’re not wearing the dress I told you to wear.

-True.

-Are you defying me? Are you forgetting, sweetie, who’s in charge here? Well…we need to work a little on your manners…I guess it will be my pleasure to teach you how to behave properly…

He tried to touch her and she almost jumped away. He started to laugh.

-C’mon sweetie. We both know how this evening is going to end…you in my bed. Why waste the time? Unless you changed your mind about the file…your life, your family…remember? Don’t be stupid, Carissa, I know you can be…

-Don’t touch me. I’m here only because I have something to tell you.

There was something in his eyes so dark and frightening…she gathered all of her strength in order to speak.

-Let’s hear it, sweetie.

-Matteo…I forgive you. I forgive you for what you’re going to do. You will burn that file and it’s ok. I made my choice and I wont sell myself. Not my body, not my soul…and not my heart. You have something very precious in your hands…I forgive you for destroying it.

-Ohhhh…now you’re being stupid…

-Maybe. I want this to be the end. By burning the file with all the information I need, you’re hurting me for the last time.

He took something out of the file. The picture with her grandmother. With a violent gesture, he placed the picture in front of her eyes. She felt them in tears.

-Do you want this, Carissa? This picture? I’m feeling generous today.

Her eyes brightened.

-Yes. Will you give me the picture? Will you do that for me? Thank you, Matteo…

She tried to take the picture but he didn’t allowed her to touch it.

-Not so fast. Ask for her properly. I wanna hear you begging. And I wanna see you on your knees.

-No! Have you lost your mind? No, I will never kneel in front of you…you sick pervert! Go to hell, Matteo!

He violently pushed her against the wall.

-Yes, you will. And you’ll damn like it!

She felt like falling and realized he’s pushing her down. She screamed.

The door slammed. Matteo being hit on his face. Bleeding heavily from his nose. She covered her face with her hands. She only heard Matteo screaming in agony while he was down, hit in his stomach. She ran outside and she only heard Angelo’s voice addressing to Matteo.

-I broke your nose today. I will break every single part of your body. Every single day. You know who am I? Your worst enemy. Why will I hurt you? Because I find pleasure in killing rats.

She didn’t heard the rest. Running in the cold air, she burst into tears. Angelo came to her, very calm, smiling and she realized that she doesn’t know him. A stranger…

-I think the rat wont bother you anymore. Cari…angelito…hey, don’t cry…he only got what he deserved. You know, if I would treat him nicely, tomorrow he would be abusing you, hurting you again. And I can’t allow this to happen.

-Who are you, Angelo? This side of yours…you did it like you’ve been doing this before.

-I did that before, more than one time. I told you I’m no angel. But I’m no monster either…and I would fight the whole world to protect you.

-Why, Angelo? Why me? And why now?

He laughed, taking her in his arms. She didn’t fight it.

-You…sweet child…you’re asking too many questions. I did what any normal guy would do. I have no regrets. If I’d have to do it all over again, I’d hit him harder. If I could go back in time, I’d kill the rat before he’d have the chance of hurting you. Now, take my hand…don’t leave, just stay for a moment in my arms. I have my own shadows haunting me…I need your love to shatter them away…

Love…she stayed in his arms thinking that she needs him.

-Angelito? Am I the good guy in your eyes? Don’t laugh, I mean it! I can’t fight your monsters if you don’t trust me. And you have plenty to fight with…”.

Dave: I don’t want you to feel unbreakable…you’re not…neither of us is…Love, friendship, care…what’s the point to all of these when your heart is made of iron steel…I miss you, Cari…your vulnerability made me feel strong…

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