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Dave: I do care deeply…and you don’t need to fake a smile around me. I’m here even if you’re sad, even if you’re angry or hurt. Just open up to me…

Me: Tell me something, Dave! Honestly! Am I asking too much? Is a normal life too much to ask for?

Dave: You have a normal life, Cari. A family, just like you always wanted. What you really want, what your heart is really aching for is…I wont say it for you! 

Me: Then I wont say it neither! Saying it out loud will only make it harder to bare…and we both know that nothing will change…

9 in the morning, December 31, 1999

He’s always leaving me heartbroken…

-What? Sweetheart, what have you said?

-No…not…nothing! I was just thinking about something and I said the words…unintentionally…I’m sorry, Angelo. So, do you wanna see the church I told you about?

He stopped reading the news paper and just starred at her.

-Now…what? Do I have something on my face? Between my teeth? Why are you starring at me?

-You have something in your eyes, Cari…maybe because is December 31…or maybe you’re being nostalgic…but you’re trying so hard to be funny and to fake a smile…Come here. Here, next to me. Now look in my eyes and tell me what’s going on.

-Nothing.

She had a guilty look in her eyes, almost like pleading with him to drop the subject.

-Alright. If I go with you to the church, will you tell me later?

She jumped in his arms. Whispering “I promise” in his ear. He laugh.

an hour later

“Heavenly Father, thank You for this year. For all the burdens You helped me carry, for all the obstacles You helped me overcome. Thank You for Angelo, deep inside my heart I know he’s my real dad. Thank You for bringing him back into my life! Here I am, in the church where I always dreamed to walk in dressed in white…my wedding dress should have been simple and beautiful and he was suppose to have tears of joy seeing me…Alessio…I miss him more than ever. Help me heal, Father…”

The sound of foot steps coming closer to her. She hided behind St. Anthony’s statue.

“Give me a sign, God, any sign at all…so I could put behind me the memories of him.”

-Principessa…Amore mio…forgive me for being late…Every minute without you is a torture…but I wanted to make it all perfect…your favorite flowers…white roses and my love…Looking at you, I realize…I don’t wanna spend another day being apart from you…

Alessio’s voice…and she stopped breathing. The world stopped for a moment, a second of pure euphoria. “He’s here and he’ll always be. He remembers, just like I do…the church, my favorite flowers, the way he used to call me…principessa…and our dreams.”

-Oh, baby, you’re so romantic! I like this church, but isn’t it too small? Anyway, if we’re marrying tonight, chances are that we wont find another chapel. Do you love me, Alex?

-With all my heart. I never loved anybody else before and I never will. Now give me a kiss!

They kissed and her pain became almost unbearable. Almost physical. All she wanted was to lie down and die. She heard them walking away or, at least she thought she had. At least one pair of foot steps…

But she wasn’t thinking straight. She knew that Angelo is waiting outside, in the car and she imagined his arms holding her tight. Now, the urge to run from the church and find an escape with him was too much…She had her eyes clouded by tears. Her knees trembling. She stumbled and fell.

-Signorina! Are you hurt? You…my God…Cari! You’re here…you were here all the time…you heard me and Cathy…

He helped her stand. She wanted to say something but she just blocked.

-Cari, do you feel alright? Why are you crying? You bruised your arm…You’re just as stumbled as I remember. And just as sweet…

-You’re hurting me, Alessio. Every time…every single time…

She stopped, knowing for sure that he doesn’t understand.

-Why are you saying this? Oh…you mean…me and Cathy? She’s not…look, some choices I make are more rational than emotional. You can’t understand! I’m…investing…in my, no…in our future. My life isn’t here and you know it, Cari…and as soon as I get my Green Card…

-You don’t love her?

-Of course not, silly! Sometimes I can’t even stand her…sometimes I’m staying up all night with my laptop, just to be away from her, cause I hate sleeping in the same bed with her! But I need her, to promote my business in the US. That’s the only reason I left you…

Her eyes filled with tears. She hoped she’ll be able to just walk away…but she couldn’t. She didn’t wanted to say the words. But the small white church, her white wedding dream all broke into millions tiny pieces. And she spoke freely.

-If you do that…if you marry that woman in this church…in our church…if you break our dream to replace it with a new one, a dream about money and richness…then it means that you’re heartless…I understand you’re decided and I wont stop you in any way. But do you need to be that cruel, Alessio? Isn’t it…pointless, unnecessarily cruelty? To marry her in front of God, to swear you’ll always love her…in the place where we dreamed together…isn’t it like cutting my dream into pieces…Why? Why do you do this to me, to yourself…to her?

-Do you hate me, Cari?

-No. I hate myself for loving you. I despise myself for my weakness. For you…I feel pity…I don’t hate you.

But I do. 

Angelo’s voice sounded strong and clear. He got closer, taking her by her arm.

-Who are you? Cari? Who’s this guy and why are you two so close? Don’t tell me…that you and this…

-No! He’s my…my…

I’m her father. And you, you scumbag…you’re history.”

Dave: It felt good to have someone protecting you like that…but deep inside your heart you knew he’s not your real father…

Me: Deep inside my heart I knew that I want to make the moment eternal. The moment when someone stepped in and, in a sweet old fashion way, defended my honor…

Dave: Oh…Cari…you’re still trying to find a perfect moment…to make it eternal…and you don’t know that maybe you’re already there.

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