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Dave: You wanted to believe! Just like a child who believes in Santa even when everyone around is telling him that he’s too old for these beliefs…

Me: How can you say this. Dave? We’re never too old to believe in Santa! I still do…

Dave (laughing): Cause you’re a big child! And you believe in guardian angels too…and you believe in Alessio too…

Me: Don’t wanna believe in him! I did once…and when the magic broke my heart broke too…No! Don’t wanna believe again!

Dave: Never said that you want. That’s how you feel…and I can’t…no one can help you with this…

“She tried to smile. To understand him. To ignore all the panic building up inside her mind. And still…almost 24 hours without eating or drinking anything at all…feeling cold and exhausted…she just wanted to close her eyes, to fall asleep and to wake up in the boarding school. She missed her uniform, her books, her anxiety for the exam…everything.

-Cari…don’t fall asleep! Look, here’s the chapel I told you about…Cari!

She couldn’t remember if she fell asleep or passed out but she was grateful that he stopped the car. Her back was hurting but it didn’t matter anymore.

-Amore mio…I know we’re late…but I thought…I’m so hungry and thirsty…maybe we can…

He grabbed her arm to help her get out of the car. She wondered why and how did his touches became so cold.

-Baby, I’m really tired to hear you complaining…you’ll eat after! God! You’re so frustrating sometimes! Just like a child! Always wanting things!

-I didn’t…

She realized she can’t fight…for a moment her knees got weak and she leaned on him. She was trembling uncontrollably. He took off his jacket and put it on her shoulders. She looked in his eyes…trying to find love or, at least, compassion. Nothing…Her eyes filled with tears.

-Heyyy…baby…I’m sorry, I know it was a rough day for you. Come here…see that restaurant there? They have the best lasagna in the region! Really…I’ll buy you a big portion!

-Double…I want it double…and with extra sauce…and some sparkling water…but mild, cause I can’t…oh, Alessio…let’s go there!

-After. I promise you…

She look at him with pleading eyes but he ignored her. Outside it was getting dark and shadows were all around her.

-I’m afraid…

-Yes, baby, you’re afraid of your own shadow. And that’s adorable…now let’s get married!

-But I don’t know if…I feel sick…don’t know what to do…

-I’ll do the talking. You say yes and sign there…

She tried to listen to him but her stomach was convulsing and her head ache became unbearable. She couldn’t even concentrate, but she said yes to some question and she signed the paper…afraid that, any time, she’ll pass out…

He kissed her. For the first time there was something gentle in his touch. He whispered in her ear”let’s go to the restaurant” and the cold air outside helped her with the nausea she was feeling.

-Cari…you’re so pale…didn’t realized you feel so bad…but you’ll be better after eating something. You’re my wife now, I gotta take care of you…

-Your wife…is it real? We’re married?

-Yes silly! Look…why don’t you go to the ladies room,to freshen up a bit while I’m ordering food?

She was grateful to have a minute alone. The world was spinning around her. She couldn’t recognize herself in the mirror. Someone came in and said hi. She responded smiling. The woman left her purse and she could see the cellphone…and suddenly she realized…

-Signora…can I borrow your cellphone for a brief call? I forgot mine and it’s important. Thank you!

He responded immediately. She could hear the desperation in his voice, a sadness and fear she never perceived before.

-Angelo…

-Cari! Where are you? For God’s sake, why have you run away like this. Today from all days! Your parents are here, we called the Police…

-Police? But why? Angelo…I have to tell you something! I got married! We’re happy…me and Alessio…

Silence. A terrible silence. Then someone took the phone.

-Carissa…it’s Franco, your father. Where is Alessio right now?

-Ordering food…hope you’re not gonna call him and ruin our evening!

-Listen to me. Where are you?

-I don’t know…is a small town but I don’t know the name…but why?

-Try to convince him to spend the night there. Stay calm and don’t argue with him, it’s very important. Do you understand? Cari…

Someone took the phone and smashed it on the floor. The woman near her screamed. She wanted to scream too, but the shock was blocking her. He pulled her outside and forced her into the car.

-But you…you said…

She was crying now hysterical. He blocked the car and grabbed her by her hair, pulling her closer.

-You ruined everything, Carissa. Everything. And now I don’t know what to do with you. You stupid, stubborn and spoiled little girl! Calling daddy to come and rescue you! No one will help you, got it? No one!

She looked at him convinced that she’s having a nightmare. Or that he’s not Alessio…is just a mean stranger, a cruel one. With the corner of her eyes she saw the gun and she froze.

-Alessio…don’t. Anything you planed, anything you wanted to do…you did. You won. Just don’t…hurt…me…

He stopped. Caressing her hair. But his gentleness had something sinister and dark.

-I don’t wanna spend my whole life in jail, like my father. Because of a business that your father…yes…your father, Carissa…Don Franco…ruined.

-It’s not my father! Franco it’s not my father! My parents are both american…I have nothing to do with Sicily or Italy or your stupid revenge. You did it for nothing! Franco wont help me cause he doesn’t care! He never cared…in fact he would be happy if you took the gun and finish what he was too coward to do…

He covered his face.

-Carissa…is it true? (she nodded, crying) You never told me…why, baby?

-Cause I never thought you’ll come back to me. I thought I lost you. Never imagined that you’ll marry me…but you did it for nothing! It was all in vain…marrying me, telling me that you love me, ruining my life…it was all in vain…breaking my heart for nothing!

He tried to sound gentle.

-Alright…well, that obviously changes the plan…First, we’ll have to find a motel to sleep over night…ok, kiddo? No more tears…I made a few mistakes but you’re fine. I’ll take you home first thing in the morning…

-Will you? You’re not lying?

-No, I’m not. You think I’m a bad guy, right?

-I think that you don’t have a heart…”

Dave: It’s surprising how low can someone fall…and never stop falling…

Me: Not surprising…I was blind. Only a blind can see light in a place where’s only darkness. And his darkness was my light for so long…Too long…

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