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Dave: How can you say that you’re weak and confused when everyone around you sees differently?

Me: Because I’m losing every battle! Every nightmare, every flashback is a prove that I lost my fight…too much pain to deal with and I’m no hero…

Dave: Well, let me tell you something! Being strong means living with your scars, not trying to cover them…being a hero means assuming your flashbacks, not trying to fake joy! Cari…the moment when you chose life, with all the pain and struggle within, that moment you become a hero! And every single morning you make this choice…

“She took the small bottle of perfume from her suitcase. Her white silky nightgown was very thin and airy and she was a little cold, but she felt beautiful. She brushed her hair, using the perfume to accentuate the smell of wild roses of her skin. Looking in the mirror…yes, that was how she wanted to be. How she dreamed to be. Her wedding night.

-You look stunning…

She almost smiled. Beyond fear and sadness she didn’t felt anything more. Emptiness. Not hunger, not thirst, not love. Just emptiness. He was starring at her, looking scared, devastated and wild…a combination that, usually, would make her run in his arms. To hold the scared inner child…But now…this stranger holding a gun and offering her food…this stranger calling himself  “her husband”, not knowing what to say or what t do with her, to her…

-You like it? That’s how I imagined our wedding night, Alessio. Of course, in my imagination there were satin sheets, white candles, petals of roses, like in movies. You were holding a bottle of french champagne, not a gun…Silly, right? And…also in my dreams you were feeding me with caviar on a silver plate…What have you there? Hot dogs…no thanks! Kind of poor for a last meal, don’t you think?

-What? It’s not…Cari, you gotta believe me! I wasn’t planning…I’m not…the gun is to protect me, not to kill you, for God’s sake! Please eat something or drink some water…you don’t feel well…you heaven’t eat for more than 24 hours…

She laughed with sarcasm.

-Oh, so nice of you…28 hours to be more specific! So, the gun is meant to protect you? From who, my love? As you can see…I’m no threat…Alright, let’s talk business. Assuming you wont use the gun on me…how much? I want my life back and I wanna know the price.

-Don’t be so sarcastic! Please Cari…I messed things up…I don’t wanna go to jail. I only wanted…a new start…and I did it all wrong…and now…now…I don’t know what to do…

He was looking at the gun, then at her. She felt a cold shiver but she remembered how important it is to keep her calm. She managed to smile.

-Alessio, my love…why don’t you give me that silly gun of yours? We’ll put it aside and then we can talk…because I have a solution. What do you say…

She was looking into his eyes, taking slowly the gun from his hands. He was trembling. Putting the gun in a closet near by, she took his hand and leaded him to the bed. Trying to gather all the gentleness in her just to reach to his heart.

-Listen…I never hurt you, right? (he nodded) So you can trust me. First, Alessio, no one is going to jail…you did nothing wrong so far…I wont tell about the gun…after all, we’re just two lovers who ran to get married. Not a crime, right? Second, you need to go back to the US…as soon as possible. We’ll deal after with the mess you made with your business here. Angelo has connections, so…

-But baby…you and I…

-You and I will cancel our marriage certificate. I was feeling sick, didn’t knew what I’m signing…you didn’t knew I’m feeling sick…things like that happen all the time, right AMORE?

The way she pronounced the word was intentionally sarcastic and she knew she’s risking, but her anger was too strong.

-Baby…I lied to you…our marriage isn’t legal…cause I never divorced. She doesn’t know…she thinks I’m visiting my parents…

She started to laugh again, mixing tears with a nervous laugh and covering her face.

-My Goodness, Alessio! She thinks you’re visiting your parents while you’re abusing me and ruining my parent’s life! You’re pathetic! Really…don’t know who I should pity first: you for being so idiotic, her for being your victim or myself for my stupidity!

-Don’t…Cari…I never saw you like this! You’re…you’re angry?!!!???

-Damn well I’m angry! I wanted to say that you’re like my father or like Matteo! But you’re far worse…My father hated me but he recognized that and now he’s searching for me…Matteo hurt me, you know? He raped me and the next day was proposing me, thinking he’ll make things right…You, pathetic human being…cause I can’t even call you a man right now!

-Don’t compare me with Matteo!

She realized that he’s getting angry and that a fight is the last thing she wants under the circumstances. So she spoke on a sweet tone.

-You’re right…forgive me, Alessio. I wanna help you…but you need to run now. Take my credit card…find the first flight to the US and run like hell…I wont accuse you of anything…even more…I will say it was my idea…and that the gun is mine…or something. Go to your wife…hold her tight and tell her that you’re sorry. Tell her how much you love her…and never, listen to me…never come back here…

She couldn’t deal with the pain anymore…she burst into tears, falling from her feet. On the floor…he took her in his arms, crying along with her…

-Cari baby…why are you so good to me? Like an angel…after all I’ve done…after all the hurt and pain I caused you…and you…you’re just a child…you’re 19…you should enjoy the best years of your life…Tell me why are you so good to me when I don’t deserve nothing at all…

She wiped away her tears. Lifting her eyes and regaining her dignity.

-I’m good to myself, Alessio. For the first time in my life. See…you taught me an important lesson: never, under no circumstances, to allow someone to turn me into a victim. I want you out of my life forever. I’m 19 and I’ve been trough hell with you. I don’t know if my scars will ever heal. But I know one thing: they wont with you around!

-You deserve better…I always said that…I should go then…will you be alright?

-Yes. For the first time in two years since I met you…I will be alright!”

Dave: You are not a victim, you’re a fighter…I see it now and I understand. You and me, in therapy, we were trying to fix something…but nothing is broke. You are a survivor, you know how to be strong and brave, I can’t teach you that…but I wanna help you learn…

Me(smiling): What? To recognize my own strength?

Dave: No…to let yourself be loved and spoiled…just a bit. To see how much beauty and courage lies in your fragility…and to finally let someone protect the scared little girl in you…

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