“That which does not kill us makes us stronger”, Friedrich Nietzsche

Once Upon A Time…

…there was  Serena. The girl was living in Italy more o less peacefully in love with her boyfriend, for a long and happy while already. Serena had no idea that reality was somewhat different, and that for all this time she was wearing a true lies bandage, with her eyes being wide shut. Until the moment when the letter sent by Mauro’s former wife and her lawyer revealed the reality of the facts. That Mauro was the outrageous liar and moral criminal from all human points of view.

Behind The Mask

“Why has he been doing that? What are his motivations?” were the questions Serena would love to know the answer. She realised she knew nothing about him, since every his word was the outrageous lie. “Who actually is this man behind the mask? Should I be afraid of him? Maybe he is hiding from everyone because he is a criminal? A member of Ndrangeta, Camurra e Mafia? Does he kill people? Did he kill someone recently? … Oh-my-God… This is a most total crapish crap”.

Nausea was rising inside her. “I want to wake up and find this is all a bad dream, a nightmare. It happened in a movie, in a book, it happened to someone else. It’s a story I’m listening to in the gym, agog, thanking my guardian angel it wasn’t me attached to a man hiding himself behind the mask…”

Out of Trust

But it was me. It is me. My relationship is over. My love story is over.” Serena remembered that once one of her best friends lied to her. She said she was not coming to her place to study together since she felt sick. But then it came out that she went on a secret date with a guy: “secret” since she was convinced her friends wouldn’t approve. Indeed, he wasn’t a sort of guy girls normally fancy. And already after two days neither Serena’s friend was fancying him. It was insignificant and stupid lie, easily comprehensible and forgivable. Yet Serena felt upset with that. Against her will, Serena just knew that she could never trust her friend again the way she did before. Half of Serena trust was lost forever. And Mauro has lost million times that.

“What’s his real face behind the mask? What is he hiding?” Serena were getting shorter, her head was dizzy. She was close to have a panic attack. “Breath. Gently… Never stop”, Serena commanded to herself. “Ok, I just lie here, on the floor, and wait to feel better.” But she was not feeling better, she was feeling worse. “Will he kill me too, when he finds out I know he is hiding behind the mask?”

iPhone Call to Reality

Suddenly Serena jumped in terror as her iPhone started ringing and vibrating somewhere in space above her. Never before Serena experienced the sense of gravity that much. Yet, somehow, she managed to put herself in vertical position in order to search for her iPhone. Finally, Serena reached it and looked at the caller ID. It was Mauro.

“I can’t talk to him. Not now. Not right now”, Serena was damply staring at the iPhone vibrating. Her mouth was dry, Serena was completely dehydrated. “I need some water”, she reached the bottle of water and started drinking greedily, right from the neck of the 1.5l bottle. Yet, she had difficulty to swallow what seemed to her as a divine liquid. Serena choked and coughed as if she had passed a long lime in a desert captivated by mirages.

“Indeed, appears like there have been a lot of mirages in my life lately. But the only desert my actual knowing of reality. And events that are beyond this reality of mirages. Reality of my own life. Desert of knowing. Real mirages. My boyfriend behind a mask. The man I knew nothing about.” Suddenly, she felt an urgent desire to throw the iPhone with Mauro’s name appearing continuously on its display through the open window.


Still feeling dizzy, Serena looked through the window onto the sunny crowded afternoon street. Everything seemed as usual. One foot in front of the other, just another woman walking along. Except Serena was different: she had just lost the reality of her life. “I don’t understand how it happened. I just don’t”, her mind was keeping turning it over and over, obsessively. “How could I have not conceived? How could I have overlooked?”

A moment later, the iPhone was communicating Serena that a text message was received. It was from Mauro: “Perché non rispondi?” (“Why are you not answering?”). And then the phone started ringing again. And again. Again and agian. It was continuous… Until Serena decided to switch it off. For the first time she thought that iPhone ringtone “Marimba” attached to Mauro’s caller ID can be that irritating and that disturbing.

A Dizzy Plan to Escape

Within next few minutes Serena realized crystal clear what she wanted to do. Pack her things. Run away.  Right to the airport. Bye a ticket. And go home. Forget everything, as if it was a dream or someone else’s story. A bad dream or a nightmare. Eventually, she would think about it later. To analyse her horrible life experience. But now she wanted to escape from this reality of mirages. Now.

Once reached the Bologna’s airport, she would leave the car inside secure airport’s parking area. Serena would leave the keys of the car and those of the apartment inside the glove compartment of the car. Then she would text Mauro to tell him where can he find the car and the keys. Not only Serena would ask him to let her go but also to forget her completely. Since it’s her decision. Obviously, he know why. And then she would throw away a sim-card, just as in thriller movies.

Serena’s plan was immediate, efficient and ready to act. Except that her body was not. Her head was in a daze, her feet moving blindly along the parquet floor. The sun was beating down; a gentle breeze was bursting through the slightly opened window still playing with the sheets of the letter as if they were different pieces of a puzzle. “What about letter? I can’t leave it like this…” So, on auto-pilot Serena gathered the sheets of letter, reassembled them in the right order and put it back into the envelope.

Leaving The Reality of Mirages…

Numbly, Serena turned her steps towards the bedroom and walked inside. Avoiding looking at the bed, she reached her wardrobe and ran its doors opened. Numbly, Serena started transferring the piles of neatly folded clothes from wardrobe shelves into her suitcase, which appeared right there as by magic. At least, Serena didn’t remember how she used the ladder to take it down from the mezzanine.

She wasn’t actually choosing “what to take and what to leave” (which she would normally do with major attention), but rather adopted “category approach”. Jeans, T-shorts and so on. To the piles of clothes she added a few pair of shoes, her laptop, few books she was reading in this period and a picture of her family from her nightstand. A passport, a wallet, a walkman in her purse, keys in her hand. She was ready to go.

She gave a last look to what once supposed to be their “love nest”, to remember…just in case she’d feel nostalgic. Yet, now she didn’t felt nostalgic, but rather suffocated.

Finally, one foot in front of other, with her whole body still being dizzy, purse on the shoulder, the trolley in one hand and the keys in the other in the other… Serena turned her steps towards the entrance door. Almost there she heard the key turning in the keyhole on the other side of the door. “Crap”, Serena’s heart started pounding ever faster. “Does love kill?”

To be continued…

in italy in love

What would you do on Serena’s place? Share your thoughts and expeience…

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