“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Once Upon A Time…
…there was Serena. The girl was happily living in Italy in her new home and overwhelmingly in love with her Italian boyfriend. She felt completely happy and they were doing good for a long and happy while already. Serena had no idea that the reality was something different. Let alone, 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 facts. The reality was that Mauro was the outrageous liar with fairly diabolic power of persuasion, somewhat similar to hypnosis, and propensy for everything but a fair game.
Needless to say, that from the moment Serena had found that out, she was shocked and scared. Of him. Since that moment, all she really wanted was escape from this mirage reality. To turn back to her parents home. Once back to her old life Serena would force herself to realise that it was a just bad dream and never actually happened to her. Or she would think of it as an awful experience later on, when all the pain was over.
Therefore, Serena packed her things and was ready to leave, when she heard the key turning in the keyhole on the other side of the door. Of course, it was Mauro. Now she had no choice but to face him. Face to face. Crap…
Home Sweet Home
“What’s going on?” Mauro’s voice was strong and penetrating. As he walked in, a quick glance at overall Serena’s appearance was enough for him to realise the gravity of the situation. “You haven’t return any of my phone calls, I was worrying. That’s not much of you, Serena. Is everything ok?”
Serena couldn’t speak. She could hardly breath. Her head and legs were dizzy. Serena was dumbly fixing the entrance door that still remained open as if it was unreachable gateway to her mental health. Two steps and she could reach it, two more steps and she could cross it. Get back to normality. But Mauro was blocking the exit. There was no way Serena could slip away without facing this man first. The opportunity was lost. Yet, she couldn’t stop imagine herself in the airbus. Free from this “day-mare”.
“Are you even talking to me?” Mauro’s voice was calm, yet deep and persisting. “Could you please explain where you think you are going with your trolley half-closed?” Serena glanced at her suitcase. It was a complete disaster. Just as if it had survived a catastrophe. Exactly the way she felt herelf in that precise moment.
“Could you look me in the eye since I’m starting to feel as if I am invisible as a ghost”, Mauro tried to sound cheerful, yet his face remained serious.
Serena cleared her throat. Trying to take control over the panic rising inside her, she met Mauro’s eyes. Those black eyes emanating fairly diabolic power. Oh crap…
Face to Face
“You lied to me”, finally she managed to matter, her voice trembling. “About everything. From A to Z. I don’t know why you did that. But actually why doesn’t matter. I can’t bare this. The illusion, your betrayal… So I’m leaving.”
“Where are you going?” Mauro seemed calm.
“Your home is here”, his tone was warm and reassuring, his lips half-smiling.
“Apparently yours is not.”
“What?! How would it be? I don’t understand… What on earth makes you think so? Stop. Can we please talk about it? I’m sure you’ve been mistaking. What on earth have happened to you today?!” Mauro was starting to lose patience and meanwhile his face was transforming into weird scary frown.
“Oh, nothing you don’t know yet, I assume. In case you’ve lost memory, it’s all in that letter”, Serena mooved her eyes on the envelope resting on the coffee table, Mauro followed her look. “There is also a good-bye note from me in there. So, please let me go now. I’m going to lose my plane.”
“You definitely are. Your home is here. And you are staying home’, with this words, before Serena could realise their meaning, Mauro had slammed the entrance door. Next thing, he turned six times the key inside the keyhole and took it out off the door. Two steps towards Serena, he took keys from her hand too. And then with abrupt movement threw both bunches right through the open window. Right from the sixth floor.
“Now we talk”, Mauro’s words sounded like an ultimatum.
“That’s unfair! That’s not a fair game!” Serena sounded desperate. The girl couldn’t believe that she suddenly became a prisoner in once her beloved home. With a man apparently she knew nothing about. The man she loved and hated at the same time profoundly.
“Well, it’s probably not. On the other hand, what’s the “fair game” is after all? Would you please cite a dictionary definion, maybe? Is there any “fair game” in this world after all?” Mauro was getting furious, his voice rising. “Let’s take you, as an example.
you’ve signed for receiving a letter that was addressed to me. And I can understand that.
you’ve read it. And that wasn’t nice thing of you. Nor it was fair, neither polite. You do understand that, don’t you?
you have made your assumptions on your own. Without confronting your ideas with mine, you just judged me severely. Does any of that seem to you as a fair game?
Moreover, you haven’t return any of my phone calls. Since that’s not much of you, I was worrying. I was going crazy. And what do I find after I come home? A mirage of you that doesn’t sound or even look like you anymore.
Furthermore, if I wasn’t driving 180/h, risking my licence and my life… If I would arrive just two minutes later, God only knows where would have you been at this moment. Oh, right, in the airport! Going “home”! Proudly telling your parents that you left the Italian bastard without giving him a mere possibility to explain himself!
Again, does any of that seem as a fair game to you?!” Mauro’s face was red with fury. He was breathing fast as the horse after the race.
“I didn’t want to talk with you since you would only tell other lies to explain the previous”, Serena bursted into tears. “You are a lier. Everything you have ever told me was a lie! Huge, enormous, inhumane lies!”
“You have lied to me even more. Serena, you have told me you love me. You have sweared you’d never leave me. And I believed you. Yet, all your recent actions prove the opposite. I’ve trusted you. I was able to sucrifice my life to you. God, I still am and always will be. And you? You’ve betrayed my love and my trust. Us. You’ve betrayed us.” Mauro’s strong and deep voice went darker. “At least look at me when I’m talking to you!”
Yet, Serena couldn’t. Her face wet with tears that she couldn’t stop, she was choking.
Mauro made his point crystal clear, and it wasn’t so wrong after all. Still she had her point as well, which, as for her, was much stronger. However, Serena couldn’t bring herself to talk and inquire. She couldn’t face this man who was emanating diabolic power as other men emanate Eau de Parfum. Serena felt devastated. By everything she had found out, by the impossibility to escape. And especially, by the way this man who used to love her was treating her right now.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you!” Mauro oredered to Serena. Yet, Serena didn’t: she felt paralysed.
“All right then: I presume you refuse to talk to me since you realise the truth is on my side. You can’t look me in the eye since you feel ashame of yourself, and I understand that perfectly.
What I don’t understand is that you haven’t even consider to give me the possibility to explain whatever lies you think I’ve told you. You know, Serena, people talk to each other when they are in the relationship. Especially, when they are in love. Have you, Serena, ever loved me?
My doubt is, you have love only for yourself. You are a baby girl, not a grown up woman. Not that I wasn’t expecting anything of this after all your “study-is-my-only-true-love” and “antique-furniture-is-evil” childish talks”, for a while Mauro sounded disgusted. “But never to this extent”, he sighed and then continued his monologue:
“Given that you are not making questions about whatever have made you feel this way… The only thing I must say in my defence is that whatever I did I did it for you. For us. For us to be happy together. Sensing your childish nature, I knew you would never understand that in the real life happy coincidences actually never happen. But deep inside I hoped that one day you will.
Because you see, the real big problem is that I do love you, Serena. I always have and I always will. Hence I’m not giving up on you so easily. Not now, nor ever. Not at least you’ll find courage to look me right in the eye and tell me you don’t love me anymore.
Until that moment you’ll remain here, at your home. Since it yours. And this is my ultimatum. Or you talk to me and we sort things out, or you confess that you don’t love me anymore or probably never have. Take your time. And if that makes you feel better, feel free to consider yourself a love prisoner.”
How would you feel and what would you do on Serena’s place? Please share…