Non Aspettavo (Unexpected)

(2010)

Is it possible to tell a story so many times that it no longer feels like reality?  It was sure starting to feel that way.  From going to work the next morning, to activities with my friends, to receiving phone calls as the news began to spread, the same questions were continuously asked and I found myself telling the story over…and over…and over…

Not that I minded.  I loved the story.  And I loved reliving those precious moments with Mario. But as the days passed, it seemed more and more like a story I had read and less like the reality of my life.

I guess that’s what happens when you live thousands of miles away from your fiancé.

Mario had been gone only a few days and I was facing my first weekend in my new “engaged yet alone” status.  Determined to enjoy myself despite his absence, I made dinner plans with some of my dear friends.  Friends who had been at the dinner party that Mario and I had hosted and who were eager to hear about he final days.  And, of course the story of the proposal.

It was a lovely evening and I returned home happy.  Though I missed Mario fiercely, I was glad that I had some time to savor with my friends my entire world was changed.

Just as I was walking through the door, my phone rang.  Saying hello to my roommates who were gathered in the front room, I pulled it out and glanced at the caller ID.

No.  Way.

I stopped dead in my tracks.

While my roommates looked at me curiously, I hesitatingly answered.

“Hello Allen.”

I could see all their mouths drop.  It would have been comical if I weren’t sure that my face held the exact same expression.

“Hey.  So I’m in the neighborhood and I wanted to know if I could stop by to say congratulations.”

Pause.

My first thought was, “Mario will be furious.”

My second thought was, “Why can’t Allen just let me be?”

Then, in a flash, I understood. Despite everything that had happened and the months that had passed, I knew that Allen hadn’t moved on.  Even though he knew I had been seriously dating someone else, he had clung to the hope that I would change my mind and that we could somehow resolve the issues between us. Obviously he was struggling with the news I had given him a few nights ago and finally…finally…he was trying to shut that door.

Allen was looking for closure.  And apparently he needed to see the ring on my finger in order to find it.

Still I hesitated.  I knew that Mario would not be happy if Allen came over to my house.  But I also felt like I owed Allen the chance to finally let go.

“Sure.  Come on over.”

As I hung up, I quickly turned to my roommates and explained the situation.  I softly implored them to stay with me in the front room.  I would let Allen congratulate me, and I would show him the reality of the ring, but I wasn’t going to give him the opportunity to speak to me alone.  It wasn’t going to help the situation and, being newly engaged, it didn’t seem proper.  Above everything, I didn’t want to hurt Mario.  I knew he wasn’t going to be thrilled when I told him, and I wanted to be able to truthfully say that there was no cause for him to be upset or concerned.  Allen would be in the sights of my roommates the entire time.

Just as soon as my roommates agreed to help me out, I was startled by a knock at the door.  I turned, surprised.  It had been less than a minute since I had hung up the phone.  How could he already be at my door?

But he was.  Ready or not, Allen was here.

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About ciaobellamiastory

What do you do with that magical moment when everything makes sense - when all the random choices, experiences and encounters come together, and you find that rare instant of clairty? Then what do you do when it all falls apart? About 12 years ago I decided to take an Italian 101 course. That seemingly random choice has forever altered the path of my life. My strange connection with the language, culture and people of Italy started with love and joy and culminated with unexpected loss, grief and despair. While previously I was content to follow this unpredictable path, today I seek to understand the reasons and lessons behind my journey. My journey towards understanding begins here.
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