I took another long run that morning, followed by a long shower. I was desperate to clear my head, but I was consumed by anger and fear. I felt like I was hitting my head against a wall. I knew that the only way to fix the situation was to find a way to reach Mario. But nothing was working. And I felt like everyday I was losing him just a little more.
The day didn’t go any better. Once again I offered to travel with him during his afternoon work, but even though we were physically together, I could feel him pulling father and farther away. His work had become his shield, his excuse for every stress, every problem and every frustration. He hid behind his phone, and the endless calls from his employees.
Dinner with Nonna was a quiet affair, with Mario saying that he would take me immediately back to the Fiori’s. It was still early, so I hope that he wanted to have some alone time so that we could try and work through this mess. Once we were in the car, I tried to open the conversation, but the wall of silence had returned. He refused to answer any of my questions or respond to my pleas. It was just an endless stream of excuses. It wasn’t long before my temper flared and we were once again fighting.
Same topics, concerns and problems. The tears came back with a vengeance and I realized that I wasn’t getting anywhere. He just kept repeating that this was something he needed to figure out on his own and he didn’t know how we could fix things when I was leaving in less than a week. The few sentences that he said made little sense, but he seemed locked into his own thoughts and views and stubbornly refused to listen or acknowledge what I was saying. He had completely shut me out.
I was desperate to knock some sense into him. As we pulled into the Fiori’s driveway, all I could think is that if I managed to shake him up a little, I would be able to awaken him from his stupor and realize the damage that he was causing. As the fight escalated, I could feel my emotional side taking over. I said whatever popped into my head, hoping that my instincts would be able to accomplish what my rationale had failed to fix.
It was an out of body experience. The words were rushing out of my mouth, the tears were streaming down my face, and I could feel my body shaking with all the emotions that were coursing through it. Then, before I even realized what I was doing, my right hand reached over to my left and slipped the engagement ring that I loved off my finger and placed it on the shelf between our two seats. With tears blinding my vision, I chocked out an ultimatum. I loved him. I wanted to marry him. But I could no longer continue like this. And I wouldn’t marry him if he was going to treat me like this. So he had to decide what it was that he wanted.
It was up to him to decide whether or not he wanted to give me the ring back.