Once again, I found myself sobbing over Skype to my mom. Everything was a mass of confusion and pain. I didn’t know what was happening between Mario and myself, but I could feel that we were heading down a devastating path.
After along talk with my mom, I headed out to the kitchen to find a glass of water. Much to my surprise, Signora Fiori was still awake, watching some television. After one look at my red and swollen face, she immediately embraced me and asked me what was wrong.
That, of course, just opened the floodgates.
Signora Fiori was as kind as kind can be. Though obviously shocked at the turn of events, she plied me with love and food (the ultimate Italian expression of love). When I told her that I was thinking of leaving, she urged caution, saying that it was best to not make any decisions tonight. I needed to wait until the morning, to see how Mario would react.
And so I waited. I passed the rest of the night watching cheesy Italian television with Signora Fiori and stuffing as much chocolate in my mouth as was possible.
My phone remained silent.
Another sleepless night passed. Still no word.
The morning crawled by.
As it began to approach noon, I resolved that it was time to take action. Maybe seeing me with my suitcase in hand would spark action. It was a long shot, but I was desperate to do something that would effectively break down Mario’s wall – and wake us both from this nightmare.
I checked the train timetable, and slowly began to pack my bag. There was a station within walking distance of the Fiori’s, and while I was loath to actually leave, I knew I couldn’t continue in this way. Nothing was working, and my emotional state was becoming increasingly fragile.
Finally, just as I was about to head out the door, Mario called.
(Where are you?)
(At the house)
Allora, non sei andata via…
(So you didn’t leave)
Taking a big breath, I responded.
No. Non ancora. Ma sono pronta d’andare via
(No. Not yet. But I am ready to do so).
Silence. And then…
Come fai arrivare alla stazione?
(How are you getting to the station?)
The tears welled up. With my voice trembling, I informed him that I was going to walk. He let out a big sigh, and then said that he would be right over.
The ride to the station was a quiet one. Mario seemed lost in his own world, and I was trying my hardest to stay composed. My emotions swung wildly in between anger and sadness. I couldn’t believe that this was happening.
After I bought my ticket, Mario walked out with me to the train platform. I wanted to kiss him, slap him and ignore him, all at the same time. I could feel my defences rising, my pride insisting that I retain some sort of dignity. But my sense of loss was stronger, and the desire to beg him to think about what he was doing was overwhelming.
And so I stayed silent. My valiant efforts to keep my tears in check were finally defeated and so there I stood, in the cold December air, suitcase in hand, and tears streaming down my face.
Mario could barely look at me. He just stood there, mumbling some nonsense that maybe some time apart would do us some good, give us some perspective and allow us to really ponder our relationship. All I knew was that if he could handle watching me stand there, heart broken, and not be moved, then there was precious little left that I could do.
Finally the train arrived, and after a long look at him, my eyes pleading with him to stop me from boarding, I reluctantly turned and climbed the steps. I could barely see through my tears, and I finally stumbled to an empty set of seats, closing my eyes so that the devastation I was feeling would not be so readily apparent to any passerby. The reality of what just happened washed over me like a tidal wave.
Mario hadn’t stopped me.
So what happens now?