I was in Italy for the first time. I told myself that I was saving the best for last and it turned out to be true. This was the end of my around-the-world trip, one that I had booked with a broken-heart and an overdrafted bank account with the sole idea of leaving both behind on the runway as the first plane took off. Three days prior to the purchase of a plane ticket, my high school boyfriend told me was no longer happy. He stopped at “happy”, as that would prevent me from imagining how that was actually supposed to end. I half-expected him to give me the dreaded “it’s not you, it’s me” speech, but we both knew it wasn’t true. It was me. I had become complacent, not just with us, but with life. Everything I had was exactly what I had worked so hard to have and I found myself in my late-twenties wanting none of it. I would stay up at night, wide-eyed and fearful of something that I couldn’t put a finger on, a monster in waiting that somewhat resembled my future and it was terrifying.
And that’s how I found myself one sunny August morning, downing a caffè corretto to calm my nerves and help my rusty university Italian. I was staying with a friend in a town I couldn’t pronounce the name of, a friend that coincidentally had been in my university Italian classes until he met a fabulous Italian queen with the best eyebrows I’d ever seen and the two of them strutted onto a plane with a one-way ticket back to the queen’s hometown in Tuscany. It was the scandal of the century at first, but now they are, fittingly so, town royalty, and I was to be the guest of honour this summer. They literally laid out the red carpet for me and suddenly this foreign country felt like home. I spent the first week in a shameless Chianti-fuelled daze by the turquoise pool overlooking an expansive olive grove.
I ventured into town the second Monday, dripping with sweat and chlorine from the pool, my hair in a messy bun falling off one side of my head and the straps of my yellow sundress falling off both shoulders. They say fate has a sense of humour and that afternoon confirmed it. I was such a state: bare-faced, shiny and boasting the biggest sunglasses known to man and of course it was in that moment that I ran into him. Him with a capital H. I had been warned beforehand, a detailed physical description of the one man I had to be sure to avoid at all costs was given to me my first night in Italy. The description was drilled in my head and his photograph (conveniently fished off social media) was burned in my memory: tall, olive skin, dark eyes and even darker hair, and a jawline that looked like it could injure someone. He looked like a group of single foreign women had convened to provide one of those police sketches and that their prompt was “sexy Italian man”. Yet after almost a year of travelling solo as a female, I had met my share of attractive men the world over. From blue-eyed Danish models to hip-swaying Latin Americans, I was immune to seduction by the time I arrived in Italy. I remember laughing out loud, thinking how absurd it all was because how dangerous could one small-town Italian man be? Famous last words.
To be continued...
Read ten very short stories which are now available as a cute collection in my first eBook: This Sweet Life. You can download it for FREE in my store! Or read the individual posts in the Creative Writing category.
This is part of the #DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #16 May 2019. Add any Italy-related post to the linkup party below and join the fun. We are looking forward to another year of this wonderful community. Our goal is to connect over our shared love of Italy. Thank you all who have participated before, and those who join in the future!
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!
Past #DolceVitaBlogger Link-Ups:
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #14 March 2019
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #13 February 2019
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #12 January 2019
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #11 October 2018 – Hilarious Travel Mishaps
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup – #10 September 2018 – Favourite Italian Recipe
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #9 August 2018 - Culture Shock
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #8 July 2018 - La Dolce Vita
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #7 June 2018 - Hidden Gems in Italy
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #6 May 2018 - Five Italian Words
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #5 April 2018 - The Perfect Day in Italy
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #4 March 2018 - International Women's Day
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #3 February 2018 - A Love Letter to Italy
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #2 January 2018 - Favourite Italian City
#DolceVitaBloggers Linkup - #1 December 2017 - 'The Italian Connection
Creative Writing: Magnolia
Creative Writing: Acqua e Sapone
Creative Writing: Screw Soulmates
Creative Writing: The Romantics (Non-Fiction)
Creative Writing: All the Sunsets
Creative Writing: Happier
Creative Writing: Whiskey
Creative Writing: The Perfect Day in Italy
Creative Writing: Call Me Baby
Creative Writing: The Butterfly Effect
In the first eBook:
Creative Writing: The Letter R (Explicit)
Creative Writing: Dear Italy (A Love Letter)
Creative Writing: Airport Arrivals
Creative Writing: Tanqueray and You
Creative Writing: A Thousand Lives
Creative Writing: A Sunday Kind of Love
Creative Writing: Perfect Strangers in Switzerland
Creative Writing: Rooftops and Rome
Creative Writing: The Morning After in New York
Creative Writing: Mulberries in Sicily