CHAPTER 17 – Collision

Try to Breathe

My destination honeymoon with Dan: perfect weather and wonderful friends together in a charming, rented palazzo in Piemonte. More than a year had passed since my Italian interlude with Lorenzo – which, after all, had only been one week of my entire life, I rationalized. Having heard from my parents that Lorenzo and Rainbow were living in San Francisco with their baby, I felt safe returning to Piemonte.

But I hadn’t counted on Lorenzo’s innate Italian character; he could not really exist away from his homeland. One afternoon when Dan and I were strolling back to the palazzo, I was momentarily startled when I thought I glimpsed Lorenzo. As with all the other times, I forced myself to breathe normally because, once again, it was not him. Only this time it was: Lorenzo was actually standing in our doorway, only a few meters away. Dan caught my elbow, thinking I had merely stumbled on the uneven stones underfoot.

Lorenzo came forward and I introduced them. An old family friend, I told Dan, and he eagerly accepted when Lorenzo insisted on taking us out for a celebratory drink. I was even more stunned to hear Lorenzo chatting easily to Dan, relating that he and Rainbow were separating. Lorenzo couldn’t make a full-time life for himself in San Francisco, and she was too dependent on her parents to leave, so Lorenzo would alternate semesters in Italy and California to share custody of their little boy.

While the waiter was setting out the traditional aperitif of chilled Moscato d’Asti, conversation flowed around me though I could barely speak. Reaching for one of the tiny antipasto-style sandwiches that had appeared with the drinks, Lorenzo’s hand accidentally brushed mine, and it was like an electric shock. We both looked up, our eyes met and we could not look away.

 

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