CHAPTER 20 – Forever

sparkling moscato

Found and Lost

Skimming between exhilaration and disbelief, I rushed through the rest of my work, determined to finish by the time Lorenzo picked me up for our road trip. I selected a special bottle of golden Moscato d’Asti wine. But the next morning I awoke in a thrashing panic. Not knowing what it meant, I called family, Dan, close friends, and they were all fine. Except there was no word from Lorenzo, no answer when I called and texted his Italian cellphone. I hadn’t heard from him since we’d made our plans to go away together.

Online, I located his wife Rainbow in San Francisco. When I finally called, I could only say an automatic “Buon giorno.” The person on the other end put the phone down, and while they searched for someone who spoke Italian, I learned from background conversation that there was some emergency involving Lorenzo. I hung up terrified, yet still clinging to a nugget of hope.

A day passed, then two, then three. I worked and reworked the final draft of my book. I couldn’t bring myself to make another phonecall. By the time I boarded my plane to the US I was numb, spending the eight hours in the air petrified, desperate.

The instant I landed, I switched on my phone. In the strange world of wireless communication, a delayed text from Lorenzo suddenly appeared, sent days earlier: he wasn’t feeling well and would be in touch. The message had been sent from Lorenzo’s US cellphone number, which I had never dialed before. Someone answered. It was not Lorenzo. And that was how I learned that Lorenzo had died.

At that moment, if I could have gotten right back on the plane I would have: to turn back time, to lose myself in the honeys and florals and endless bubbles of Moscato d’Asti.

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