CHAPTER 21 – After

glass of moscato

The wine, of course, was Moscato d’Asti

Lorenzo had been a part of my life since I was seven, whether or not I’d always been aware of it. His sudden death plunged me into raging despair. Our time together in Italy had been so fleeting, so intensely private that I had no one to mourn him with.

At my parents’ house in the US, I read the obits online. The cause of death was his heart. It had happened on that very December day I had woken up in a panic. His father had also died young: an explanation, yet no comfort at all. I missed Lorenzo with all my soul. My parents were sympathetic but seemed to consider this the symbolic end of my childhood, not the death of my future – and I couldn’t tell them.

Then I learned my book was being published in the spring, and knew I must move forward. Even though at any time of the day or night I could be silently pierced by the remembrance of Lorenzo: his touch, his hair, his eyes, his grace. Gradually, though I couldn’t explain it, Dan and I resumed talking. Eventually, my thoughts took a new direction. I wondered: had Lorenzo’s death actually set me free to follow my own path?

Part of me never wanted to see Italy again. Another part yearned to be in Piemonte surrounded by the hills and wines of Asti.

Which is how I got to this plane, about to land in Italy. Fresh from renewing my connection to Dan in London. Converting my focus from past to future. Re-immersing myself in the wonderful wines of Piemonte, in a new career that also draws on my years of study. Carrying my memories of Lorenzo, I have now become an Italian wine importer. Of Moscato d’Asti, of course.

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