Going Back and Going Forward
Even before my plane landed in Torino, my face was pressed against the window as I drank in the mountains descending into hills, narrow roads tracing the contours of the land, curved lanes connecting villages to valleys to vineyards.
There had been rain recently so the countryside looked abundant and lush even after months of summer heat. It felt oddly right: the luxuriant landscape echoing the richness of my feelings as I drew nearer to Lorenzo.
Why had I never returned to Piemonte? Why had I never dared to ask myself why? Certainly, during college I had visited other regions of Italy on the requisite student tours of Rome and Florence to take language and art classes. Now I knew why. Because this time, after the long hours in harsh airports and stultifying planes, I saw Lorenzo. Strangely familiar, astoundingly, inconceivably, yet absolutely and believably here. His arm around my shoulders was soft and strong. His golden-brown eyes sparkled. I was exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. Lorenzo was calm and sure, guiding me to his car, moving us along toward the chateau-like hotel we had found online. I was quiet, almost too tired to be nervous. Lorenzo’s hair became more tousled as he ran his hands through it, endearingly betraying his own hint of tension.
Our hotel room was huge, cool and high-ceilinged, with more than enough room for the tall bedstead, a chaise, a large table with dining chairs: the former parlor of a noble family’s castello. A waiter knocked and entered. Suddenly shy, I retreated behind the door of the marble bathroom while he carefully placed plates of food and a chilled bottle on the table. Before getting into the shower, I peeked back into the room, breathing a quiet sigh of happiness when I saw the familiar Moscato d’Asti label.