It doesn’t matter where you come from; a little bit or a lot of your heart will stay in your home country…
It’s exciting, living in a foreign country where the language is not your own, where things are different & new.
When one thinks of a life in Rome, they may think glamour…fun…but realising that home is so far away can take it’s toll…
If only for a brief moment the young lady wanted to be herself away from the scrutiny of eyes she did not know and those who judged her regardless. Was she from eastern Europe, a babysitter, a secretary or a rich man’s lover?
Only she knew the answers, only she knew who she was as the eyes and taunting faces questioned her and mocked. Some of the women perhaps, were even envious of her and that she’d left her country, family and friends to settle in a new one…she looked different this is true and she dressed differently too and of course she sounded different, Italian was not her mother tongue.
Why had she come here, why had she left her home so comfortable and secure? She had been to university, she was clever. Wasn’t she? Doubt filled her thoughts as the countless faces trudged passed her as she made her way home, hands laden with bags of groceries. Only servants trudged kilometres with bags in this city. They were heavy too and she’d had to park so far away.
She wanted to be home, in the confines of her appartment where the eyes could no longer see her and she could be herself.
All paths lead home…don’t they?
I love short stories with impact, with enthrall and with suspense.Don’t you?
How many stories offer the thrill of riveting suspense?
How many women live for their children and their husband?
How many live each day waiting? Waiting for what in essence?
“If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
‘The phone rings, it is pouring with rain outside and the kids are screaming. ‘Hello, Burton household’, she chirps, faking happiness.
‘Listen, you are breaking up, hang on’. She mutes the phone with a cuffed hand. ‘For goodness sake, will you shut up , you noisy kids, I’m on a phone call’.
She uncuffs the phone. Muffled screams and taunts continue through the walls to the kitchen.
‘Sorry, what were you saying?’ She continues through the crackles, puffing on her now half lit cigarette.
‘I call from..Sc…on..doo..Maam..’
‘I can’t understand a word you are saying’, frustrated now her words mixed with fury, ‘the line is crackling’. A murderous scream drowns out her fragmented conversation.
‘Awwwww, that hurt, I’m bleeding’. Her phone call ends as she rushes to the adjoining room.
Terror marks the faces of her two frightened children as one lies motionless on the floor.’
Now this is ‘bello’
She waved as she approached, dissecting me into hundreds of minuscule pieces. ‘Ciao bella’, she grabbed me and fleetingly touched my cheek to hers, lips pursed and then with the other cheek she repeated the ritual.
‘Ciao Mara’, I responded. I hadn’t seen her for a few weeks. ‘Quanto sei bella’, she stood back and continued to dissect me, ‘you are BEAUTIFUL’. I was always taken aback by the word ‘bella’. It seemed to be used so effortlessly and in my mind was not a good ‘truth’ indicator. People who barely knew each other would tap cheek to cheek and say,’ ciao bella’. Do you really think that I am bella? I asked myself time and time again. Do you really think that it is wise to call a person you have just met and do not know bella? How language differs country to country. In English, it would be highly unusual to address someone with ‘hi beautiful’. Even people who know you would think it strange!
I felt a tinge of embarrassment whenever anyone said ‘ciao bella’. I really didn’t know how to take it and it took me a decade to become acquainted with it’s usage. Needless to say the words didn’t slip off my tongue very easily.