A Love Story in Italy
Many of days I sat by myself thinking of her. The magic in her hazel eyes touched me. Though I am far distant from her now, it is not little I have recollections of her delightful smile. On serene summer nights, as a beautiful sonata plays, she often comes to mind. I muse over what seems to be an urgent absence of her presence. However, her silhouette still gently lies upon my thoughts. In the twilight, at the drifting of a cool aromatic breeze, I dream of Ella.
As I recall, I met her on a visit to the small Italian city of Naples. Though it had been some years ago, I still remember just how she looked then. From the beginning I never fancied encountering her. As a tourist I wanted to get out and explore my surroundings. Since I had a month cessation from school in the United States, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for me to learn something new.
My tourist guide, a man by the name of Alberto Giovanni led group of those persons who like me wanted to examine the city. I was also apart of this tourist class. Giovanni, a middle aged man, appeared small in stature. He had a noticeable bald spot. There were remaining shrieks of gray hair on each side of his head. His protruding belly was the most recognizable, although his appearance overall resembled a unique kind of youthfulness.
The individuals present were guests with me in Italy’s finest lodgings and resorts. I had met each one prior to the tour. There was no distance among each of us. Everyone was acquainted for the most part. At the commencement of the tour we all gathered around to take pictures of the picturesque towns. Upon passing historical sites our guide would pause, and explain certain aspects of our explorations. I learned quickly the irony involved with such a beautiful and peaceful country. It was pretty much created in the midst of various civil wars.
As we proceeded along, there were a menagerie of villages and public eating places becoming quite visible to us. Fully within the limits of the foreign assortments, everyone decided to stop for a bite to eat. I wasn’t the least bit of surprised when all in the group wanted pizza, although I have heard the Italians never invented this dish. As we all agreed upon the restaurant suitable for us, there was no hesitation to repair to the chosen public eating area. Before entering the restaurant however, my attention was suddenly arrested.
It was on a balmy Monday afternoon when my eyes fastened hard upon her. I thought to myself she could be no more than twenty years of age, Ella that is. Her eyes met mine as she smiled to indicate a subtle attraction. She had been working in her father’s shop that day, and was about to leave. I distance myself from the group I had heretofore kept company with, to approach what seemed to me a fallen gem.
Of the sunlight that fell across her hair…the dye from henna leaves accentuating her long tresses…reflected from her a red tint slightly varied. The yellow nylon dress she wore was of viola decor. Her form had a regal grace. Her toenails were perfectly painted, as if by a skillful pedicurist; the black high hill shoes around her feet, complimented all too well the eye shadow across her eyelids. She was like a topaz jewel in November.
When I got to where she was standing I introduced myself. She reciprocated by giving me her name. The conversation was natural, and it seemed like we had known each other for a long time. As we both talked there came an abrupt ending. Ella’s father called her back inside the shop. He caught sight at what was taking place. From the disapproval in his voice, he did not like the idea of me exchanging words with his daughter. She quickly hurried away, but before she left, she whispered in my ear to meet her at a certain place. I made a gesture to let her know I understood her.
I again joined the company I had been with since the early morning. It was evident from the chuckles and laughs all knew what had taken place.
I was in harmony with my fellow tourists, because as fate would have it, cupid struck me with his arrow. Following our lunch we visited more sites in Italy, until it was time to go back to the hotel. Once there, everyone separated to their own rooms to rest. Later that evening there was to be a play in which all visitors wanted to attend. As for me I decided to take a shower and freshen up, I had a date.
On the approach of twilight while the guests gathered to go watch the show, I began my walk to the Italian square. Here I would meet Ella. When I arrived I saw her sitting on a bench. There she was, her long flowing hair lying gently on her back. Just like before, she did not lack in beauty, as it was obvious to me the intoxication of her symmetry ravished my heart. It was in secret we spent the first day, and the days that followed, endeavoring to hide from Ella’s father the relationship we discovered.
It was not long before she graced my lips with hers. I was transfixed in the romance that had taken control, while the many sunsets pour floods of light, bathing the the Venice River in orange. This river she and I sailed upon. She bedazzled me with one touch her hand, and her fingertips dripped eloquence on moonlit streams. Ella told me her father did not like me. He knew I did not come from a pure Italian line, and therefore, detested me.
Although the intrigue was from the beginning a taboo, I made an effort to beguile the time by holding her in a caress embrace. We chose ignore the old traditions that once threatened love, and notwithstanding her father forbidding our relationship, we saw each other everyday. Though it was premature in essence, Ella and I wanted to marry. I desired her for my wife, but how could I pass the ethnic demarcation? To elope seemed like the more preferred choice between her and me.
The weeks had become shorter since I arrived in Italy, and soon I would leave to go back home. Being in Ella’s company was amazing. As it was our amusement, Ella and I would escape to the country side to the villa her father owned. In the heat of noon the two of us engaged in a quiet storm. Far the time was spent. In our realization of this, we would make our way back to the open square where I first met her. Strange I had no inkling of a thought that soon our time together would come to a sudden end.
Usually Ella and I parted only to see each other the next day; however, on one particular night she and I would be forever parted. It would end in a sad irony. The month in Naples Italy brought wedding bells in the sweetest vision. It was a Bella Sera when my expectations were to be disappointed. Nightfall settled in rather quickly, and while sitting in the frequented places of Italywhere lovers go to enjoy a secret rendezvous, Ella and I held each other freely under the starry sky. Entwined in silence, we closed our eyes in a lover’s tide.
Suddenly, the romantic moment was interrupted. Ella began to distance herself from me. As I opened my eyes, I met hers filled with so much consternation. Looking over my head, behind me, she seemed to be speechless. I turned to see what her eyes averted to, and in amazement I watched her father approaching us hurriedly, his face flushed with anger. Taking Ella by the hand he reprimanded her for disobeying him by interacting with one uttered not a thoroughbred. He then warned me to stay away from his daughter.
I tried to reason with him, but he became even more irrational. Finally, in complete silence I watched him lead Ella away, until both passed from out of sight. I never saw Ella again. Although I made visits to her home, it was of no avail. Her father’s servant told me either she was not present, or preoccupied with house chores. At length, after irritating Ella’s father with my constant yearning to see her, I was told not to come back on pain of death.
I left Italywithout hope of ever seeing Ella or communicating with her while back at home. I had no enthusiasm to return to the United States. I felt I had left a part of me behind. Six years has passed since I last seen her though, and often she crosses my mind. In the gloaming when I glean a breath of solitude, I pensively gaze into the sky, and I wonder if she thinks of me. Azure hue intermingled with a soft glow across the distance, and nights in Naples Italywith my beloved, will never be effaced from my thoughts. Because I will always remember this Love Story in Italy.