I apologize for my delay, but life is funny and sad at the same time...
Anyways, thanks to my beta xStarletx for helping me and all those wonderful reviews, it really made my day.
Also, if you're interested in another Volturi stories, please read "Wild Flower" with FelixOC .The next chapter is almost done.
And, of course, my one shot "You have a choice". I really want to hear your opinion.
This is a really long chapter,so I hope you like it.
As always, review please!
As soon as I had moved to Volterra I was wrapped in this sensation that could only be described as utter safety. And that was one of the reasons that I didn't think twice before returning to my home alone from the festival.
All my enthusiasm from enjoying the party was ruined by a very inconvenient moment. I wasn't usually like this, which was weird for me. Really, I don't know what it was that made me act like that but, I didn't like being approached by that man one bit. I think it might have had something to do with the fact that I could barely see his face. He was just too creepy for me.
Some people like the "Cloak People" that walk around all day in Volterra. Tourists, more often, try to take pictures of them; they think that are some sort of secret police or something like that. Some imagination they have! I confess that at first I was curious too, but then it got old and I didn't care about them much anymore. Maybe they had some type of skin disease that made it impossible for them to go out dressed as normal people, go figure. Anyways, it was not of my concern.
Since I was closer to my home, and away from the roar of the crowd, the only sound was my feet on the parallelepipeds and the creaks of the old wood shutters on the windows, very typical of the ancient houses on this street.
I moved in with my grandmother Adele .She had an Antique Shop and I worked in it with her. I like old and ancient things and it was always nice to meet new people, no matter how eccentric they may seem. One time this Belgium man was convinced that the silverware we had, had at one point belonged to William Shakespeare. I have no idea where he had gotten this idea but another costumer overheard him saying this and wanted to buy the piece too. Bottom line, my nana had to dispel them because they were scaring the other costumers with Shakespearean lines!
As I said, eccentrics.
Due the fact the Shop was small, we didn't have a big clientele; but we did take good care of our business. And that was why we lived above the store. It wasn't not much, but it was our home.
The lights were on, so I assumed that my nana was with one of our clients, which was why I entered without knocking. I shouldn't have done that.
"Buonasera nonna…OH MY GOD!" I cried, throwing open the door. What I saw I wasn't ready for.
I mean, of course I was aware that my Nonna was flirting with the owner of the clothing store down the street, but did I know she was kissing him? No.
"Scusa signore Alberti, Nonna, I, ah…I'm going now" I apologized, turning to leave. I was about to turn off the light, but I remembered that I wasn't alone and there were two people also in the room, making out like a pair of love struck teenagers, so the worst thing I could do was turn off the lights. How was I supposed to know what they would be doing? As I left I tripped on one of the stairs and heard their giggling.
"Anne, Signore Alberti and I are going to enjoy the rest of the festival; will you be ok here by yourself?" My nonna asked me. I nodded then remembered that she couldn't see me so I shouted out ok and then crawled all the way to my bedroom feeling like an idiot.
My grandmother is the sweetest woman in this world! I'm so glad she and the Sig. Alberti put their shyness aside and finally decided to go out and have fun. Life was short, and no matter how old you were, it was always important to try new things and have a little fun. Besides, they were just so cute together!
My bedroom wasn't too big, not that I needed much space. It was cozy, plus my window gave me the most beautiful view of the city square. It was like one of those old buildings that you see in those Old Italian movies that you never think really exist. So, what could I possibly have to complain about?
I didn't bring much to Italy with me; just my books, CDs and some clothes. I didn't bring any pictures, besides the one of my and my Nonna. I preferred paintings, they were much happier in my opinion. Photos only brought back memories of things that passed by and wouldn't happen again, so why remember them?
I sighed and adjusted the bedspread on my bed. I started to think back on my day; every tiny detail I could think of, as insignificant as it may seem to some, it was important for me. Once I tried to write a journal, but I disposed the idea after one entry. I wasn't the least bit comfortable writing about my life on piece of paper and have the possibility of someone finding it and reading it.
I'd rather imagine things; only I didn't call it that. I called "Repaginating my day": I'd take all the good things that happened to me during the day and make them seem ten times better in my head. And trust me, it worked wonders. Even for the things that weren't so good in my day.
Like the festival. No, wait, the festival was good, great even. Everybody was so happy and smiling. My Nonna and I always talked about the St. Marcus festival when we finally arrived in Volterra. The problem had been that man that approached me at the end.
I didn't like to judge a person, because that was just wrong; I'm in no position to be judging anyone anyways. But there was something that seemed, odd about him.
The knock on my window took me out my reverie, I ran to close it. "Strange, it must've been a cat running trough the roof." I whispered to myself. That happened so often around here that I was mostly used to wake up with a couple of cats staring at me by now. At first I was scared, but then I just got used to it.
I crawled back to my comfy bed. There were times, lots of times, when my happy and positive thoughts helped me.
Too bad that today wasn't one of those days.
I don't tell this to my Nonna or even admit to myself out loud but, I don't like being alone. The truth was that when you had nothing good to do, your head creates every type of confusing thinking and all of sudden you're depressed.
I don't like being left alone.
Before my first tears were shed, I turned down the lamp and then hid under the covers with this odd feeling that I was being watched.
As I said, being alone makes you imagine all kinds of things.
"Buongiorno Miss. Did you had fun last night?" I asking wiggling my eyebrows at my Nonna. She was sweeping the floor so we could open the store. It was so cute that, in her age, she still had the decency to blush.
"I don't know what you're talking about. Signore Alberti and I are only good friends that happened to go out to watch the festival last night" She waved off, though she wasn't looking at me when she said this, which meant that not even she believed her little lie.
"Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight Nonna." I said, opening the windows as to let in fresh light and air. "Well, I never had a friend that I talked to like that Nonna"
To save her from her ever growing blush, I put my arms around her and kissed the top of her head; a very easy thing to do since I was taller than her. "I'm just happy for you ragazza. It's about time he found the courage to ask you out. I pitied him with that lost puppy look upon his face every time you went by and he didn't say anything." I
She laughed and I released her to start cleaning the balcony where we had put all the tiny Japanese pieces that we had received yesterday.
"None of that missy. It's a beautiful day outside, and you can't see it from here. So go out and enjoy it" She cried practically throwing me out of the shop then and there, except the tinkling of the little bells above the door signified the arrival of a customer.
"But Nonna, the clients…" I started but she was quicker than me. She used that look that only Nonna's had that could silence an entire auditorium with only one look.
"The festival was yesterday Anne. This means that today the tourists are going to be leaving, meaning: fewer costumers today. So, shoo" She waved me off.
As my Nonna said, the biggest movement of tourists we'd have that day was them going straight to the airport. Some of them decided to stay a few days more, but in the end they all returned to their homes.
I didn't mind though. The day was beautiful, just like my Nonna said it was; it seemed to come straight from a scene of some old movie where the villagers just woke up and say buongiorno to each other, ready to start the day.
I passed unnoticed by everyone .there were just too many bags and tour bus around. Some people were crying, while others were still barely awake. A shame, because if they look up for a minute, they'd see the beautiful morning sky that very few people ever took the time to notice.
I walked with no rush to my destiny. There was such commotion in the center that no one notices a young woman with simple clothing wearing just a pair of sandals, as she walks amongst the Gucci and Channel clothes and bags that all the other women carried or wore. So I was pretty much the complete opposite of the women here that seemed to have awoken with full make up on their faces.
It is so funny all the work people go through to appear as something they're not. I think that most of the women here may think it's a crime to leave the house with no make up nowadays. I smiled to myself and continued to walk, unnoticed by the most wannabe models that surrounded the square.
One of the things I like most about Volterra was the natural scenery. All the ancient buildings that were surrounded by green rolling hills and tall trees. I could only imagine the amount of stories that these walls could tell being around for all those years. I was almost there, at my special spot. My Nonna knew that this place always made me the happiest; not because of the house, which is so simple that no one takes a second look at it. No, it's because of what's in it.
It took me less than two minutes and I was at the opening the small wood door calling for the signore Carminati. I waited until he came to open the front door for me. The Signore was a very old man and, because of his age, he had trouble walking and he had lost the vision in his left eye. But that didn't mean that he was one of those grumpy scary old men .On the contrary, he was everything but that.
"Il mio giovane amico, che piacere averti qui di nuovo." The Signore greet. He had here lived alone ever since his wife passed. His children are constantly traveling and didn't have much time to spend with him. He and I were like kindred spirits, neither of us like being alone, none the less I was honored when he accepted my friendship.
"Buon giorno il mio amico. Mi dispiace per il ritardo,..." I replied. His hand on my shoulder silenced me, while he was taking me to his house.
"Assurdo, l'importante è che tu sei qui, e so che la ragione, e non è nulla a che fare con la mia giovinezza e della bellezza" he told me. I smiled when he went to the kitchen to prepare some tea. It was a ritual between the two of us: While he was in the kitchen to prepare the tea, I went into the other room where, what I called Tesoro, could be found. Sometimes, he sat beside me and we talked, but most of the time, I would sit by myself while he listened his radio in the other room. I didn't mind, being in alone in this room was different, it was where my mind could wander to happier places.
Before I opened the door that separated me from my treasure, I felt this tingling sensation in the pit of my stomach, which happens every time I'm near this treasure. Without delaying any longer, I opened the door and, from that moment on, it seemed to me that every ray of light that I saw came right into this room and all I could do was thank God for being able to see such wonder.
I could never describe the feeling that I always have when I enter this room. In fact, this place is the most humble in the house. Four walls painted in white and two wooden chairs. But, I don't care about how the room looks, because the important thing wasn't the building itself, but what was on the walls.
My treasures were the paintings.
For people who never saw them, it seemed silly that I would be talking about them like this; but trust me; it was like love at first sight.
The richness of details, the play of colors and the simplicity, it was the reason why I could sit still and just watch for hours.
And, like all the other times before this one, that was exactly what I did.
I'm not sure how long I sat there on my own in there. I suddenly became of the worldly time when the door opened behind me.
"Signore Carminati, mi consenta..." I started, but when I turned around it wasn't my friend. The person that was behind me was the same man from last night at the festival and he had a mix of surprise and worry on his features.
I stood up abruptly and trying to recover from the initial shock. I had never seen that the Signore had other visitors beside me, and I definitely had no idea that he knew one of the "cloak people".
"What are you doing here?" I asked, forgetting all about my politeness at this point. I don't know why, but this person has a strange effect on me, and it was not a good thing.
"Buongiorno Miss" He took off his cloak this time, unlike the previous night. I guess he expected me to melt into a gushing, blushing mess at his stunning beauty (Because he is beautiful indeed), but I'm not that shallow, nor impressed by physical qualities. What I was was irritated that someone had interrupted my precious time with my treasure.
"I'm sorry for disturbed your peace, but I am here to see the paintings as well." He explained. Ok, this man wasn't acting like the man from last night with his superior attitude, was this maybe someone else? His voice was still as smooth as I remembered it, but without the prepotency of the day before and his eyes didn't hold the same malice either. They did have a glint them though, but I couldn't say what it meant.
"Per favore, signore" I apologized as I took my handbag off the other chair beside me and with that he sat.
I didn't mind his company at all, but at some point, his attention wasn't directly on the paintings anymore and instead trained on something else, and since I was the only other one in the room that made me feel a little uneasy.
"What?" I asked him, not turning my head from the picture in front of me. I wondered if I startled him.
"May I ask you a question?" He asked me, I didn't move that time either, I merely nodded my head. "What is it that you like about these paintings?"
I didn't take long to respond, because I knew the answer from the first time I saw them. None of them had any expensive frames or anything of value, but that didn't reduce their beauty to me.
"The colors, shapes, the places, everything. I look at all these different sets with such strong colors and they stir up all sorts of emotions in me. I try to imagine what she saw and how she must've felt when she painted these." I explained. When I finished I was smiling and this time I chose to look at him.
"Wait a minute, she?" He asked. I nodded. None of the frames had a single signature, only the initials. "What makes you think that a woman painted all of these?"
I scoffed at his remark, typical.
"Please, like a man could paint all of these precious works of art with such intensity and heart." I scoffed; in return he scoffed at me. I don't know what it was I had said, but I was defensive. One time I had asked Sig. Carminati about who the mysterious painter was but he didn't gave me any valuable information.
"Oh, so you think that men are incapable of creating art?" He was asked. He was distorting my words!
"I didn't say that! All I know is that you sir, are arguing about a subject that you clearly know so nothing about, I doubt you understand it at all. These are one of the most perfect pieces of arts I've ever see and it's clear that her vision of the world was something extremely special. This is something I'm sure you'll never understand." I snarled. I picked my handbag off the floor and marched towards the door, giving one quick glance at one of the frames that had the initials D.V in red.
Yeah, they don't seem to understand each other, do they? What do you'll think that happens next?
A cookie for who guess who's D.V?
Buonasera nonna - Good evening grandmother
Nonna – Grandma
Scusa signore – Sorry Sir
Buongiorno - Good morning
Ragazza – missy
Il mio giovane amico, che piacere averti qui di nuovo - My young friend, what a pleasure to have you here again
Buongiorno il mio amico. Mi dispiace per il ritardo - Good morning my friend. Sorry for the delay
Assurdo, l'importante è che tu sei qui, e so che la ragione, e non è nulla a che fare con la mia giovinezza e della bellezza - Absurd, the important thing is that you're here, and I know the reason, and is nothing to do with my youth and beauty
Tesoro – Treasure
mi consenta - let me
Per favore – Please