The wind was gently blowing and the flowers were in full bloom. It was spring already and Scipio was admiring the world in springtime from his new point of view. Being an adult was still different for him but he tried to make it work for him. He got proper fitting clothes and a hair cut. He was still living with Ida and was still an assistant for Victor.
Prosper and Hornet, who were still happily together, spent their days in school and afterwards would pick up Bo and Riccio who were also in school. Mosca didn't live with them. He lived with his father who Scipio happily found not that long ago.
It was early afternoon and Victor had given him the week off for vacation time. Really Victor wanted a vacation and was now in France somewhere.
Scipio continued to stare out the window into the small courtyard when he saw a young woman, about his age, well his appearance's age, pass by the front gate. She paused and looked at the flowers in the courtyard until her eyes landed on Scipio who was watching her. She nodded her head and walked on.
"Find something interesting?" asked Ida as she poured herself some tea.
"No, just admiring springtime," said Scipio turning away from the window at the end of his sentence.
"Okay. Well I am going to go out and take some photographs, can you make sure when the other's come home they don't destroy anything, mainly Riccio?" she asked setting her cup down.
"Sure," he said, "can I see your photos when you're done?"
"Of course. Oh, I have to go, ciao!" she said as she quickly grabbed her bag and rushed out the door with a wave. Scipio put her cup in the sink and then walked up to his room. He shared it with Riccio, while the brothers shared another room.
He knew he needed to get out of the house for a bit so he threw on a light blazer over his white button up shirt and he walked back down stairs. He would just go out for a walk and come back before the other got home from school.
Stepping out he closed the door and left through the front gate where he saw the woman. She haunted his mind a bit. She looked so carefree and calm wearing a flowing light blue dress and big sun hat with her brown hair in a loose bun. He only saw her for a moment but he wished he could be that carefree.
The stone pathway was fairly empty except for a few people here and there. He headed off in a direction, hands in pockets, and went down the path getting lost, but not really since he knew his Venice quite well.
Walks always let him think about what has come to pass in his life, his short life, and how crazy it all was, but this time he wanted to be like that woman: free of troubles. He thought about her and her expression as she looked over the flowers and he embraced that feeling. He cleared his mind and soon he was walking tall and just enjoying the city's life flow around him.
After some time he felt he needed to head home so he walked down a small alley way and as he stepped out of it he looked at the house to his right and saw it had a low fence and there was a beautiful garden inside with a small bench and fountain in the middle. It was iconic Italy and looked well cared for. He looked at the rest of the house and saw it was very rustic yet homey, nothing like his old home which was just expensive.
There was a bay window with a sheer curtain covering it from the sun and in the other window he saw her. She was washing dishes and was either talking or singing. He watched her, he couldn't help it, she just seemed so full of life even as she washed dishes.
She felt someone staring at her as she was washing the dishes and listening to her favourite opera piece Le Donna E Mobile. Usually she ignored people who stared or watched but this time she felt she needed to look up. There he was, that handsome man from earlier who was staring out his window not too long before. She had admired how he looked so calm and carefree like the wind that was blowing.
She gave him a small smile and he smiled back. They stared at each other for a bit before she was interrupted.
"I won't take long, just a few shots of your garden and home. I've always loved it," said Ida coming down the stairs from the study. Ida spotted the woman in the kitchen and she smiled at her.
"Ciao, Ida," she greeted moving away from the window and out of view from the man.
Scipio came back to the world when she went out of view and quickly checked his watch.
"Shit," he said before running back to Ida's house. He walked in and saw the others were already home.
"Where have you been?" asked Riccio eyeing Scipio for a bag or anything.
"Went out for a walk and lost track of time," he said honestly and walking into the kitchen with the others following.
"Scip, can I have cake for a snack?" asked Bo skipping behind him.
"Bo, no, you had cake for breakfast," said Prosper picking his brother up and setting him on the counter.
"But those were pancakes," he said whining.
"Still cakes," said Hornet going into the fridge and taking out the pitcher of fresh orange juice.
"Fine, what about cookies?" asked Bo looking at Scipio who was leaning against the counter.
"No, how about these?" asked Prosper pulling out some banana chips, "sweet, but good for you."
"Yuck, I don't like those," said Riccio who went into the pantry to look for something.
"Where's Ida?" asked Hornet looking at Scipio and handing Prosper a cup of orange juice.
"Working, she'll be back soon," said Scipio now looking out the window and through the gate. He knew she wasn't going to be walking past anytime soon, but he was hopeful.
"What are you looking at?" asked Prosper handing Bo a bowl of the banana chips.
"Nothing," said Scipio not taking his eyes off from outside.
"Come on, let's go do our homework," said Hornet looking at Scipio before walking out holding her cup of orange juice and Bo's. The other three followed, Bo happily munching on his banana chips, and into the living room where their bags were.
Scipio watched outside the window for a few more minutes before heading upstairs into his room and going back to his book that he had started during his vacation.
Dinner had come and gone and now everyone was getting ready for bed. Scipio was in the kitchen putting away the dishes when Ida walked in.
"Hey I finished developing the pictures I took today if you want to see them," she said putting the containers of leftovers away.
"Oh, yeah," he said turning around and shoving his hands in the pockets of his robe. He followed her to her red room and she turned the light on. Scipio looked at the different photos of the same garden he had been looking just earlier that day. He saw how Ida had captured the fountain and the bench, even the bay window in all their beauty. He made his way to the end of the photos and there in the last one was the woman. She was sitting on the fountain's edge and had her fingers in the water with a large smile on her face.
"Ida, who is this?" he asked ecstatic he will finally learn her name. Even in the photo she looked carefree. The wind had blown her hair back and it was gentle flowing in the wind behind her along with the ends of her dress.
"Oh that's Letizia De Luca, I've known her family for a while now. It was their home I was photographing. I loved the dress she was wearing today and I wanted a photo of her in the garden," she said crossing her arms and admiring the photo from afar.
"Letizia…"murmured Scipio to himself, loving the way it flowed off his tongue.
"Why do you ask?" asked Ida looking at Scipio who eyes were glued on the photograph.
"No reason," he said before turning to her, "they are amazing, Ida."
"Thank you," she said and she watched him leave with a knowing eye. He was quiet entranced with the photograph, and she knew it wasn't the fountain he was staring at.
The next day Ida asked Scipio to go out to the market to get some things. He walked out wearing a dark blue polo shirt and jeans. It was a sunny day with a light breeze and the market was busy with many people buying the fresh ingredients and other things. He looked at his list and made his way over to the tomatoes. He was picking out a few and putting them in a bag. He paid the man selling them when she saw her. Letizia was wearing green shorts and yellow button down shit that was open and revealing a gold tank top. She smelled some cheese and smiled. She paid for it and added it to her basket of things. Scipio slowly made his way over to her when she looked at her watch and quickly ran off and Scipio followed.
She ran onto the ferry and caught her breath as the ferry pulled away. Scipio stopped at the edge of the canal and watched her. She caught his eye and once again they just stared at each other before they could no longer see each other.
Sighing, Scipio finished buying the groceries and headed back to Ida's house. He read some more of his book and made him and Ida paninis for lunch. He headed into the office for a bit seeing what needed to be done. He finished filing some things and headed out once again.
As he was walking trough San Marco and passing by a small café he heard his name being called.
"Scipio!" yelled Ida. He looked at the café and saw Ida sitting there with two other people. The woman looked like an older version of Letizia, whose name had gone through his mind all day, while the gentleman had her eyes.
"Ida, ciao," he said walking over.
"Scipio, I would like you to meet my friends Aida and Fabio De Luca," she said introducing them. Scipio smiled and nodded his head at the two, there was a small iron fence blocking him from getting to them completely so he couldn't exchange a proper greeting.
"Nice to meet you," said Fabio approving of Scipio.
"Scipio here loved the photos I took yesterday of your garden," explained Ida.
"Did you now, well maybe you should come by and have a stroll in the real thing some day," said Aida smiling kindly at Scipio.
"That would be wonderful," said Scipio in hopes that he would see Letizia there.
"Oh, shoot, Scipio do you think you can run home and watch the others again?" asked Ida catching the time on her watch as she put her espresso down.
"Sure. Mr and Mrs De Luca a pleasure," he said bowing a bit.
"Nice to meet you Scipio," said Aida smiling at him.
"Likewise," said her husband. Scipio then raced home and managed to get there before the others. He got their snacks ready and they soon arrived home.
"Aw, no cake again," complained Bo as he saw their snack of fruit salad, left over from breakfast.
"It's healthy," said Hornet handing Bo his bowl and patting his head.
"What do we have to drink?" asked Riccio looking at Scipio. He opened the fridge and saw some water with lemon in it. He poured them glasses and sent them off to do homework.
He was eating his own bowl of fruit salad when Ida came home and walked into the kitchen and went through the fridge.
"Looking for something?" asked Scipio in between bites of fruit.
"Just making sure we have enough food for tonight," said Ida moving to the fridge.
"Well I got the normal amount, enough for us, with a few extra since you know how Riccio eats," said Scipio going back to his fruit salad.
"I've invited the De Luca's over for dinner. I told about all of you and they wanted to meet everyone," she said turning to look at Scipio's reaction which did not fail to entertain. He paused his spoon halfway to his mouth and his eyes were wide.
"Thought you'd like that," she said pulling ingredients out, "well it will be tight, but we have enough. Can you go tell the others we have dinner guests?"
"Sure," he said now in a daze. He went into the living room and told the others who looked at him as he went upstairs.
"Ida who is coming to dinner?" asked Hornet as she brought the empty bowls into the kitchen.
"My friends the De Luca's," said Ida as she stirring a pot of marinara sauce.
"Then why was Scipio acting weird," she asked leaning on the counter.
"They have a daughter who is his age, well…you know," said Ida, Hornet laughed and nodded her head.
"Now did you invite them over because they are your friends or was it for Scipio?" asked Hornet loving where this was all going.
"A little of both. Now tell the others when they finish their homework to get ready, they'll be here soon," said Ida. Hornet nodded and headed off to the living room.
Half an hour later Ida received a knock on the door and Hornet went and opened the door but there was only Aida and Fabio De Luca at the door.
"Where is Letizia?" asked Ida as she finished setting the table.
"She had to do something real quick, she should be here soon," said Fabio as they made their way to the dining room.
"Oh, well this is Hornet," introduced Hornet who smiled.
"The book reader, I like that in someone so young," said Fabio smiling a kind hearted smile.
"Thank you, Ida I'll go get the others," said Hornet heading to the stairs. She passed by Scipio on her way and he walked into the dining room.
"Scipio, nice to see you again," said Aida smiling at him.
"And nice to see you again," he said giving her a light kiss on the hand.
"That is a nice jacket," said Fabio looking at Scipio's jacket that he had on.
"Really? It is just something my boss gave me," said Scipio looking at the sleeves.
"And what work are you in?" he asked.
"Detective work. With all these tourists getting pick pocketed, it keeps us busy," he said.
"Then why were you out about town today? Business?" asked Aida.
"Oh, no, I am on vacation for the week. Victor, my boss, is in France on vacation and told me I needed one too," he said with a bit of a laugh. The others finally made it downstairs at this time and Ida took the time to introduce each other them.
"I thought there were three of you," said Bo looking at the De Luca's.
"Oh our daughter should be here s-" Aida was cut off by a knock on the door.
"Scipio would you go get that?" asked Ida with a knowing smile, Aida and Fabio had identical smiles, as did Hornet. Scipio calmly walked towards the door but on the inside his heart was picking up pace. He slowly turned the door handle and there on the porch was an elderly woman.
"Si?" asked Scipio confused.
"Oh, scusi senore, are the De Luca's here?" she asked.
"Si," he said.
"Can you tell them their daughter, Letizia, will not be able to attend. Her cat is having it's kittens," said the woman.
"Oh, grazi," said Scipio. The woman nodded and left. Scipio slumped and made his way back to the kitchen.
"Where is Letizia?" asked Aida looking behind Scipio.
"Her cat is having kittens, she will be unable to attend," said Scipio down.
"Oh, finally, the poor thing has been feeling bad all week," said Aida.
"Well then, you can bring some food home for her," said Ida looking at Scipio's sad face and then back to the food.
Dinner went by fast for Scipio, he had been down all of dinner, not saying much. He had been so hopeful that he would finally meet her, but alas that did not happen. Hornet looked at him sympathetically.
Two days later it was Scipio's last day of vacation. He was once again at the market and was getting some fresh mozzarella. He got a large ball of the cheese and added it to his bag. He moved onto the bread and started looking at the baguettes. He didn't know how pick one that was good so he stood there staring at them for a while until someone came up next to him.
"The sound," she said and grabbed a baguette. He turned to her and saw it was her, Letizia.
"Pardon?" he asked smiling at her. She smiled back and held the baguette up.
"The sound will tell you it's fresh. Listen," she said and she held the baguette up between them. She gave the bread a squeezes and it made a crisp crackle and Scipio's smile widened at the sound.
"Thanks," he said taking the baguette and paying for it.
"You live with Ida don't you?" she asked as they walked through the market.
"Yes," he said still in awe that he was finally talking to her.
"Can you give her this dish back and tell her the pasta was delicious?" she asked handing him the plate.
"Sure," he said.
"I'm Letizia De Luca," she said holding her hand out.
"Scipio," he said shaking her hand and smiling.
"At last we meet," she said as Scipio stopped shaking her hand and his smile got even wider.
"At last," he repeated and together they walked through the market.