Author note

These characters don't belong to me, obviously.

This fanfic results from a sudden idea I had after re-watching the film, how many things were left unsaid and the changes in the characters I imagine that have happened.

I hope you enjoy it. Reviews will be highly appreciated. :)

Dear Joe,

There are no words to properly convey how much I thank you for the amazing tour of Rome and the unforgettable day I've spent in your company. I will cherish those memories as long as I live.

In the following envelope you will find the money you have so kindly lent me plus interest. I can even picture your polite refusal but that's how loans work and what promises demand.

Accept my best wishes of luck and happ...

Dearest Joe,

I cannot continue writing such distant, somewhat cold and overly polite letter. Not to you and especially not after everything we lived together that day. When I think about it, it's very difficult to believe that it all took place in such short period of time. I felt joy, happiness, love, sorrow, resentment and sadness, all in just twenty-four hours. I am used to very busy schedules but no day has yet matched its eventfulness.

First of all, I would like to claim that I don't mean to rub salt into a fresh wound. It felt almost compulsory for me to leave you with more than veiled words in a room full of strangers. You deserve so much more than veiled and coded words and I truly assure you that it was not without much thinking that I decided to write you in the end.

One part of my past letter I must transport into this one nevertheless: "There are no words to properly convey how much I thank you for the amazing tour of Rome and for the most unforgettable day I've spent in your company. I will cherish those memories as long as I live". I believe that the simplest are the truest words that can ever be written or spoken and that is the reason why I don't mind the repetition. I couldn't write it better and more sincerely than that no matter how much time and attention I devoted to it.

That day has changed me in so many ways and that is another thing I must thank you for too. The girl you found sleeping on a bench by the Coliseum was a spoiled, bratty princess who looked perfect on the outside but who thought that the best way to have things done her way was through pouting and throwing tantrums. The individual writing you is a much mature person that has learned that there is much more to life than what she had ever thought and that there are better ways to deal with unwanted responsibilities. I don't mean to say that I have settled into my position and that the will of leaving it all behind doesn't cross my mind sometimes but I am much more serene about it all.

It's an unchallengeable fact that we both will have to move on with our lives eventually but I can't avoid telling you how deeply I regret not being able to cross some of the busiest streets in Rome on a scooter just to arrive at the church in time to get married to you.

Had the circumstances been different and I would have followed you undoubtedly to a life in a place with a kitchen and where I could wear your clothes whenever I fancied doing so. How agreeable, nice and lovely that could have been.

I find it cruelly ironic actually that all I wanted to escape from the night we met is what has kept me from just abandoning it all. I guess that the honour, duty and responsibility values I have been taught since I was very young aren't that easy to ignore and forget. They raised high above my will to follow what my heart was telling me to do. It was never an option. For me, following what my heart is telling me was never an option, as I've been experiencing ever since I was a little girl.

You have dreams of your own and I would never ask you to give them up because of me nor for my life. It wouldn't be fair to you and sooner or later I'd be suffering the consequences of my selfishness.

Even if our situation could be changed and you were accepted into my family and given a new position it wouldn't end well. It couldn't end well. You're a newsman, Joe Bradley, not a man to go around from visit to visit, from country to country, accepting bows and giving flourished empty speeches always followed by "Thank You" and "No, thank you", as it's deemed more appropriate by others, concealing completely your true thoughts, opinions and wishes. No, you're much more suited to travel the world, find new perspectives and realities and let them be known to the rest of us.

I'll read your articles in the New York Times someday, I'm sure of it. They would be fools if they rejected someone not only as talented as you are but mainly someone this considerate and wholesome.

Maybe someday things will change and stories like ours are allowed to have the happy ending both of us wished so deeply.

Who knows what life holds in store for us? Perhaps we will meet again someday, like old friends that have once been in love and who share those memories but who are willing to make new ones, in the new context of their lives.

Before I finish, I wish you, with all my heart, health, luck and happiness, because you are one of the true deservers of such graces.

Yours affectionately,