Here is a great story for all you in blogland...a story of love lost and... (well, judge for yourself)...
I have a good friend from my college days named Stephanie. Those of you whom have made her acquaintance know what a firecracker she is, and she and I have shared many an adventure over the years. One of the things we share is our love of all things Italian...art, literature, music, and of course boys.
My first love was an Italian, Franco Falcone, whom I met when I was an exchange student in Italy when I was 16. We met in my first weeks in Valva, Italy, where I was being introduced to Italian culture and language before being sent to my host family in Naples. Few people know that I had secretly promised Franco to move to Italy when I had finished my university studies (where of course I majored in Italian literature and culture). We spoke of being married in the town church. He gave me a gold ring when we sealed our future. But reality was unavoidable. The older I became, the less I could see myself married and living in a poor southern Italian town.
Around this time that my relationship was disintegrating, Stephanie moved in with me and my roommates on Semple Street for a semester before leaving to study in Rome. Despite our differences, her effervescence and my practicality, we got along like long lost friends almost from the very day we met.
Of course while Stephanie was in Italy with the Temple Rome program she fell in love with an good Italian man named Ezio. I met him for the first time when I put a plane ticket on a credit card for a quick trip over spring break to pay Steph a short visit in the Eternal City. He was gentle and compassionate. And had a hot friend named Massimiliano.
Not long after Steph returned, Ezio and Massimiliano came to the US for a visit. We had a great time showing them around Pittsburgh and even took them on a road trip to my home town, Washington, D.C.
But, alas, not surprisingly, her relationship with Ezio went in the direction of mine and Franco's. The distance and the cultural divide provided to be just too much.
Since graduation, Steph and I have kept in touch despite our lives taking different directions. She is an executive in NY, but stays with me when she comes to Boston for business. Whenever she comes to town she brings a lot of laughs with her.
Two weeks ago Stephanie and her mother embarked on a long-awaited tour of Italy. It was her mother's dream to visit Italy, and being rather religious they decided to go with their church. Their priest, Father Gregory, was leading a tour of churches in Rome and Florence. The 2 ladies left 5 days before the rest of the group to have extra time to explore Rome.
Naturally, Stephanie's thoughts turned back to Ezio, even though 8 years has passed since they parted company and she is now in a rather serious relationship. She promised herself she would not call him...what would it accomplish? Surely he is married with 3 kids by now. But as she was walking through those old romantic streets of Rome, she couldn't help herself. She found a phone book, looked up his number, scribbled it on a piece of paper and put it in her pocket. Nervous about calling, she decided to wait to think about what she would say.
The next day that number was burning a hole in her pocket. It was her last day in Rome before the group arrived. She found a pay phone and dialed....only to find that the number was disconnected. Oh well, she thought. Must be fate.
The group and Father Gregory arrived the next day, and the tour officially began. Of course, their first stop, being a church tour, was St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums. Stephanie had been several times before, but she stuck with the group and listened to the Father's descriptions of the various paintings, tapestries, and sculptures. They made their way through the museum to the Sistine Chapel.
Those of you who have been to the Sistine Chapel know that it is totally unlike what you think it will be. Smaller and larger all at the same time. And packed with people almost all the time. Stephanie stood in the middle of the chaos and looked up at Michelangelo's depiction of the Creation of Adam. When she shifted her gaze back to room, standing right in front of her was... you guessed it... Ezio!
He is now a security guard for the Vatican Museums and he is assigned to the Sistine Chapel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Stephanie's Mom, who always loved sweet Ezio, tackled him on the spot and immediately burst in to tears.
Father Gregory said it was Divine Intervention. Steph's mom said it was a Miracle.
Stephanie and Ezio made plans to see each other that night, and the next, before she left with the group for Florence. She was wrong, he is still single having broken off a five year relationship a few months before (although, sadly, Massimiliano has been married now for 3 years). He said he never stopped loving her. She replied the same. He said he wanted to come see her during his two week vacation in August, she said that would be nice (although how she'll explain the presence of a hunky Italian to her current boyfriend still is a mystery).
Will Stephanie drop everything to return to her lost Italian love?
Will Stephanie (as her mother has advised) drop everything, move to Rome, and have a big Italian-style wedding?
Will Stephanie sweep it all under the rug and just rule it all as a crazy coincidence?
I truly don't know. But it will sure be molto interessante to see what happens next. Stay tuned.