“We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” – Isaac Newton
Serena opened her eyes, stretched her arms and legs in delight. Definitely, she had a good sleep. She reached for her cell phone to know what was the time. To her greatest surprise it was about 1:00 p.m.: a perfect time for launch. However Serena wasn’t hungry, yet she felt thirsty a great deal. “That’s wine, lots of wine, and his story, his appearance, everything about him that has drained me out… He seemed sincere… But he’s a liar… I feel so empty… Ok, I’ll think about it all later… All I need now is water: lots, lots, lots of water!”
So Serena got up and looked for the water to find out that all the bottles “in her possession” were already empty: “Crap…” Serena was ready to go downstairs, when in the mirror outside the gym-room she caught a glimpse of herself: her hair was a complete disaster, her skin seemed too dehydrated and her eyes too wide. “Oh…”
On the second thought, Serena decided to make a “short” deviation to the bathroom first. She took a shower, brushed her teeth, combed her hair, hydrated her face skin with “multi-perfection” crème by Dior and put on some make-up. Then she got on a long and comfortable, yet quite tight black T-shirt that could pass for a small dress, a small black leather jacket to give herself “more character” just in case, a pair of knee-high socks instead of shoes so that she could move silently, and was finally ready to go.
Serena stepped down on the first stair and stand there still for a while, withholding her breath and realizing that last night she was finally introduced to the previous chapter of Mauro’s mysterious life. Serena hadn’t decide yet whether she could believe him or not, still the very idea that Mauro wasn’t some sort of mafia’s killer hiding from the police or whoever, made her feel much better. “Breathe…”
Given the hour, the possibility to run into Mauro in the kitchen was high. At least about 99%. “If I meet him – and I definitely will – I’ll just politely exchange greetings or strictly necessary information. I won’t let him talk me into any conversation or else. And by no means, I will look at him…” Serena thought to herself, trying and failing to suppress the excitement mixed to panic rising inside her.
“Did we not communicate last night?”
Of course, Mauro was in the kitchen. The table was already perfectly set for two, and Mauro, wearing nothing a part of yellow Bermudas, was cooking a launch for two. As if he was sure that Serena would come in in a minute, he turned to her right in the moment the girl noiselessly stepped in.
“Good morning, mio amore!” Mauro’s voice was warm and cheerful.
“Stop it”, Serena cut him up abruptly as if even he was contagious.
“Stop what?” Mauro’s entire look was joyful.
“You are talking to me. Stop it.”
“Did we not communicate last night?”
“Yes… And I feel thirsty ever since…” before Serena finished her phrase, Mauro passed her a glass of water. Serena drank it up in no time and passed him back an empty glass. Mauro poured in more water, and Serena quaffed it all again. For an instant, Mauro looked at her in bewilderment and then filled Serena’s glass with water once again.
“Thanks… You left it half-empty this time. It’s not enough”, said Serena watching her glass, apparently upset.
Is The Glass Half-full or Half-empty?
“Why do you always see the glass half-empty instead of half-full? You must learn to see the positive side of every single thing! Even if, as far as I know you, your glass is never full, it’s bottomless…” Mauro looked at Serena admiringly.
“Uguh… Like right now I’m trying to see you half-dressed instead of half-naked”, admitted Serena to herself recalling her theory of “essential” and “desired”… She wouldn’t dare to materialize her secret thoughts into recognizable sounds.
Meanwhile Mauro continued: “Anyway, I left it “half-full” because the bottle ran empty. You’ve finished it,” Mauro smiled in his most attractive way, kept his eyes on Serena for several seconds, then turned back to the kitchen stove to taste if the pasta was ready. “Yet, if you need more water, more anything, just say. You know, all you have to do is to say what you want…or what you need. I’m here for you. I’m your slave… Seriously, I mean it: I’m all yours…” Mauro turned off the hotplate and threw the spaghetti in a colander: “Hungry?”
“No, not at all”, Serena finished her water and landed an empty glass in the sink right beside the colander with the steaming pasta. For an instant she was could sense the warmth of Mauro’s skin with hers. “Breathe…” Then, as if she had scalded her arm with the steam (or else), Serena moved swiftly towards the fridge on her right, reached for three bottles of water and embraced them as if they were a lifebelt or an amulet able to protect her from the diabolic power Mauro was so obviously emanating. The amulet she so desperately needed.
Trying to avoid looking at Mauro as her heart was accelerating with every second, Serena was ready to slip away. Back upstairs where she could think, feel, analyse… Yet Mauro was blocking the exit. Again.
When It’s Not Enough…
“Why are you so intrusive? You are stalking me. Stop it!” started Serena, displaying confidence, but Mauro wasn’t listening.
“Last night Serena… Did you hear what I said to you last night?” his voice was persistent, his face assumed serious yet reassuring expression.
“Yes, your wife screwed your best friend.” Serena tried to sound annoyed.
“Exactly. And from that day on, my ex wife no longer existed to me. Neither my previous life did. I walked away, I became a new person, and I met you”.
“You had a marital amnesia. Now you’ve remembered! Congrats!” Serena retorted back sceptically. If she could shoot with her glance, Mauro would get heavily injured in that very moment.
“I bared to you my soul last night… I told you everything. You know my pain, you know my secret, and you know my story. You know me, after all, and you know that you are the only thing that matters to me! Serena, I love you! I’m all yours! Please listen to me…” said Mauro pleadingly, slowly stretching his hand to Serena.
“It’s not enough,” Serena shook her head in dismay and stepped back decisively, her voice cold as an iceberg.
“How can it be not enough?!”
When The Fury is Bottomless
Exasperated, Serena looked right in his face, her eyes full with rage. “Well, you’ve waited ten months to tell me the previous chapter, or better entire volume, of your life before me! What’s worse, if I haven’t find it all out by the letter sent by your ex wife and her lawyer, you probably wouldn’t! Would you?!
Besides, you were considered “missing” for over a year! Do you realize how vilely that is?! The letter is telling clearly that you were the one who pulled the plug. You gave your family no explanation; you haven’t even left a note! And just a few days ago you were accusing me for “premeditated desertion” from our relationship! Whilst you did the same to you ex wife and your sons! You did worse and still you have the courage to blame me for not acting fair with you?! How dare you after all?!” Serena was nearly screaming. She glared at Mauro devastatingly and then continued:
“Moreover, you lied to me about everything! You said you have never been in the relationship before! Let alone, you assured me that you have never been married! You said you had no idea what does it feels like to have a family. And then again, you said you have no children! What kind of lie is that? It’s sacrilege! Probably I could understand you being mad with your wife for cheating on you with your best friend… But your sons, why punish them so harshly?
You are a terrible, alias, the most terrible person in the entire world. And I hate you so much… I hate you! And what’s even more exhausting is that I hate to hate you! Because it’s devastating, it’s emptying me. So, that is how I hate you even more. Yet, I still don’t hate you enough! I’d love to hate you even more, so that my hatred could kill you instantly.” Serena narrowed her eyes and took a breath.
Then continued: “What am I to you? A girl you’ve decided to screw over being screwed? A woman you’ve decided to cause pain in order to recoup your self-respect and life balance?
You lied to me; you lied to all my family looking them right in the eye. I can’t trust you anymore. I don’t know who you are any longer. I’m not sure I’ve ever known.
My delusion, my grief, and my pain they are bottomless. So no, there is no such thing as enough! I feel empty, you made me fell empty!!!” Serena didn’t even noticed when exactly she’s busted into tears.
Mauro was standing right in front of Serena, close enough to taste her tears on his lips, to feel her indignant breath on his skin, close enough to hug her in his powerful arms. But he didn’t.
Instead, without uttering a single word, he grabbed Serena by the hips and heaped her on his shoulder, as if he was a hunter and she’s a poor gazelle with a broken kneel…