“Shhh, è bene! Tu sei bene. Calmati! Era solo un incubo.”
Melina’s eyelids slowly fluttered open as she became aware of Ari’s soft, sweet voice telling her she was ok and to calm down. It was just a nightmare she’d had.
“Oh, spiacente,” Melina said, apologizing.
Ari gathered Melina in her arms. Then, in Italian she went on to utter assurances to her, adding that she would really like to know what the nightmares were all about and what might be causing them.
“It’s nothing,” Melina assured her, falling back asleep snuggled up next to the woman, legs scissoring one another’s.
But it wasn’t nothing and Ari knew it. It was evident in the concerned expression on her face when Melina stumbled out of bed later on that morning. Even so, Melina continued to play dumb and make vague references to being prone to nightmares on and off throughout her life for some stupid reason or another. In truth, she knew exactly what was causing the nightmares.
September 6, 2009
Wow, it’s been a week since I’ve written! Got lots to update on, too. Been babysitting for a couple of hours every Sunday for Queen Rena’s boys, and I guess I’m going to continue doing so for a while. Hey, it’s another twenty bucks that Ari insists she doesn’t need because she can take care of her wife and the expenses just fine all by herself, LOL. She doesn’t say so in those words, but it’s just a common thing in Italy. Husbands don’t insist that their wives stay home, gay or straight, but they do like the idea of taking care of them. Italy’s just old-fashioned in some ways.
I went to a huge shopping center in Rome with Ari, Lucia and Nara. I hated all the people but loved seeing all the different shops and hanging with the family.
Ari wore these skinny jeans I always thought she looked hot in and a tee while I wore a light, summery floral dress that’s as casual and as comfortable as it is girlie and feminine. When Ari and Nara had gone to the U.S. to bring me back to Italy with them, I had virtually nothing. A few days later Lucia and Ari took me on a shopping spree for a new wardrobe that made me shudder when I thought of how much it probably cost them, even though I suspected that Lucia had paid for most of the clothes. I still felt guilty, even though it was something they wanted to do, but even more so I felt extremely grateful.
I love my newfound and perfectly normal and sane family. I look up to them and want to please them in every way possible. It’s just that I have a knack for being somewhat of a fuck-up at times and letting the ways of my old life interfere with the culture and expectations of my new life in Italy.
I think part of the reason Queen Rena would dare leave an American alone with her boys in the first place is so Ari could see how I do with kids.
Speaking of kids, when I was at the mall in the city the other day with Ari, Nara and Lucia, Nara was telling the others how her friend had been really down and out when she went to visit her. She asked the woman what was wrong and the woman had said, “I just think it’s rather sad that two women have no problems conceiving a child, but I can’t conceive worth shit from a man!”
Apparently, she and her husband are friends with a lesbian couple who recently had a kid through artificial insemination. Meanwhile, the guy’s been stalling, I guess, and either making all kinds of excuses or possibly not dealing with something that may be wrong with him as well.
Anyway, now that I’m able to understand a lot of what I hear in Italian, Lucia was saying she suspected I’d be very good with kids, but wouldn’t want any of my own for a few years, just like I told them up front. This was when I was standing a few feet away from where they were sitting resting their feet.
Ari and Nara are getting worried, however, that I don’t really want kids and never will because of my carefree nature. “It isn’t that she doesn’t like or can’t handle responsibility,” I heard Nara tell the others, “I just think she likes her freedom too much to give it up.”
“Everybody likes their freedom when they’re young,” countered Lucia. “She’ll be willing to give some of it up when she gets a little older.”
“It’s not easy to find a guy who truly wants kids,” Nara says next.
“Meli’s not a guy,” Lucia replies while Ari glances back and forth between the two as they speak their opinions aloud.
“The point’s the same, though,” Nara insisted. “When a woman or a guy says ‘later on’ or ‘I’m not sure that’s what I really want’ or ‘maybe someday’, this almost always means never. We’ve heard of enough people that have started out wanting kids that ended up changing their minds, but how often do we hear of people suddenly deciding later on in life that they actually do want kids?”
So I got to thinking about what Nara said about suspecting I’m not serious about having kids when I was soaking in the tub later on at home that night.
Do I want kids? Do I really want kids in a few years, or am I simply telling Ari what she wants to hear?
GothicBeauty: So what is the answer to that question, Princess Melina?
Bettina: I once had a boyfriend keep telling me “not now, just not right now.” But after that so-called “right now” stretched into two years and then three, I left him for someone who was on the same wavelength as me. You should be honest with both yourself and with Ari. As her wife, you owe it to her. You’ll only break her heart if you string her along, so why not just be honest?
September 7, 2009
I thought it over in my mind and yes, yes, yes, I do want kids! I’m sure of it. I just don’t know exactly when I want them or how many of them I want. So Ari need not worry. She’ll get the kids she’s been wanting and I promise she won’t be old when she does!
A couple of days ago, we all went to the mall, as I said before. It was Ari, Lucia, Nara and myself. And it seems I did as much wrong as I did right. We laughed, joked and talked and enjoyed each other’s company, but I just had to fuck up along the way at times. Ari wasn’t too happy about it, though Lucia and Nara found some of it amusing.
I rarely had any toys growing up, so when I found a doll on the floor of the bathroom, I was quick to grab it. Nara and I went into the restroom while Ari and Lucia waited out on the bench. All they saw was me go flying out the bathroom, insisting it was finder’s keeper, with Nara chasing close behind. Nara snatched the doll away from me and returned it to the bathroom floor in case its rightful owner went back to look for it.
Nara told the others, in Italian, what had happened. Ari looked at me in a shame-on-you kind of way, rolled her eyes and shook her head. Lucia appeared somewhat amused and like she was trying not to laugh.
Let’s see… what else? I also got reprimanded a few times, mostly by Ari when she would sternly say, “No tocando, no punto” (no touching, no pointing). Then I almost got in a fight. No, I’m not kidding, LOL.
Some chick from the university spotted us and recognized not only Ari and Nara but me as well. I vaguely remembered the girl. Well, enough to know she didn’t like Americans any more than Queen Rena does. She started off saying a polite hello to Nara (I guess she’d been in one of her classes at one point), then she noticed me and her eyes narrowed hatefully. She goes, “She’s with you now?” in Italian. Ari nodded and the girl insisted I was “loca” as she turned to leave. Already getting irritable due to not being used to being around so many people, I stood up and told her, also in Italian, to tell me that to my face and I’d gladly show her just how loca I could be, but Lucia stood up and pulled me by the arm back to the bench. The girl walked off laughing.
Ari was definitely not happy with me, and Lucia said something like, “Boy, you’re just determined as hell to be a little terror today, aren’t you?”
I was shocked and even a bit offended to hear this from her. Should I not comment when someone says something rude to me? They made it seem like I was the one being rude!
“You should have just ignored her,” Lucia insisted in the sternest voice I’d ever heard her use.
“Why can’t I handle things my way?” I muttered, and Nara said, “Well geez, Melina, why can’t I just handle my anger at someone my way even if that means I want to kill them, right?
But I didn’t want to kill anyone, and so I gave her my best ‘fuck off’ look, then fucked up again in the food court. It seems I do everything right when I’m in their houses, but God knows I just can’t do anything right in public!
Next, they were all agreeing in Italian – and yes, I understood – that I have no social skills. Yeah, I guess I’m a real wild shit after growing up in the savage desert with no rules, laws or life, aren’t I?
MysticalAngel: What happened in the food court?
GothicBeauty: Oh, honey bunny, if only you knew just how loved and wanted you truly are!
September 10, 2009
I had to stop writing the last time around because Ari wanted to discuss the nightmares that just won’t stop. I tried to tell her I’ve had them on and off all my life for no apparent reason, but I think she knows I’m full of it, and you know what? I hate lying to her! I really do. I love my Ari, despite her too serious ways, and I hate to be dishonest with her in any way. I know she would love me just the same if I told her that the real reason I’m having them is that writing about bad childhood experiences is just as therapeutic as it is nightmare-inducing, but I just can’t bring myself to do so for some reason. I wish I could tell her. Really I do! But it’s like – IDK – maybe I fear she’ll see me differently even though I know she’d still love me.
I wouldn’t want her to feel sorry for me or think that I was only telling her about it so she would do just that – feel sorry for me. I once confided in an old “friend” back in the states and it backfired on me real bad. They went around telling people I only told them what I told them just to gain sympathy. But the truth was that I told them because A, they asked, and B, I needed someone to talk to and I thought I could trust them. Beth and Mitch weren’t the kinds of people I felt comfortable talking to as sweet as they were. So I turned to those I thought were my friends. Anyhow, her throwing my sad confessions up in my face really put a complex on me in the end.
Ok, the food court incident is next. I guess some of us who grow up poor and in the middle of nowhere don’t exactly have much in the way of table etiquette. After all, there’s no one around to see us but ourselves. Anyway, I went to eat some things with my hands instead of with silverware and Ari insisted I use silverware. Sick of her bossiness, I refused to use it. Then she picked up the silverware and tried to shove it in my hand, but when I went to jerk my hand away I accidentally knocked her drink over and it spilled all over her lap. It’s funny now, after the fact, but at the time I was thoroughly embarrassed because Lucia and Nara were present. I think Ari wanted to slap me for it, too.
Even though I was all apologetic to Ari, she gave me the cold shoulder the rest of the day, and I ended up cold-shouldering Lucia for not defending me against that rude chick and for appearing to be defending her instead. It’s like I couldn’t stick up for myself or complain about the bitch in any way without being made to feel wrong for it.
I felt like such an ass where Lucia and Nara were concerned, despite their annoying me at times. I might as well have just come out and said, “Yup, these are my true colors shining through, folks. I’m a real fuck-up at heart sometimes and now you can obviously see this and that your daughter/sister didn’t exactly marry any sweet little princess. I’m just your average all-American fucktard who can’t do anything right today!”
September 12, 2009
Well, maybe not that fucktarded, after all. I mean, I must have done something right. That’s because I just won a grand in one of the sweepstakes I entered, and got hired as a part-time session singer at a local studio in the city!!! Not bad, huh? I’ll still be working with Lucia, just not as much. I’ll miss seeing so much of her. In some ways, I was seeing more of her than Ari.
I am so incredibly indebted and grateful to Ari for allowing me such opportunities in life which I’d probably never have had back home! We’re not needy of money here. That’s not the point. The point is that I’ve learned that I too, can make a difference and actually be somebody in life (even if I still fuck up at times). It isn’t about how much money I can make, it’s about how far I can go in life. And that wasn’t very far till I came to Italy.
September 13, 2009
I’m at Nara’s place right now as I write this. She’s napping on the couch at the moment. Things are continuing to go well. I’m also winning things other than cash like clothes, shoes, bath and beauty items, and even a guitar! I have played the guitar (and a little of the keyboards and flute) on and off throughout my life, but have never had my own guitar. I always had to use someone else’s, so it’s nice to have my own.
The weather is already cooling down and I don’t like it. It’s definitely going to take some getting used to. It doesn’t snow in this area, thank God, but the winters tend to be cold and rainy here. All the rain should be cool since it rarely rains in the desert, but I’m not looking forward to the cold at all.
Next week I’m going to be doing some backup vocals for a local band, and a possible solo as well for their upcoming album, so that’s pretty exciting. Singing, acting and dancing are really the only kinds of jobs I’ve ever had, besides working at Lucia’s store, which I know was set up first to help keep me out of trouble, and then because of Clara’s murder which still remains unsolved.
Gothic Beauty watched as Melina, blond and beautiful, got into Ari’s car and headed away from her.
Then she revved up her own vehicle and drove herself home. When she got there she fixed herself a bite to eat and sifted through the day’s mail. After that, she booted up her computer and began to read some more of Melina’s journal and the story she was writing with family members as characters. She found herself grinning often throughout the story. What an imagination the girl had! And what a way she had with putting thoughts and actions into words. She had a definite talent for words as she did with music.
After reading Melina’s creative works, she caught up on some of the local and world news. Same old shit, she thought to herself, shaking her head sadly. Drugs, war, politics, and the latest celebrity to add a child to their “collection” of rescued children from impoverished countries that they hoped would make them look good, even if the child would ultimately spend most of its time with some nanny.
She then began to write some of her thoughts and frustrations down in her own journal. Only her journal was private and never kept online. No one knew it existed. She didn’t like to write as much as Melina apparently did. She just liked to keep a record of things in case she wanted to sit back and study her feelings and ideas from a text standpoint or wanted to look up when a certain event had happened.
A sense of sadness suddenly came over her. Sadness, envy and anger seemed to be a lot of what she’d been feeling lately. This wasn’t like her. She had been known throughout life as a happy, successful and confident person. At least that was the image she’d manage to portray most of the time anyway. Yet nowadays she found herself wondering why things couldn’t have turned out differently in her life. She had always taken things in stride and basically accepted life as it came to her.
Until Melina came along. Everything seemed to change with Melina. She just wasn’t sure why or how. But now she was filled with new needs and new desires in which she longed to fulfill.
But how could she possibly have what didn’t belong to her?