Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Post a day in December, Day 5
For today's post, just a little fictional story about Joy....
The Joy story continues....
she felt like a failure!
Time after time she seemed unable to remember the words. Try as she could, there were more blank spaces than conversation. She'd taken Italian 1 two times now, and this was her last ditch effort to learn before she lost the job. Berlitz was a good method right? She had to learn or lose this chance to move to Italy for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
What was wrong with her?
She usually succeeded in any academic pursuit. She was very accomplished at work, the go to person even. But here in America where she spoke the language.
No one in her family even wanted to travel much less live in another country! Her parents didn't understand her need to go and asked her to stay here, and while she was at it, get married and have kids too.
But she applied and was chosen for this position. She wanted it. She planned for it, assuming she'd learn the language in no time, like she did any other schoolwork.
She kept running the test over and over in her head, not paying attention to the other people around her, until she ran right into a short, older woman.
Automatically she said, Scusi!
The woman peeked up at her shyly, then let loose with a string of Italian words surprising Annalise into shock.
Oh my gosh, what's she saying?? Panic set in. The woman repeated her sentence, slower and louder this time, looking right into Anna's eyes. "Non capisco" she muttered. The woman looked confused at hearing "I don't understand " spoken in Italian...
Annalise forgot she didn't speak Italian and asked if she could help?
"Si, dovo vivo?" (where do I live?) the old woman in response
Oh no... this little woman is lost... doesn't speak English, and what do I do now? she thought....
"Senora, chiami? "(name? )
the woman looked confused, then looked down at her chest.
Great, thought Annalisa, what do I do? People were brushing by the two of them, on their way to their lives, like Annalise had been before she clumsily bumped into this woman.
"Domenica..." was whispered, but she didn't sound sure. Then the woman pulled a necklace out from under her sweater. No not a necklace, an identification tag...
"per favore?" (please) asked Annalise as she reached to read the card...
"Si "replied Domenica. Annalise read Domenica Di Negro and an address, not too far from here, over in Little Italy.
Deep breath... okay, I can do this... I should call to tell Dad I'll be late, but I can walk her home. She pointed at the address, and took the woman by her arm and started to walk toward her neighborhood. It was only three blocks away, and the woman chattered in Italian the whole way, finally taking Annalise's hand midway.
"Yikes! This is uncomfortable" she thought, but then she started to listen to the words, and realized she understood a few of them.
More than a few actually, and she relaxed a bit. As they neared the correct street Domenica began to smile, then to pull her along til they got to the address on her necklace. She was excited and joyful when Annalise rang the doorbell and stood back.
"Nonna! Dove..." a handsome man started to ask... then was engulfed in his grandmother's arms. He started to laugh, as she grabbed his two ears, pulled him down so she could kiss both cheeks!
Annalisa started to back away but the woman grabbed for her hand again, pulling her to her grandson's reach. Joy replaced worry on the older woman's lined face, and she beamed! Then shoved past both the young people into the house, chattering in Italian.
The man turned away from his grandmother's retreating back, to see Annalise for the first time.
He sure was handsome... those dark expressive eyes, sweet smile, and expression of joy at some joke his nonna had just made.
" I'm Joe" he said, reaching out a hand, "isn't it lucky Nonna found someone who understood her!"
Annalise blurted out, "No! I don't understand, or speak Italian but I should! and I need to! and I'm sorry I can't speak it because I have to learn, but how? I'm so dense!" before she realized it she had honestly expressed her deepest need at the moment to this stranger. A very nice stranger.
"Would you like to have dinner with us now? We want to repay your kindness, and the best way to learn Italian is to take a risk and sit down to a big Italian family dinner. We were worried why Nonna was late, and you'll have relieved my Mom." he gestured into the house, adding, "please? Take a risk and come in! "
His Mom came up behind him, wiping tomato sauce off her hand onto an old apron... She said, "please join us!"
Annalise forgot she was depressed, she decided to take the risk because his eyes were kind, and she needed to learn Italian after all.
Joy replaced her anxiety when she saw the large table with laughing people around it. Domenica rushed over to take her hand and pulled her over to sit next to her.
Between her and Joe.
Somehow it would work out, maybe even better than she imagined.
Wasn't Italian beautiful? she thought as she slid into the chair?