As the weeks passed, I'd begun to feel safe and pampered with Grappa. His high definition blue eyes always held me in love. I knew what I meant to him. I just didn't know what I meant to my parents. I always felt like I was intruding on a date that they alone had been meant to share. But Grappa had taken some time off from his Biotech company, Gene Designs, and we'd traveled to see the Hearst Castle and to Disney World. I was spending the afternoon with my best friend when Grappa found us in the gazebo making calls on the new cell phone that he'd bought me.
"You can reach your parents anytime with this," he'd said. And I believed him and it made me feel better.
But that was before he came to me with such sorrow weighing the blue of his eyes that they almost seemed black. That was the day that he told me I could never reach my parents again. Not with a cell phone, the Concorde, nothing. They'd been killed while driving the Amalfi Coast at night. All that I heard was that they didn't love me enough to stay, enough to invite me on their little summer fling.
I began to recede more completely into the silences that comforted me when I felt that I wasn't acknowledged by my parents. Why did they have me anyway? All they needed was each other. I heard fragments of what he said and saw the strain in his eyes while he tried to control the grief that battered his soul. I would live with him or we could move back to my parents' home together. It would be my choice. I chose to live with Grappa. I didn't want to return to a home where I'd felt like some vestigial organ. I wanted to hurt them as they'd hurt me. So I turned away from the life that we'd had, such as it had been. And solitude and anguish became my new home.