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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Romantic Musings: The Romantic (pt 7)

Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months. Hadriel Alighieri suffered from the devastation of heartbreak. Prostrate on his bed he cried himself to sleep. Woke. Remembered Sophia Paula, and fell asleep in tears again. To his mother, the cycle seemed endless. As delicately as she could, Claudia Alighieri tried to console him, but he would not sleep and he would not speak.
She turned to his father, but Señor Alighieri advised his wife to leave him be.
“This is part of becoming a man. He must endure this now, so that he is strong when he is older. When he is a man, his family will need him to be impervious to pain.”
The machismo of Latin men was not foreign to her, for she had seen it all her life. Latin men were a proud league; submissive to their passions, but seldom subjugated to their pain. Undaunted, she reached out to her brother, Mauricio Maravilla-Fuentes. He had returned from El Norte to marry his teenage sweetheart, but prepared to return to America in a few days time.
“There is nothing left for him here.” Claudia Alighieri contended.
“He has his familia.” Mauricio swirled his tequila before he sipped.
“That is not what I mean.” She said. “His future is in America. The love of his life is in America.”
“Love of his life?” He laughed. “There will be others.”
“Other loves, maybe, but only one love of his life.”
“Tell me, sweet hermanita. Why are you so determined to send your son to a country that will despise him for his heritage, and hate him for his immigration into their land?”
She pondered her brother’s words.
“I’ve heard about the disdain that Americano’s have for immigrants, but even they understand love. Surely they know that one must find the love of his or her life, otherwise what is the purpose of life?”
Hadriel Alighieri was never conscious of the transformative journey. He watched the sunrise, and felt that chasm he felt every morning. He had been in the same state for thirty-three days: a catatonic trance where the echo of Sophia Paula lingered like a ghost. Now, it was too late to undo the past. The only thing that remained of their friendship was the memories.
There had been a time when everyone in the village assumed they would eventually marry. In those days they took life for granted, and Hadriel Alighieri believed his patience would be rewarded.
But as the time passed, even Santa Lucia had changed. Those who had migrated to El Norte had sent money to their families to erect stone houses in place of their mud brick homes. The dirt roads were paved with concrete. And a fountain was built on the water spring of Los Ojos de Agua de Santa Lucia.
Another generation of Mexicanos journeyed to America in search of work and opportunity and hope. Despite the changes, everything reminded Hadriel Alighieri of Sophia Paula.
“That is a consequence of love. The more you desire it with all your heart that is when it is most elusive.” Uncle Mauricio Maravilla-Fuentes shrugged.
“To alleviate the pain. To distract yourself from that longing, a change of scenery is good.” Padre Carlo Coelho added. “Sometimes, a few steps out of your way will take you a long way. And if it is your destiny to cross paths again, then the detour may lead you back to the one you love. For when it is meant to be, there is no force on earth to prevent it.”
Hadriel Alighieri sat on the bench beside Padre Carlo Coelho and Uncle Mauricio Maravilla-Fuentes. He pondered their advice and considered his uncle’s invitation to accompany him to America. He looked at the people he remembered from his childhood, and at the faces that looked familiar but whose names he had forgotten.
“I have lived in Mexico my entire life.” He sighed. “It is the land of my father, and his father before him. This is home.”
“That it is,” Uncle Mauricio Maravilla-Fuentes nodded. “Prior to that however, it was merely a land that offered your great-grandfather a chance to start a new life.”
Padre Carlo Coelho turned to Hadriel Alighieri and Mauricio Maravilla-Fuentes, perplexed. He had not known that Hadriel Alighieri’s lineage traced its roots to Italy.
His great grandfather, Luciano Edoardo Alighieri, had emigrated from Italy to Mexico in 1930 after Benito Mussolini shed all pretence of democracy and established a dictatorship. With his young wife, Bellissa Maria Alighieri, he journeyed to the New World and settled in Santa Lucia. It was a new beginning in a new land with a new language. Perhaps that was what Hadriel Alighieri needed. Even if it may have been something he didn’t know he wanted.
He’d learn that destiny and love speak the same language, and it’s for that reason that heartbreak is experienced. For the heart will be tested during the journey of life, and if it is true, it will find the one person it is meant to love.

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