As the temperature rose in Miami, so did Barbara’s frustration with Lorenzo. Although only married for close to a year, she found it nearly impossible to deal with him anymore.
Shortly after they married, Lorenzo’s business was shut down. He didn’t take this well and began drinking, frequently getting drunk with a bad temper. Additionally, it was difficult for him to adjust to fatherhood when their son was born. Although almost 50 years old, Lorenzo was still immature and liked to do things his way, without taking into regard his wife and son. For example, Barbara had consistently asked him to apply for a job, but he did not want to work for someone else. Instead, he came up with business ideas that eventually failed. Unfortunately, during this time, Barbara’s savings account was supporting her family and his failed business endeavors.
Barbara was at a turning point in her life in which she had to decide if she would stay in this situation, and the decision needed to be made quickly. Three questions lingered in her mind.
First, should she return to her life in Brooklyn? Her brownstone was for sale, and her ex-husband, Evan, had recently notified her that they found a buyer who would pay the selling price with no negotiation, which was amazing. However, if she wanted to go back to Brooklyn, she would live in her house again, so it would need to be taken off the market. Evan was currently living in the house with their daughter who was in her last year of high school. Due to the timing of her marriage, they had thought it would be better to let her finish high school in Brooklyn rather than move to Miami. Barbara was also a partner at a Manhattan law firm, and the partnership told her they would hold her position at the firm for one year while she went on unpaid leave. Barbara never trusted Lorenzo’s financial capabilities; hence, she had made this arrangement with the law firm she worked at for 15 years. With the year coming to an end, she needed to give them a response.
Second, a part of her could not help but feel bad that her third marriage could be ending. Her first marriage to Evan failed since they were very young when they married and became parents. They married right after college and became parents shortly thereafter. They eventually grew apart as they grew older and learned more about themselves. They wanted different things in life. Even though their marriage did not work, they did remain good friends through the years and great parents to their daughter. The ending of her next marriage to her late husband, Enrico, was out of her control. There were solid reasons as to why the other two marriages happened and did not continue, but there was only one word she could think of to describe her third and current marriage, and that word was “mistake.”
This brings her to her third question: “What is my plan?” She needed a plan to leave Lorenzo. His bad temper brought out his abusive side. Although she never feared him, she did not want to have to continue fighting or deal with any more of his nonsense, especially due to their son, who was only a few months old. She had to devise a plan for her and her son’s escape.
Lorenzo had regularly asked Barbara to sell the villa in Sicily that she had inherited from Enrico so that they could have more money for the household. Barbara always declined because she was strongly attached to that villa since it was a piece of Enrico that remained with her. She never told Lorenzo the real reason. She just made up an excuse, but this potential sale of the villa could be her way out.
The next morning, Barbara told Lorenzo that she had finally decided to sell the villa, but she needed to go to Sicily to begin the process. Since their financial situation was difficult, she told him that it be better for her to go alone so that she only had to pay for one ticket. He agreed, but then told her (as she thought he would), “But my son stays with me.” Then she replied, “Are you really going to be able to take care of him by yourself? My mother has offered to take care of him during the time I’m away.” He thought about it for a short moment, and he agreed with her.
On the day of her flight, she left the apartment with her bags, son, and a temporary plan to escape her marriage. She had planned to take some time at the villa to get away from Lorenzo and think of her next steps with a clear mind. She also brought her son with her. She had lied to Lorenzo about leaving him with her mother. Wither her being gone, she knew that Lorenzo would most likely be too drunk to even visit his son.
While in Sicily, she went to visit Enrico’s grave there. She often chatted with Enrico because he was always alive in her heart, and she felt that he gave her signs. Whether it was true or not, his presence in her life helped her get by in the darkest of times, and at this point, she was in a dark place.
She sat there crying on his grave with her son in her arms as her tears rolled down his tombstone, asking him to give her guidance on how to go forward and help and protect her and her children. She didn’t know what to do about Lorenzo in the long term.
That evening she took the long way back to the villa, walking past the road of Enrico’s car accident where he died. Barbara always said that she could feel him in the wind on that road. Although some considered it morbid that she would like to walk past that road every time she went to the villa, Barbara didn’t see it that way. She felt that his last moments of life were on that road, and a part of him was still there.
The next morning, Barbara received a phone call from her mother. She told her that Lorenzo was in a coma in the hospital. According to their neighbor, who found him unconscious on the floor of their apartment, it seemed as though a heavy statue had fallen from the top of their bookshelf and hit him on the head. Barbara immediately knew the statue he was referring to. It was one she had bought in Sicily with Enrico and had shipped back to America.
Barbara didn’t want Lorenzo to die, but could not help but think that this was Enrico’s response to her plea the night before. All that aside, Barbara did what she believed to be right. She got on a flight back to Miami with her son to see Lorenzo in the hospital.
By the time she arrived at the hospital, Lorenzo was out of the coma. Before entering his room, a young doctor was exiting, and Barbara asked her how he was doing. The doctor, being inexperienced and forgetting to ask Barbara to identify herself, just blurted out that he had amnesia, and it may be permanent due to the damage done. They were surprised he even survived. Then, the doctor, realizing she had given medical information to a stranger, nervously asked who Barbara was. Barbara responded with her instinct and simply said, “I’m nobody to him. I just realized I stopped at the wrong room. I’m so sorry about this.” The doctor told her not to worry about it, but they were hoping she was a relative because he appeared to have no family. Unfortunately, aside from his son, Lorenzo did not have any family.
No matter how insensitive it may have seemed, Barbara walked out of that hospital with her son and never looked back. She thanked Enrico in her heart and prepared to begin a new life without Lorenzo.