(II) Chapter 40 (Heartbreaking Surprise)
I fluttered my eyes open the next morning, a smile pasted on my lips. My first reaction was to reach out and touch Anthonio, but I realised he wasn't there.
He'd surely already showered and gone downstairs, leaving me to sleep till satisfaction.
I got out of bed and went straight to shower. Once done, I searched his drawers but found only a dress of mine. Though I was sure I'd left more than that. Anyway, I still put it on and when I was fully ready, I left the room.
As I went down the stairs, I stopped halfway when I saw Lodovica And her two sons, discussing. Anthonio had his back to me.
"Hello!" I said happily, getting their attention. They all looked up at me and it was at that moment that I realised something was wrong. Lodovica had a sad smile on, Leandro didn't smile at all and looked rather guilty and unhappy and Anthonio, his eyes were red. Not with anger. He looked sad.
"W– what's going on?" I stammered, a lump in my throat.
"Nothing, sweetheart." Lodovica said, trying to sound happy.
"We have good news for you."
I stared, suddenly afraid. Anthonio had his arms folded and was staring at the floor. Leandro avoided my look. What sort of 'good' news was it?
I was about to speak but then Lodovica moved aside, exposing two travelling bags. My heart literally skipped a beat.
"You're going home." she forced a smile.
I froze, the lump in my throat getting heavier and my blood beginning to boil.
"W– what do you mean I'm going home?" I stammered with difficulty, my eyes beginning to water.
Lodovica cleared her throat.
"Honey, it was announced the day before yesterday that it is now safe for you to return if you could. The case withheld against you as terrorist has been abandoned at last. It was concluded that you had been tricked then kidnapped. You're free."
Tears rolled down my cheeks and I had mixed feelings of relief and sadness at the same time. But I mostly felt the fury and frustration rise.
"No!" I exclaimed, storming down the staircase. "No!" I screamed, sobbing now.
"You have to return to you family, princess." Leandro muttered.
I stared at him, sobbing my lungs out.
"Leandro, tell her I'm not leaving! I'm not ready to." I grabbed his shirt, sobbing. Leandro stared, hurt.
"Please, don't make things harder for–"
"NO!" I hit his chest desperately, crying continuously.
I couldn't believe what was happening to me. What was this?
With already swollen eyes, I turned to Anthonio who'd been staring at the floor. I walked up to him and grabbed his shirt with both hands.
"Y– you knew this??" I sobbed, "You knew these were our last days together? Is it fair?!" I screamed in frustration, pulling on his shirt. "LOOK AT ME!" I cried, "Why?!" I hit his chest weakly.
He caught my wrists and looked up at me for the first time. I saw tears threatening to role down his cheeks. His eyes were red.
"Do you think it's easy for me??" he asked with difficulty "Why are you yelling at me?? Why are you crying?? Don't break my heart more than It already is. Please."
"You should've told me!" I hit him angrily, "So I would prepare both psychologically and emotionally!"
"Donnica, would you have agreed easily? To leave??" he retorted, stepping back and wiping his eyes before tears could roll down.
"No! You would've convinced me to stop you from going, though it's the right thing for you! You know the influence you have on me!"
"I knew I would have to go someday but not like this!" I cried out.
Leandro pulled me back.
"Please, both of you should calm down." Lodovica begged.
I was sobbing and my chest was heaving. I was angry, yet sad. I stared at Anthonio.
"Let's not part ways like this. Honey, please..." Anthonio reached out for me and I tried to dodge him but he caught me and pulled to him. I tried to fight him at first but I ended up sobbing against his chest. He hugged me tight.
"I love you." he whispered, "Don't leave me, angry."
I simply sobbed.
"The car's ready ma'am."
A voice caught my attention and I looked up. There stood one of the drivers.
"You– you need to go." Anthonio stammered before stepping back and staring down at me.
I felt frustrated, a frown on my face, a lump in my throat and tears rolling down my cheeks. I was angry. Angry that it was impossible for Anthonio and I to stay together. Close to impossible. Angry that I loved him to a fault.
"Don't you have anything to tell me?" he muttered in a shaky voice.
I swallowed and shook my head, no. I was so bitter. My heart was breaking and I was dying slowly on the inside.
He nodded and stared at the floor briefly.
"Fine. I love you." he kissed my forehead, "I'm begging you, Donnica. Please, do not forget me."
I was shivering and tears just poured out. I looked up at him and nodded. I couldn't tell him that I loved him too at that moment because it would be torturing myself. It would be reminding myself that I was leaving him without really wanting to.
"You don't forget me." I replied with difficulty,"It's a threat and a plea." I sobbed.
He nodded, his eyes red and swollen.
Slowly, I turned to Leandro and it seemed he just made me sob even more.
With an expression similar to Anthonio's, he hugged me, making me cry again. I felt horrible but deep down I knew it was the right thing to do.
"Please stop crying, amor." he begged and wiped my tears, "You've melted this stone heart and the feeling is horrible. You're supposed to be happy. Please, don't make us feel like we've betrayed you. I– I don't want to regret anything. None of us wants that. Please."
I nodded weakly and he kissed my forehead.
"We love you."
In turn, Lodovica took me into her arms. She consoled me just as much as the others.
"You'll be fine. Think of that smile your mother's going to have when she sees you walk through the door. That's enough to make you smile. Okay, honey?" she said.
"Good. So please don't cry." she hugged me one last time.
"The driver's going to give you your plane ticket And new passport. Don't worry, we took care of everything. We'll miss you."
She let me go and I slowly followed the driver who'd picked my bags up, to the door.
When I did reach the door, with a heavy heart, I turned to look at them one last time. I realized Anthonio had left. He'd surely gone upstairs. It was just as hard for him as it was for me.
I waved at Leandro and Lodovica. They waved back. And without further ado, I stepped out of that house for good. Leaving all good and bad memories.