Chapter Twenty Four
Nova and her mother sat at their favorite restaurant down town. un po ’di sapore, in English - a little bit of flavor-. The food was delicious and everyone was friendly. They’d become regulars a few years back and the owner took an instant liking to her and her mother. Mr. Bianchi, favored them with free desert every time they came.
To top it off, inside was magnificent. The walls were red brick, the ceilings were vaulted with hanging chandeliers. The tables were a dark chocolate wood with chairs to match. Red leather Booths lined the walls. Green vines hung from fixtures on the walls all throughout the restaurant. The place smelt strongly of various spices.
Waiters and waitresses were dressed in black slacks, small white aprons, long sleeve button up white shirts and over the shirts were firmly pressed black vests. Hillary, their familiar hostess greeted them at the door behind her small dark wood podium.
“Good evening! Oh Mrs Reed! Nova! It’s such a pleasure, it’s been to long!” She gushed, a bright smile gracing her face. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a tight bun, her brown eyes sparkled at them. Hillary was only twenty eight, she’d been working here since they’d opened which was close to ten years ago.
Her mother fluttered a hand at her, “oh Hillary it’s only been two weeks” she giggled.
“To very long weeks without both of you, bellissimo” a deep voice said.
Both mother and daughter turned to look over their shoulder as Mr. Bianchi strode through the revolving door. His hair was a midnight black with a few strips of silver. The lines on his face stating his true age. He looked to be a few years old than her mother who was nearing forty five. His Steele grey eyes locked onto her and her mother with a smile on his face. He was tall and slightly muscular, he came to a stop next to then wearing his usual black suit and red tie.
“Mr. Bianche, it’s so good to see you again!” Novas mouth gaped open as she watched color stain her mothers cheeks. Then her eyes widened in realization. Her mother had a crush on their Italian restauranteur.
“And how are you two doing on this glorious night?” He asked, his eyes trained on her mother.
Nova spoke before her mother could speak, “were spending some much needed time together since she’s been gone for two weeks on her honeymoon”
You could hear a pin drop with the silence that followed.
Mr. Bianches eyes widened, their color darkening before he pulled himself together.
Patricia green turned her eyes to her daughter in surprise.
“Well I guess congratulations are in order” he said stiffly.
Nova wanted to laugh with glee, not only did her mother have a crush on Mr. Bianche but Mr. Bianche had a crush on her mother!
Hillary cleared her throats and gestured towards the grand room, “Let me show you to your seats”
Mr. Bianche grumbled something about having to fix something before he stormed towards the kitchen doors and disappearing behind them. Nova watched the doors swing back and forth after his hasty retreat.
“Why would you do that?” Her mother hissed leaning down to her so as she didn’t have to yell and draw attention.
Nova shrugged as they followed Hilary to the small booth next to the grand window against the wall. She fell into the booth and politely took the menu Hilary offered.
“Your server will be right with you” she said sending Nova a small wink. Hillary knew all about Mr. Bianches infatuation with Patricia Green.
After Hillary left and their waiter took their drink order, Nova glanced across the menu already knowing what she wanted, “you like him” she stated.
“Like who?” Her mother asked glancing at her own menu.
“Don’t play dumb mom, you like Mr. Bianche” she replied.
“Nova that’s absurd. I just got married, I love Tom” she said while biting her lower lip. She did that when she was unsure about something.
“If I was older, I’d probably fall for Mr. Bianche to. He’s quite a looker” she said off handedly.
Patricia put down her menu and stared hard at her daughter, “Nova Green, you will stop this at once. Those are crazy thoughts. I wouldn’t have married Tom if I didn’t love him”
Nova put her own menu down and stared up at her mother, “I didn’t say you didn’t love him. You can be attracted to two people mother, hell you can love more than one person. Your not restricted to loving only one person your entire life. If that was the case so many people would be shit out of luck, they’d fall for someone who didn’t love them back and they’d be stuck living in a loveless relationship with someone else only to break their heart as well because they couldn’t love them ”
Her mother blinked at her, a stunned expression crossing her face before she smiled soft, “when did you become so smart”
Nova chewed on her lower lip, lowering her gaze to the dark red table cloth.
Her mother dropped the subject sensing Novas withdrawal.
Nova propped her feet onto the dashboard and sung along to the radio as her mother drove them home. Dinner had been delicious and they’d gotten to bond.
“So.... i have some good news and bad news” her mother said breaking the comfortable atmosphere.
Nova looked over at her “ok”
“Which one would you like first?” She asked.
Nova thought it over. She should just take the bad news first then the good news could over come the bad.
Pushing a stray strand of hair behind her ear she bobbed to the music and said “bad”
Her mother sighed and turned on her blinker turning left onto the long hidden road that would take them home, “I have a project I have to travel for and Tom has an inventors convention to attend so we’ll be leaving in a couple days and we’ll be gone for another week”
Nova didn’t think that was so bad, in fact she kinda enjoyed having the house to herself except this time she’d have to share it with her cheating step brother. This was going to be difficult.
They pulled up to the house and her mom shut off the car, nova opened her door and stepped out.
“Don’t you want to know what the good news is?” Her mother asked following Nova towards the front door.
Nova scanned the driveway, Axels car was gone.
She scratched at her chest. The area above her heart hurt.
He was probably with one of his usual booty calls.
Feeling a little worse she shrugged, “yea I guess it can’t hurt”
They stopped in front of the door and her mother smiled, ” I know you were having a hard time with Axel. He’s hard to be around, trust me I know. I can only imagine what he was like when we were gone” she said.
Nova sucked in a breath, if she only knew what exactly he’d been like. Blushing to the roots of her hair she simply nodded.
“Well, his mother has called him home. She doesn’t want him living with us anymore so he left” she said as she opened the door and walked through.
Nova froze in the doorway.
Throwing her car keys on the small center table in the middle of the foyer her mother turned and smiled at Nova.
As the door slammed shut behind them, Novas heart shattered into a million and one pieces and fell to the floor.
It would never be put back together.
Because she knew Axel would never come back.