Copyright © 2021 by Crystal Wilson
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" I love you" means that I accept you for the person that you are, that I do not wish to change you into someone else.
My father, who is the pastor of our church speaks of my mother. Big fat tears run down my face. I am at my mother's funeral. It is beautiful; her casket is light pink with roses painted on it. She is gorgeous; she looks like herself in her beautiful floral dress. Her lips were painted purple, her favorite color to wear. She looks at peace, not in pain anymore. She was the one person who understood me, allowed me to have freedom. Unlike my father he was the opposite very hateful for a pastor.
I do not want to be without her. I sit on the worn brown benches in the church. It’s a big old historical church it needs a makeover. Cris, my father, is still talking. Will he ever stop talking? He is the biggest liar who pretends he was this amazing husband, father; he was nothing but a bitter abusive drunk. He is repeating himself, clearly drunk. I resent him. This man can't be my father; we are so different we look nothing alike there is no love. Is it wrong to hate your father? I am a horrible person? I don’t feel shit for him.
I cringe at his touch. This man makes bile rise in my throat. I have never loved this man. I was forced to be with him trying to please my father. Who knows why? David was sweet for a while until he wasn’t. I need to leave him and get far away from him because he is a monster. I know he does terrible things. He and his father are into something shady, and I am not sure what.
"I lost my mother. How do you think I am David.,” I say sardonically as I roll my eyes at him. Fucking inconsiderate prick.
He gets on my nerves; as I keep moving, he moves in on me, making me I feel trapped, I am suffocating by him being so close. He thinks women should please a man know their place. He makes the famous move; he takes his hand and digs his nails into my flesh, hard probably causing me to bleed and bruising. I put nails hard into his hands, making him stop, but he won’t.
I despise this man. All women think he is this good-looking man with blonde hair, a nice build, baby blue eyes, and you know that pretty boy next door look? Not me I think he is cruel and vile and ugly inside and out. I have not slept with him much. I make an excuse up and avoid him at all cost. My dad thought it would be great that I marry his childhood best friends son. You know marry into big money, and he will get a cut. I would never marry David. I am disowning my father and David after today I am leaving the state. My best friend said she would go with me anywhere. My father moved us from Carolina to New York. My mom managed to find work, and I helped in the shelters. I meant terrific people, especially my boss Vincenzo. Lily's dad is also David’s father's childhood best friend Lily’s dad works for the family, so of course, they moved here I am glad she is my sister. We both are going through the same things in life. My father would beat me for a bad grade he claims the Bible says you should beat your wife and child. I don’t think we read the same Bible. The abuse started when I was twelve. He was worse on my mother; she would save me from beatings and take them herself. My dad was pleased when David and I got together; he got paid an enormous amount as if he sold me fucking sick and twisted evil people I tell ya. I am no one's property to sell or buy.
"Aurora. Would you like to come up here and say something for mom?" My father finally asks me in that fake sweet voice playing the nice dad of the year! Of course, I do. Why wouldn't I? I want to say but decided not to. “Come on up sweetheart.” He says with fake sniffles.
I get off the old dusty squeaky bench with my crumpled paper in my hand. My dear father told me to write my eulogy. I know what to say about my mother. I am not reading anything off the paper he practically wrote for me. I make my way to the stage. I adjust the microphone, which slips away from my sweaty hands, fumbling to the ground. I pick it up. My face is probably different shades of red. I am embarrassed. I look around as I see people I don't even know here. Why would he invite all of David’s friends, his from back home? My mother didn’t even know these people. I know the one man here. My boss, he owns the women’s shelter’s I worked at, and my mother did when we moved here about seven months ago. Vincenzo Basilischi. We make eye contact my heart flutters. He and I have talked for hours when we saw one another. Vincenzo is a great man easy to connect with. Something about him there is this pull. I have always had this crazy connection to him when I see him. It May seem silly to some, but I believe in soulmates. You know when you know. His blood orange eyes burn my soul. He is full of tattoos, seven-foot and jet black hair, a strong jawline, neatly trimmed beard. Get a grip focus; this is your mother’s funeral. She was probably smiling down at me. She knows how I feel about him. I can't breathe. That is what Vincenzo always does to me. I take a deep breath; I pull my damn self together. I am losing myself over the mystery man who came into my life unexpectedly. I blame the lack of sleep for days, all these different emotions. Something else makes me feel strange. There is a strange man who sits in the back of the church, I can’t see his face, but his eyes pull me in. Fuck I am probably hallucinating. I am going crazy if my mother could see me now! I want to laugh at that; she is probably up there laughing at me. Breathe in and out you got this. I have been standing here like an idiot and crying.
“For those of you who don't know my mother, she was beautiful, kind; she would do anything for you. My mother’s passion was running homes for batter women and children. She loved her work. These women became her family. She had a connection with them because she was a victim.” I say as the tears run down my face. It felt great to expose my father.
"I have many special memories of her the way she smiled that lit up a room. If only I could see that smile again just for a little while. I wish I could sit and talk to her again like we use to for hours. You mean so much to me, mom. How will I ever let go of you?" I talk with a shaky voice as my vision is a blur. I taste the saltiness of my tears. I get down. I can't speak anymore. “Run, Aurora, run out of here,” I tell myself.
I focus my vision, and my eyes lock with Vincenzo's eyes that lite my soul on fire. The man that talked to me for hours when mom passed, I stayed in her office for a few days, I smile big at him; to my surprise, he smiles back. I feel this odd energy in here. I grab my throat, and I feel like I can't breathe. My breathing is heavy, and my hands are clammy. Why can’t I calm myself down? Could you help me? My chest hurts like I am having a heart attack. I have this strong feeling to fight or flight. What is happening to me? I cannot breathe or think I am going crazy; my chest hurts terribly. Please, God, make it stop! I want out of here. I want to be okay, please! I am pleading as I cry hard, not knowing what to do.
"Aurora Rose Ricci." My father yells for me with a loud voice booming around the church with power that doesn’t scare me anymore. “What are you doing damn it.” He still shouting. I am running out of the church, welcoming the cold crisp air that hits my face. I fall to my knees, not caring it’s hard. I need to escape. I need to feel.
“Aurora!!" I hear my childhood best friend Lily call out to me with concern. She is rubbing my back softly. "Breathe in and out slowly. Relax, you ate having a panic attack. You are okay." She told me in a cooing voice that is soft and gentle as she helps me get through this panic attack.
We take a seat; it is frigid temperatures in New York. Now snowing, and I don’t care whatever happens. I needed to run get out.
“W-what is going on with me, Lily?" I tripped my word, stuttering, losing my mind. “Please help me.” I am pleading with her.
I cannot think or speak. So much is going on in my head like that body wasn’t my mom. She told me one day Vincenzo was made for me never let genuine love slip away. I am convinced something far worse happened to my mother; her death was suspicious, but no investigation was done. This day has been crazy and overwhelmed with people saying all damn day. “Sorry for your loss," the exact words over and over. Why do people say sorry for your loss? It doesn’t make you feel better is just annoying. So fake like they mean it, yea, right!
"We better get in there, Aurora; you are having a bad day. This is hard for everyone but even harder for you. Just overwhelmed with stress and grief. I saw you look at him, and then you ran off. People are whispering about your dad. Everyone can see and smell the booze off him.” She says as she helps me up. We hold hands. “He is drunk off his ass.” She chuckles a little.
Lily knows me well. She knows my feelings for Vincenzo. He is dangerous but the kind of man that makes me feel human in this messed-up life. He and his father are great people; my mom became great friends with his father, Giovanni. We all had great times. Vincenzo is even more dangerous looking with a scar going down his left eye that makes my stomach flop phew damn!
" I lost it. Just I am very stressed out is all. Vincenzo has this effect on me. I do not know. I got frantic, couldn't breathe." I put my head in my hands and cry again as she helps me through my anxiety. As we walk. “I am losing it.” I say as I sigh.
I am tired of this. I don't want to hear another person say. 'Sorry for your loss’ I can’t take it. I feel my father he is out here. “AURORA ROSE!!" My father is yelling at me loudly outside.
He is a shitty father. He always had an excuse why he would hit me or yell at me would not let me leave the house; my mom would help me sneak away. I would work the shelter for a few hours, then go with Lily to parties and hand with friends. So I say “Father," I do not bother to look at him.
I know he is mad at me for running out on my mother’s service. It’s not like I care what strangers think of me or what they have to say about my mother.
“Aurora, what is the matter with you?" I hear my father ask with anger. I ignore him. Make sure I stay away from David and him. I want to vomit.
"Are you feeling okay, Aurora?" I hear Vincenzo as he speaks in his soft, thick accent with genuine emotion of concern for me. I look up. His sad eyes are looking down at me.
"I am fine. I probably should get in the limo head to the hall for her wake with my dad." I sigh. I rush to the limbo wanting to avoid him.
Here I am at the hall for my mother’s wake,
I look in the mirror, and I don’t look like my mother beside her high cheekbone and figure. I have long raven hair, purple eyes; my mom said they come from her side; only a few had them. I look tired; all I see are sad eyes looking back at me. I hope with time, and I can move on and be happy. I walk out into the hall make a beeline for Lily, Vincenzo, Luca, where they are sitting. I don't want to be by David after what he did. My father is just a drunk asshole.
“Glad you are Joining us, Aurora. I hear Lily say with a half-smile on her face. She is looking cozy with Luca, and I smile big at her. She gives me a half-smile.
I can feel the Energy charging in the room. I don't know how you explain it. Vincenzo had to be the reason. He is essential to me. He brings calmness to me; I want him, I don’t care, I want him to burn me, make me feel. He can read my soul that has to mean something.
"My father gives his condolences as he couldn't attend. He is back home with Ariel.” He said in a sexy husky voice that lights my inside on fire.
I do not even think he was trying to be sexy. I am interpreting it that way. Arial is his daughter; he rises alone. I admire that in a man. He is an amazing father; you can’t find many men like him nowadays. He has always spoken of her highly; his eyes light up makes me envy that little girl; in some ways, she is so loved.
"I understand. I still want to work in the shelters. I enjoy it.” I say as I smile at him.
This man is Handsome. No-scratch-that he is dangerously hot! I am on fire with him being close to me. He doesn’t even try. The truth is, I can’t stay away from him; I want to be close to him. Maybe live at the office to Lily and me can save for our place truth I can’t leave this state as long as Vincenzo in it.
"I think you should be a manager; take over Ivanna’s position; you deserve it. I enjoy having you there. The women and kids trust you.” He says as he grabs my hand. I shiver in a good way.
Vincenzo is a caring man, always supportive of me. We have shared a kiss, and we both said that was a bad idea, but deep down, it wasn’t; it was right. I need him to take my pain away.
"Means a lot to have your support. I look forward to working together." I smile big at him. He still has my hand; I feel the electricity flow through my body.
"Come over for drinks later, relax, get away from David; he seemed like a real asshole; I saw what he was doing. I hope I am not overstepping or out of line?” She says with a smile as his eyes search mine.
I feel embarrassed by what he saw. I need to get away from him. I am about to go against my better judgment. I can’t take this. I need to hurry and get away from here before I expose myself to how I feel about Vincenzo. There is the possibility I may tell him off for calling me out about David.
"That sounds good; after this is over, I can come over. I do need a break. I have to go over to my grandma and grandpa before they leave back to Russia. Lily, you okay over here?" She smiles big at me as she looks at Luca. She is very sexual and what you call a submissive.
"I am perfect. I am with my new friend Luca." She smiles big at me with a wink. I wink and smile big at her.
I make my way over to David and my father. I do not want to piss them off more than I did already. They look upset as I come over. I can care less if I am honest. Does David sit with his friends? I can’t understand why they are here?
"I see you are talking with your associates. I forbid it can’t keep working in the shelters. You need to stop. They are not good men, Aurora." my father says to me with a demanding tone that used to affect me but not anymore.
I roll my eyes, glad I do not live with him. All inhale at his house is my mother’s things and a box she wanted me to have. I will get that tonight and leave Brent behind.
"They are great friends; they are doing good things; why would I stop working with them? They are giving me the manager's position. You cannot forbid me I am not a child.” I say in a harsh tone. He is giving me the evil eye. David is giving me a questionable look as well. Fuck them both!
Oh well, I cannot be bothered with either one. I sit with grandma and grandpa.
Lily: Hey bitch!! I am going to stay at Lucas. Aurora, let yourself feel free, allow Vincenzo to take the pain away.
She is right. This is crazy; what the hell does that mean let Vincenzo take the pain away? Who am I kidding? I know what she means, and I even know why I am going there for him to numb my pain. I want to feel again, and I hadn't felt alive since I was twelve. After that day, the old me was gone the day belt me to blood.
Me: We are just talking about work. Come on, you know I am with David.
I am lying to her and myself. She replied with an eye-rolling emoji. I am nervous. I know this doesn't seem right I should go home and go to bed. I know exactly what I want him.