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, I feel warm liquid 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 Sunday dress. Her lips painted pink as she always has done. She looks at peace, not in pain anymore.
She was the one person who understood me, allowed me to have freedom. What will I do without you, momma? I say to myself, more so to her, hoping she can hear me and guide me as I am so lost without her here. I am leaving this state as soon as I can. My mom would want me to break free because staying here may kill me as it did her.
I do not want to leave her. I sit on the worn brown benches in the church. I look around the big old church. He must do fix this old church. The paint is fading off the windows, and the walls could use a paint job. Will he ever stop talking? My mind goes to the liar who pretends he was a great husband, a father; he was nothing but a bitter drunk. Ugh... I don’t love my father; what is wrong with me?
He has been talking for a long time that is my father taking forever and repeating himself, probably drunk? I resent him. This man can't be my father; we are so different, like I am adopted or something. He makes me cringe most days. I want him out of my life. I need to be accessible for myself. I am not this fragile girl he was trying to make me out to be. He will soon find out everyone will find out soon! I almost laugh like a crazy lunatic at the thought of escaping this tragic life.
"You okay, baby?” David asks me with a harsh tone. This would be my lovely boyfriend, who I do not want to even be with anymore, another man who makes me cringe. He has his disgusting arm wrapped around me, holding me close. I pull away, only for him to grab me harder.
I cringe at his touch. This man makes bile rise in my throat. When did that happen? I use to love this man with all my heart... no. No. No. I am lying; I never loved him well, not in love, more like lust. He was sweet romantic at first and then he wasn’t. I want to be away from him; I try to get away with no luck. I feel like I am suffocating from him being by me. I can say I hate this man if I am honest, but it’s strong emotion hate, but he, not a nice man he pretends to be.
"I lost my mother. How do you think I am David.,” I say with a sarcastic voice as I roll my eyes at him. Fucking inconsiderate prick! I want to tell him but decide it’s not best here.
He gets on my nerves; as I keep moving, he moves in on me, making me feel trapped. He removed his arm, grabs my thigh hard, digging his fingers into my flash. He always does this to me to show he has more power. This is a form of abuse. This man is evil. He always tells me a women's job is to be pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen, and I should know my place. He never hits me, grabs my arm hard or thigh like he is doing right now with my thigh. But... he don’t put deep nail marks in my flesh. His words are what hurt the most he is a monster.
“Do not start with me here because I will put you in your place at your own mother’s funeral, pathetic little bitch!” He whispers in my ear with anger.
I despise this man. All women think he is good-looking with blonde hair, a nice build, baby blue eyes, and you know that pretty boy next door look? To me, he is not good-looking; I am not attracted to him anymore. I met him back home two years ago. His family talked my dad into coming here with me, bought him this church, or bought me more or less.
My dad thought it would be great to have David’s family backing him up for me to be married into money like I would marry this man! My mom ended up getting a job that she was doing back home, working in shelters. They only moved because David’s family asked said he needed to make it happen or the marriage was off. My father is greedy. David’s father is my dad’s best friend since they were eleven he will do as he says.
My dad was pleased to take the offer. This pays more money for him, bigger house. He won't fix it up. He too big of a drunk to fix this church up. He keeps telling them he will do it, now his excuse is he is too depressed to do anything with my mom being gone acting like the hurt husband who lost his best friend and soulmate. Okay, sure! I know the truth. He was the abusive evil man to my mother.
"Aurora. Would you like to come up here and say some words for momma?" 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 tell those words but keep them to myself.
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 he was telling me what I should write down to make us look good. I will say what I feel for my own mother! Can you believe it? I fell frustrated already by that man. By this everything I want to expose him for what he truly is.
I make my way to the stage. I adjust the microphone, which slips away from my sweaty hands I pick it up with a red face of embarrassment. 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 never knew these people well? I know the one man who is here My boss he owns the women’s shelter’s me and mom worked at when we moved here about seven months ago.
I have always had this crazy connection to him when I see him. May seem silly to some but I believe in soulmates. You know your true love. He is a big man, his eyes are blood orange, strong jawline, neatly trimmed beard, tattoos. He looks out of place. He is a Greek God! The scar going down his left eye makes him even sexier and dangerous. He is making eye contact with me I begin to feel that crazy attraction. “Get a grip girl this is your mothers’ funeral. I tell myself.
I can't breathe. That is what my boss always dose 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. The fact that he may be my escape away from this life that I hate.
Something else makes me feel strange. There is a strange man who sits and back roll of the church, I can’t see his face, only his eyes they look, feel familiar as mine, like they feel at home you know? 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, saying what a mess I am.
“For those of you who don't know my mother' she was beautiful, kind; she would do anything for you. My mothers' passion was running homes for batter women and children. I plan to do the same keep it going in honor of my mother." Once again, the warm liquid run's down my face.
My dumb father rubs my arm, acting affectionate, stinks like alcohol; how pathetic! I hold my head up high continue to talk. He makes me cringe. I never could bond with this man; he doesn’t feel like a father to me; never once could I say we had a bond. I continue to speak of my mother. I clear my throat. Shoulders up hold head up and relax and breathe. I tell myself and exhale through my nose and mouth and few times. Okay you can do this, Aurora!
"I have many special memories of you the way you smiled that lit up a room. If only I could see that smile just for a little while. I wish I could sit and talk to you again like we use to for hours. You mean so much to me, mom. How will I ever get over the loss of you?" I talk with shaky voice as my vision is blur. I taste the saltiness of my tears. I get down. I can't speak anymore. “Run, Aurora run out of here.” I am telling myself to get out of here I am losing all control.
I focus my vision, and my eyes lock with Vincenzo with eyes that light 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 my panic attack is coming fast I feel it. Like someone is strangling me. I am choking on air to me I am leaving this world! Help me! I want to scream out but I cannot.
My chest hurts like I will have 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 bad. Please God make it stop. I want out to be 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 loud voice booming around the church with power that don’t scare me anymore.
I am running out of the church, welcoming the cold crisp air that hits my face. I am standing on the red velvet steps. Losing all control as I hold my chest, hyperventilating.
“Aurora!!" I hear my childhood best friend Lily call me with her voice lace with concern. She is rubbing my back. When did that happen?
"Breathe in and out slowly. Relax, you are having a panic attack. Shh! you are okay." She telling me in a cooing voice that is soft and gentle as she stays rubbing my back.
I do not know how or when, but we are sitting on the steps. I feel much better. It is gloomy and snowing out frigid temperatures in New York. I feel calm on this step my mother looked beautiful but she didn’t look like her or felt like her or even smelled like her is that normal?
“W-what is going on with me, Lily?" I tripped my word stuttering, losing my mind.
I cannot think or speak. So much is going on in my head like that body wasn’t my mom in there; she always said I should be with Vincenzo. When you know, you know don't lose a chance on love as she did." I am rubbing my throbbing head, talking fast, frantically to Lily. She gets me. I am convinced something deeper is wrong with me.
This day has been crazy. Overwhelmed with people saying all damn day, “sorry for your loss" Same words over and over with some real and most of them fake, half the people here are for my father, David’s family, very few for my mother. Don’t you think it is overwhelming when people are in your face or calling to keep saying sorry for your loss? I overwhelmed. Then you have Vincenzo what the hell is going on with us?
"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. Then you have your father who is drunk off his ass people can see it and I heard the whispers.” Her voice is cracking as she tells me with half smile and sad eyes as she helps me up.
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 and shared many laughs. We all have the same passion to help women and children.
" 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.
I am tired of this. I don't want to hear another person say 'sorry for your loss' I am not in the mood. My mothers' death was suspicious. Why did they stop the investigation of her death? That thought always stays with me. Someone killed her.
"AURORA ROSE!!" My father is yelling at me loudly outside.
He is a shitty father, and his famous excuse was the 'bible says to spare the rod' If I did not do well in school, brought home a B or lower grade, I got the belt. He would beat me to my bottom, was red and bleeding. He calls it tough love, I call it a drunken, abusive asshole! I am not weak like most may think. The mental abuse was what got me the worse.
"Father," I do not bother to look at him.
I know he is mad at me for running out on my mothers' service. It’s not like I care what strangers have to say about her when they do not even know her. My father spoke for another hour! Lord help that man!
“Aurora, what is the matter with you?" I hear my father and ignore him. Make sure I stay away from David and him I want to vomit.
The burial was beautiful. I hope it was everything momma' wanted? Her casket, Sunday dress, makeup. Her favorite songs played as we buried her. Once the dirt-covered her, it hit me hard. It became real, I don't have my beautiful mother anymore. I stay behind a little longer. I feel hands on my shoulders; I know them hands; they always set me on fire.
"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 and see his concern, sad eyes looking down into my sad ones two broking souls I know his past.
"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, I look like my mother. Expect the Long raven hair, the purple eyes my mom said they come from her side only a few had them. I have high cheekbones, and I got her figure too. I look tired; all I see are sad eyes looking back at me. I hope with time, I can move on and be happy. I feel trap in this life.
I walk out into the hall make a bee line for Lily, Vincenzo, Luca, where they are sitting. I don't want to be by David after what he did. My father is too overbearing and acts as if he can still control my life. After today I am done with them for good.
“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 they make me feel like I can smile be somewhat happy.
I can feel the Energy charging in the room. I don't know how you explain it, but this man always does this to me. He is important to me. He brings calmness to me; I want him, I don’t care I want him to burn me, make me feel. He is my soulmate and I know he feels it as well I know this man will be mine forever call me crazy but he my soulmate and I will welcome him.
"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 the man he is, father he amazing you can’t find many man like him now days. He always spoken of her highly his eyes light up makes me envy that little girl in some ways she is so loved by her father.
"I understand. I want to still work on the project with you guys that mom and I was doing too. I want to take her place if you allow me?" I say with a nervous voice. He smiles big at me, exposing his beautiful white straight teeth. I jump right in to make some kind of conversation.
This man is Handsome. No-scratch-that he is dangerously hot! I am on fire with him being close to me, I am thinking naughty things and this is my mothers’ wake I need to get a grip.
"You know I would do anything for you, Aurora; the job was always going to be yours. Ivanna built these shelters in the short time she worked with us. She made them what they are with her knowledge since she worked with us, I know you will make her proud." He says in a sweet voice. As he rubs my hand and looks me in the eyes we hold eye contact this time, I smile.
This man proves to me he cares about me every-time we are together. We can talk about anything. I always find him and his family a mystery, like they are hiding something. I should be with my family, but here I am, where I feel the most comfortable.
"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, Aurora; we can talk about work and take your mind off today; you need to breathe and relax. That was a bad panic attack. I have seen what David did. That made me pissed off." He is clenching his jaw at the mention of David's name. He saw that? No!
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 of how I feel about Vincenzo, there is possibility of me lashing out and tell him it’s not his concern.
"That sounds good; after this is over, I can come over. I do need a break. I have to go to mingle. 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. She likes to have a master.
"I am perfect. I am with my new friend Luca." I 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 being honest. Here are David’s friends the bitches Kelly, Ivy they have not spoke to me probably the realist here they don't hide that they hate me.
"I see you are talking with your mothers' associates. I forbid to stop, not work with them. They are not good men, Aurora." my father says to me with a demanding tone that use to effect me but not anymore.
I roll my eyes, glad I do not live with him. I do have to get my mom personal things; She said she has a small box with essential items inside. There I will know the truth. I want that and out of both these men’s life fast as possible.
"They are great friends they are doing doing good things; why would I stop working with them? They are giving me moms' job, you can’t forbid me I am not a child.” I say in 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. Done with the night, don't want to talk to anyone. I want to get to that box and shower hangout with Vincenzo.
Ding, I hear my phone go off. I grab it out of my purse, seeing it is Lily texting. I smile she something wild child.
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, I hadn't felt alive since I was thirteen when dad first took the belt to 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, not hang out with him. I know exactly what I want him.