Verona In a Day

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A Lesson in Literature, Love and Cinematography

Olivia groaned at the thought of waking up for her first day of class, the summer had gone by all too fast. She would spend her nights out on the strip visiting different restaurants, and meeting new people at nightclubs and bars. But now it was time to say goodbye to staying up late chasing after boys and drinking coffee in the afternoon to wake herself up from last night’s party. She rolled over in the large king-size bed, she still had not switched bedrooms. This one was closer to the bathroom, and a short walk away from the living room where she would hang around on the weekend binge-watching Netflix and romantic comedies about lovers and friends. She opened one eye and scrolled through messages and timelines of pictures of summer tan lines. She stretched out and pushed the duvet over climbing out of the bed and headed for a cold shower and got dressed. She had become more familiar with her area and was seriously considering getting her license to drive herself around. Leonardo pulled up and honked as she had requested the night before. “Goodmorning,” she called as she shoved a piece of toast into her mouth as she opened her own door. They grew quite familiar with each other and she refused to continue to have him as her driver if he didn’t stop acting like a chauffeur. They grew quite casual as she began calling him Leo and he would call her Ms. Liv, but she would take any hint of change she could. “Coffee stop?” He asked pulling away, “Oh God, please. I appreciate it. Mm.” She took bites of her toast, “I will text you when I get out of class. I can let you know when you should stop by, I might not go straight home.”

“Meeting friends?” He asked softly, turning out of the driveway. “Not that I know of, but anything can happen, right? I don’t want to go straight home, I didn’t come to Italy to be locked inside my house all the time studying...” They stood in silence as she leaned forward. “I’m sorry if I kept you waiting last night. That’s exactly why I feel bad when you drop me off, I always end up staying longer than I say.” Leo rubbed his eyes at a stoplight. “No problem at all. Happens.”

“That’s why I didn’t want you to wait outside, you could have gone back home or stayed close. I could get a ride back... God knows it hasn’t been my first time.” Leonardo scoffed, “You have snuck out already?” He teased. “Hey, I didn’t know you were going to be cool. I thought you were going to be like a normal driver, watching when I come and go, taddle tale to my parents of who I bring home.” Leo let out a large laugh, “I haven’t seen you bring anyone home...yet. Or maybe you’re just good at sneaking behind my back.” He teased, they drove off until he parked on a street and they both stepped out. He led Olivia inside a small coffee shop where he helped her order and they chatted softly and took a seat. “We can’t stay too long, I have classes in like an hour.” He nodded in response, “We can drink in the car. You know you better start practicing ordering on your own now.”

“Are you really leaving me so soon? It’s nice having you around sometimes... Been a big help actually, I couldn’t have begun to explain to the guys who installed my new locks what I was talking about.” They both laughed and agreed, her Italian wasn’t phenomenal yet, nowhere near close. At this rate, her only saving grace was that most of her classes were in English. Leo grabbed their drinks and ushered her to the black car. When they arrived at the campus she let herself out and grabbed her purse and latte, “Thank you, Leo. Talk to you later, Chao.” He shook his head laughing, “I’ll see you.”

Olivia’s first class was Lit, literally, it was Literature. She took a seat in the middle of the large room and sat back as the teacher introduced himself, and handed out papers. She pushed her pen around the paper losing herself in thought when it was time to leave she couldn’t even remember what happened in class since she wasn’t paying any attention. She hurried outside and ran into the hallway. The hallway was outside and led to a courtyard there was a fountain and flowers, she rounded a corner too fast and bumped into someone hard. “I’m so sorry, shit.” She muttered, “Mi scusi.” She remembered, a tall guy with dark hair turned around to catch her arm, “Sto bene.” He spoke slowly as she caught his eye. “Excuse me, you look familiar.” He said softly. He looked her over and pointed a finger, “Olivia? Come sta?” he leaned in to kiss her cheek again. Her face flushed red, “Lazarus? How-How are you?” she stood shocked. “You go to class here?” He asked smiling. His tan skin looked like he had never stayed inside all summer, he looked a little different but she couldn’t place it. “Yeah, that’s what brings me to Verona. School. What are you studying?” She questioned. He shrugged, “Now it’s Cinematography. Like movies, I like photography too. Do you have class now?"
"Just returning from class actually, I have a free hour. How about you?" He smiled in response and offered his arm, "I actually start tomorrow, how about that coffee? I haven't forgotten." She blushed a brighter shade of red, a little ashamed she put him off after her first night. "I'd like that actually." Olivia knew how strong Italian coffee can be, and she probably shouldn't since she already had one but she followed Lazarus through the courtyard as they chatted. The sun kissed Olivia's bare shoulders in her off the shoulder shirt making her skin warm. Her hair was done up blonde curls sticking out rebelliously.
"So you want to become a director or are you a photographer?" She asked as they walked down the bridge with coffees in hand. "Why not be both? People act and direct so why not be behind every camera possible?" She nodded, that was a great answer. "Fair, fair. Even I can't argue that."
What about you? You are studying...?" His words trailed off as he took a long sip. "Literature, I would like to be a writer." Olivia took a small sip as the bitter took a bite out of her tongue, her nose scrunched in response. Lazarus laughed out loud, "Still not used to our coffee huh? It's okay." He took her cup and entered a coffee shop and returned with some sugar packets. "If you are going to be a writer what would you write about?" She stirred in two packets and laughed, "Grazie." She took a sip and nodded in response, "That's personal isn't it?" He shook his head, "No. Because writers publish don't they? You write books for others to read. It could be personal, but truthfully nothing is private when you're a writer. True?" She nodded staring into his deep brown eyes. "I suppose. But to answer your question I'd write about-"
"Love?" He interrupted with a giggle. "A girl looking for love in a foreign country. A beautiful girl on a journey to find herself in Rome?" She turned pink and turned away, "Sounds nice actually. So long as you let me be the one to direct the movie." He laughed and looked at his phone, "Getting late. Let me walk you to class, meet me in the courtyard later? You let me have coffee with you and you didn't like the coffee but I think I know something you might like."
"I'll go, on one condition. You stop making fun of writing." He laughed and looked down at her, "I was teasing. Just joking, Mi dispiace. But deal."

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