The Girl

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Twenty-One

Angela exhaled and looked at Abelia and then spoke, “Sometimes I feel like doubt is taking over my mind and my thoughts...I know you and everyone are being genuinely nice to me and I appreciate so much, but my mind says ‘what if they are just being polite and kind?’ What if I reading into this too much and taking advantage of the kindness. What if Luca is simply being polite tolerating me? Did I latch onto Luca because he was the one that saved me from the basement...am I overstepping my boundaries.” Angela’s expression darkened and she was deeply troubled as she poured out what she hid inside.

“I’ve never known love and kindness being a Kavanaugh and living with them. I also don’t remember my life before the car accident with my mom and dad. I was never lavished with attention or love by the Kavanaughs and that was how I thought families were. There was no need to pay attention to the children, I was home schooled by a tutor until high school so before then I had never seen other kids or families. I wasn’t allowed out of the house. I couldn’t do anything about my life, I had just accepted it and did whatever my adoptive mother wanted. When I was in that basement, deep down I knew that they truly didn’t care that I went missing and that I would eventually die there.” Angela felt like crying again, but the tears wouldn’t fall. She wrung her fingers together and sighed.

Abelia didn’t want to interject because she had a feeling that Angela wasn’t done speaking, but also because Abelia didn’t know what to say. Before her sat a girl that was dealt a shitty hand and when she finally found some good, it caused her to doubt if it was good. All Abelia could do was sit and listen to the tale and let Angela know that she cared.

“Then what seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel appeared. There was Luca. Who was way too kind to a stranger and acted like we had known each other for a long time. Who had called me tesoro when we first met, but only called me that a few times since then. Then I was overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and pretended that it didn’t faze me, I wondered if that was how people were and the Kavanaughs were just cold and unfeeling people. I had always wanted a loving and adoring family, but when you guys accepted me into your family, it felt unreal and like a dream. I kept expecting to wake up and being back in the basement. I feel like I can’t accept that this is real and realizing that there are people now that care about me.” Angela’s voice wavered a bit as she tried to get the words out.

“Being here, I feel very free because I’m allowed to do what I want now which was something that was not possible in the Kavanaugh household because it was so strict. It feels like I said a lot, but that is just scratching the surface of what I feel.” Angela looked away, turning her head towards the flowers on her left hand side.

Abelia couldn’t pretend to understand how Angela felt because she didn’t and Angela didn’t deserve those empty words of sympathy. Abelia had never known hardship like Angela did because her family was very loving and she had Alessio by her side since she was little. Angela had no one that she could count on before and now she had so many people. Abelia didn’t realize this before, but it probably felt like whiplash to Angela having nothing and then having so much.

“I don’t want to crowd you and make you spend time with me, but I want you to know. I want you to vividly remember this whenever you think about doubting or sharing what troubles you. I will always be there to listen to you. There is nothing you can say that will break the bond we have. We may not be blood-related, but we are sisters now and forever. An older sister takes care of her younger sister no matter what. If you feel uncomfortable telling any of others even Luca or Alessio, just know you can always come to me.” Abelia said sincerely with a smile to match.

Angela turned back to look at Abelia and her face and believed the sincerity she saw. “Thank you Abelia. You don’t know how much that means to me. It will take me a some time to fully come to terms with everything and find a new normal. Thank you so much for being by my side...I...greatly appreciate you. I’ll try my best to remember what you said.”

“Even if you do not remember and you are feeling down and just outright sad or doubtful like now, I will be there to remind you.” Abelia smiled widely and stood up. She walked over to Angela and gave her a hug. “Now wait here, I’ll go grab some snacks. Sweets will make you feel better.”

Abelia patted Angela’s head and then walked out of the greenhouse. She made her way back to the central manor and to the kitchen. In the kitchen, she saw Mrs. Bianchi was cleaning the kitchen and starting to prep for dinner. When Abelia walked in, Mrs. Bianchi looked up and smiled.

“Mrs. Corsetti, how lovely to see you dear. What can I do for you?” Mrs. Bianchi put down the towel she was using and wiped her hands using the apron she was wearing.

“Angela and I are in dire need of sweets. Do you have any prepared?” Abelia asked leaning on the island counter across from Mrs. Bianchi

Mrs. Bianchi pondered for a moment and then said, “I have Sbrisolona, Torta Barozzi, and some leftover Panna Cotta. I’m planning on making some Bonet tomorrow. Take your pick.”

“I’ll choose the Panna Cotta, I don’t know if Angela is allergic to nuts. I’ll ask her later.” Abelia decided.

Sbrisolona was a crumbly almond cake and Torta Barozzi was a cake with almonds, chocolate, rum, and coffee. Panna Cotta being a thickened cream with gelatin would be the same bet.

“Here you go, dear.” Mrs. Bianchi said as she placed two dishes with Panna Cotta topped with a strawberry compote in front of Abelia on the counter.

“Thank you very much Mrs. Bianchi.” Abelia gave Mrs. Bianchi a small hug as thanks and then picked up the dishes and headed back outside to the greenhouse.

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I can’t insert a lot of pictures so instead, here is the link to the website. All the desserts mentioned are Northern Italian desserts and have better descriptions. I just went for a basic description for the story.

https://www.miramonticorteno.com/blog/2019/10/30/northern-italian-desserts-you-have-to-try

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