Isabella and her mother closed the store and made their way home. As soon as they came home, Isabella took a warm long shower and got in her pyjamas. Most of her pyjamas were football clothes. Not because she was a football fanatic but because she found the clothes to be comfortable. Isabella joined her mother who was sitting on the balcony with a glass of wine in her hand.
’’Do you want a sip, Tesoro?’’ Donatella asked and Isabella shook her head.
Donatella swirled the wine in her glass and took another sip of her fruity red wine. Isabella sat on the rocking chair next to her mother.
‘’You are already eighteen, Isabella. You’re allowed to drink.’’ her mother grinned at her. ‘’But not too much!’’ she quickly added which made Isabella laugh.
’’I know, I know, Mamma. Don’t worry about it.’’ Isabella smiled and winked at her mother.
‘’I’m home!’’ a male voice echoed throughout the two-story house.
‘’Good to know!’’ Isabella yelled back to her brother in a sarcastic tone.
’’You’re as lovely as ever, Sorrellina,’’ Sergio said as he walked up to his mother and little sister.
‘’I know.’’ Isabella cheekily smiled at Sergio. ‘’Go take a shower, Ser. You smell like sweat and you have oil grease all over you.’’ Isabella said making a shooing motion with her hands.
Sergio came back from his work shift as a car mechanic. A job he had since he was eighteen years old. He rolled his eyes at his younger sister and walked toward the bathroom.
Donatella spoke up again, ‘’I’m going to the De Rege mansion next week. Celia asked me to help out picking the wine list for the wedding. Do you want to come?’’
She contemplated before nodding. ‘’Okay.’’
‘’Maybe Giovanni will be there as well,’’ her mother casually said as she wiggled her eyebrows.
Isabella gaped at her mother, a light shade of pink decorating her cheeks. ‘’Mamma!’’
Her mother wasn’t blind and immediately took note of her daughter’s little crush on Giovanni. Isabella had always been like an open book to her mother. There was no point in hiding the truth.
‘’Whose wedding is it?’’ Isabella asked, desperate to change the topic.
‘’When is the wedding going to take place?’’
‘’In two weeks.’’
Excitement filled Isabella, she loved going to weddings. She was a bit of a romantic and witnessing two people in love exchange vows never failed to give a wholesome feeling. It was something she wanted for herself one day.
Sergio’s voice reached the two women on the balcony, ‘’I’m done! Can we go and eat now?’’
‘’Let’s!’’ Donatella smiled.
Isabella got up from the rocking chair and shut the double doors of the balcony. With the curtains blocking the orange light from reaching inside, Isabella walked down the stairs. Her mother and brother were already setting the dinner table up and she went to the living room to get her father to join them.
‘’Papà? Are you coming?’’ Isabella tilted her head to the side.
‘’In a minute.’’
She moved her gaze away from her father and saw a football match playing on the television. His favourite team was playing. Isabella sighed when she saw a few more seconds of the game. It was a re-run. Isabella picked up the remote control lying beside her father and made the screen turn black.
‘’We have already seen this match. You’re not missing out on anything. Come on, everyone is waiting for you,’’ she said and walked back into the kitchen to sit with her mother and brother.
‘’Was he watching that game again?’’ Sergio asked his sister.
Isabella laughed, ‘’Correct. You know how he is.’’
Alberto raised his eyebrows at his children and drawled, ‘’Yes, keep on talking. It’s not like I’m not right here.’’
Donatella contained her smile as she shook her head lightly. She filled the plates up with today’s dinner and did the same for herself when she was done with the rest. After a quick prayer, the family of four dug in.
‘’Don’t forget to pick up your suits from the tailor. I don’t want you two waiting until the last minute to get it.’’ Donatella reminded her husband and son.
While Sergio nodded, Alberto looked at his wife with puzzled eyes.
Donatella lowered her utensils. ‘’For the wedding. Don’t you remember? I already told you about it. I even showed you the invitation card.’’ Donatella sighed at her husband and met her daughter’s eyes. ‘’It’s so pretty, Isabella. I’ll show it to you later’’
Isabella looked up from her dinner and nodded at her mother. Her father’s caught her attention making her look at him.
‘’A wedding?’’ Alberto grumbled.
Unlike Isabella, Alberto did not like going to weddings. Too many people, too much talking. He was a man of few words and never sought out company. A wedding was a place where a lot of small talk happened. Something he was not a fan of.
After dinner was over, Isabella and her mother moved their conversation to the living room. Isabella took the card out of the envelope and read it.
‘’Vincenzo Acardi and Lisa De Lima,’’ she read the names on the cotton card out loud. ‘’He is not a De Rege?’’
‘’I never said he was,’’ her mother said.
‘’But I thought- You said the wedding is going to be at the De Rege mansion.’’
Donatella understood where her daughter’s confusion came from, ‘’That’s because Vincenzo is like a son to Celia.’’