From the Sky - Part XI

Well, Joe and I just dove right into love, and we seemed to be doing just fine. I wanted to say that. Instead, I finished my liqueur, the warm taste of hazelnut caressing my tongue, and asked: "Was Aunt Rae ever in love?"

"No. There were boys that breezed in and out of her life, but she is too fiercely independent. She's avoided the curse love so often brings."

"But Zia…"

"Yes, our Zia; our mystery."

"Who was her great love?"

"We don't know. Not with certainty. She was pursued by so many! Men buzzed around her like bees around the hive. There was Polish boy, Jackie I think his name was. An Italian boy named Anthony. Papa liked him. There was an Irish boy, too. Was it Patrick, or Peter? You weren't the first Tarentella to fall for an Irishman. She was seeing them all at the same time. And then she stopped," she said, snapping her fingers. "Just like that, she turned them away. Maybe it was Papa dying. Maybe it was Gio's self-imposed exile. All we know is that after Gio's serenade, Zia turned her back on love. The why of the matter is a mystery."

"Tell me, Aunt Sal, about the serenade. Zia won't speak of it. Rae has given me only glimmers. Most of what I've heard I've heard from others, old friends of the family who were there."

She nodded, poured us more Frangelico, and said: "It is time you learned why love is so dangerous."

Hazelnut made better...

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