I’m a teacher, and so this time of year is always crazy (WHY did I volunteer to teach summer school?…). There is a borrowed picture (the ship) in this chapter. Also, I think I finally got the files straightened out, so I don’t need to hunt for photos.
“Alonzo,” Angelica spoke gently, but sternly to her son, “Alonzo, it has been a month. The ship leaves tomorrow. You have to tell her.”
Alonzo looked at his feet. “Mama, I can’t. I don’t know what to say.”
“Tell her the truth.”
“Do it, Alonzo. She will never forgive you if you don’t. You can’t just break her heart.”
“Do it Alonzo.”
Alonzo nodded and looked at the floor.
Alonzo smiled shyly and nodded, avoiding answering the question. His head spun and his stomach twisted into knots. He took Nicoletta’s hands in his, and looked into her deep eyes. They had been friends since they were children. Her family’s mill supplied the semolina for the bakery and their mothers were distant cousins. They secretly loved one another, but both were too afraid to admit it to the other.
“What is it Alonzo?” she asked gently placing her hand on his arm.
Alonzo stared at the ground, like a nervous school boy. He looked up at Nicoletta and leaned in, kissing her softly on the cheek. “Nicoletta…” he whispered quickly and nervously, “There is something I have to tell you. Ever since we were children I have loved you and I hate that I have waited until now to tell you. It’s just that, tomorrow, I will be leaving for America. And before I go…”
He knelt and pulled a small ring that had belonged to his grandmother from his pocket. “Please, Nicoletta, please marry me. Go with me to America. We can open a bakery there, and have a house and raise a family. Please be my wife.”
Nicoletta stood silently and still in the plaza, staring at Alonzo. Slowly, she began to shake her head. “No.”
Alonzo stood up. He could feel his ears reddening partly with sadness, partly with embarrassment. He nodded. “I understand. I just…I thought…I…I’m sorry, Nicoletta. Please though, never forget me. You know I’ll never be back to Monte Vista. Goodbye, Nicoletta.” He turned and began to run home as quickly as he could.