I’ve never met Vittoria’s mother, nor the rest of her family. But I imagine Signora always keeps her eyes open and is quick to spot anyone suspicious in the neighborhood. Anyway, a few weeks after Vittoria was locked up in the monastery I dialed her parents in California because I’d decided to confront them. What did I have to lose?
A woman answered. I knew it was Vittoria’s mother.
“May I please speak to your husband?”
“Who is this?”
“I’m James. Your daughter’s lover.”
I heard a sound I took to be a gasp. Such things are never said aloud. Never.
“My daughter, she has no lover. Leave us alone.”
“I know your husband has put Vittoria in a monastery in Italy. Please let me speak to him.”
In the background I heard a man’s voice.
“He no speaka inglese.”
“Ma’m, I know he speaks perfect English, and so do you. Now please put him on.”
“I need to talk to your husband.”