“Ah, here she comes.”
“Who?” Vittoria asked.
“Pushi. Our cat, who you recently named. Do you hear her?”
I bent down, put my hand out. Pushi approached in tentative steps. “Meooooow. Meoooow!” she cried.
“Oh, yes! I hear her.”
“As usual, she’s looking for something good to eat. She’s sniffing my spaghetti.”
“You’re eating right now?”
“No, I just finished making it and put the plate on my chair near the computer, and since it was time, I dialed your number. And I was surprised that you answered because I didn’t think you would, since it’s the weekend.”
“They haven’t come yet,” she said.
“Don’t worry. They’re packed in buses and are on their way.”
“Yes, that’s true. You’re in Italy, so you know about these family gatherings.”
“They all just love to huddle together in a tight group, side by side.”
“Uh-huh. And when I tell my mother that I want to stay in my room she looks at me funny. She thinks I'm crazy. Of course she thinks you’re crazy too.”
“Ha! And she has three good reasons.”
“What are they?”
“One, I’m an outsider, not at all Italian. Two, she knows I intend to put my hands on her daughter. Three, if I can’t be with you I prefer solitude. No matter how long it takes.”
She laughed. “I’m glad. So when are you going to come and take me out of this place, where I don’t belong?”
I paused. “Soon.”
“You can count on it.”