One Week Later:
This week has been the hardest I have ever had to endure.
My Nonna— following my beloved Nani's wake and funeral— asked —no, begged— me to please follow through with the unspoken promise my Nani and I had made just before her death.
I was surprised to learn that she had known about the silent promise my Nani and I had made. But I was even more surprised to learn she wanted me to honor it. Even though it wouldn't make a difference. My beloved Nani was gone. What does it matter if I am happy or not? She won't know about it. She's gone. Leaving me behind.
Why would anyone else care if I am happy or not? I am stuck—drowning— living in this miserable life… I am pretty sure my happiness died along with my Nani.
No one dared ask what the promise was — whether it was out of fear of getting screamed at or a knife thrown at them — and I could care less which it was, following her wake and burial.
Only Edward and my Nonno ever spoke to me. Hell, even Emmett had given me some space, funnily enough, he was the one who was worried I would get depressed when everything was said and done.
Now, on the day that we were all due to fly back to New York. My Nonno called me into his office to speak to me alone.
It was just after breakfast, and I had made a move to go back upstairs to finish packing when he spoke.
"Isa, I would like a word with you, alone, tesoro… " He said, as Jasper, Emmett, and Edward made a move to get up from their seat. "Vorrei solo una parola con mia nipotina. Da solo." He adds.
I nod in response, following him to his office as we exit the dining room. I silently followed him towards the office, taking the seat before his large desk, waiting for him to tell me what was going on.
He proceeded to take out a large seal, and necklace with the Swantorini emblem in a palm-size square box. "Seeing as things have changed, and you have taken charge as head of the famiglia, I would like you to begin wearing this…" he said lifting the thin chained medallion to show it to me.
I gasp, at the sight of the familiar silver Swan designed over delicate intricate webbing, and a large oval-shaped sapphire. "È quella ... la collana di mia Nani?" I asked in disbelief. (Is that...my Nani's necklace?)
"Certo che lo è." He replied glassy-eyed. "Voleva che tu avessi questo, prima di morire."(Indeed it is/ She wanted you to have this before she died.)
A wave of emotion hit me as I stared at my Nani's beloved necklace. It was the necklace her beloved Cenni gave her just a year of meeting her, as a sign of affection. If she had left it for me it meant only one thing. She wanted me to remember her firmest belief, what she thought to be the origin of all family bonds and ties. Love.
Everything was either love or hate to her, she saw the world black or white, there was no gray. Either or. No other option.
When she died, all I could think of was of the pain her absence was leaving behind. I never for the life of me would have thought that she would leave this for me.
"Quando ti ha dato questo?" I asked, swallowing thickly.(When did she give you this?)
Aware that I might not want to hear the answer.
"Poco dopo esserti sposato con Anthony…" he replied, softly. (Shortly after you got married to Anthony…)
I felt my heartbreak as I realized my beloved Nani died thinking I was left safely in the care of Edward, when in fact I had yet to accept his half-assed proposal.
I realized it was just another thing that I had failed her in. "Oh, Nani…I failed you..." I mumbled as a sob escaped through my lips, as I lowered my head and covered my face with my hands in a poor attempt to cover my heartbreak.
"No, no, mi tesoro, you haven't failed her. You gave my mother the best last few hours on this earth, and for that, I will always be grateful." I heard my Nonno say, as he pulled me into a fierce hug.
After I finished speaking with Nonno, and he secured the necklace around my neck, he allowed me to go upstairs to finish packing my things.
Though I had already finished packing my things, I rechecked to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything, before heading downstairs to check if everyone was ready, which they were.
My Nonna and Nonno informed me that they would be leaving Modena to stay in Naples for a while, needing time away from their home after what happened a week prior.
Though I felt disappointment, I knew they needed time away from here to heal.
Even now as we all climbed into the cars, and headed for the airport to go back to the States, and the tears that slid down my face I still hoped that one day we could all come back here to find happiness like I had when I was little
Eleven Hours Later:
If someone asked me a month ago if I thought I would be back in Westhaven, New York any time soon, I probably would have laughed in your face, before walking away. Now that I am here, no one will stop me from doing what I should have done a month and a half ago.
Jacob Black, tonight will be your last night alive…