The Chance I Took

December 31, 2007
By Saran Keita, Rome, ZZ

Wow! I never knew Italian airports were soo big! Come on …ok I know that any person with common sense would know that airports are usually big but this one…
“Amy, Amy,” said a voice.
I didn’t want to answer because I knew who it was but I hated the name “Amy”. It looked so childish, luckily it was my middle name or I would have brought my mom to the law court to allow me to change name! My real name is Isabelle DeMarc. People that know me well call me Belle, because you know…Bella is too common so I said I wanted an original and chic name. My dad is half French so grandma bugged my mom all the way to her shoes for her to give me a French name. Of course my mom wasn’t that mad ‘cause in Miami they have to give you a middle name. My mom just happened to love the name “Amy” so you know the rest, but come on do I look like an Amy? Not at all!!! An Amy has short brown hair like the girl in front of me and an Amy has big brown eyes and a normal body. An Amy doesn’t have an overgrown body like I do, seriously people always think I’m seventeen when I’m only miserably fifteen. The woman who was calling me is my mom’s older sister and she and her family lived in Rome. She just loves to bug me with the name “Amy” even thought she knows that I hate it . She always does that if she doesn’t see me for a while, like a whole year. I just love her, she is just so friendly and cool.
“Ok fine, Belle!” Said Auntie Angela.
“Hey! Angela! Its soo good to see you again!” I said hugging her...
“Long time no see, how’s your mom?” She asked finally letting me go.
“Oh she’s fine,” I answered not really listening.
“Hey you got a tuff car Angela!” I said remembering the book “The Outsiders” that we read this year.
This was going to be so cool, spending a whole summer in Italy. We left the airport and we arrived in the highway. I liked the highway, it was mostly surrounded by pasture and grass and rarely you could even see some sheep. I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up we had arrived at her house and I was amazed. It was a two stories house with even a swimming pool( I could hear the splashing).When I entered the house there was a wave of cosiness that came through me and I liked it. Every one came in to meet the “special” guest and we had a nice lively chat. Tommy and Bernard, who were twins, actually changed over the past five years. Somehow it was good seeing them again, they were kind of like my big brothers. It was annoying though, because guys rarely looked at me in the first place and when I was out with Tom and Ben and a hot guy would actually look at me, which would make me feel happier, Tom or Ben would put an arm around me, give him a dirty look, and say to him “What are you looking at?”. When these rare events would happen I wouldn’t talk to them for like a whole week. I also remember that way back I was taller than them but now they were towering me, which made the whole “What are you looking at?” thing even stranger. It was weird though because I had always classified them as my ‘undersized cousins’.
“Look at that Tom, guess who’s small now,” said Ben in a joking way, which I did not appreciate.
We all had a nice dinner that night, talking about how life was before they moved to Italy and unimportant stuff like that. At around 9 p.m someone rang the doorbell and as soon as Auntie Angela opened the door like five people came in. I later found out that they were the neighbors who apparently were very good friend’s Auntie Angela’s family. There were the parents, Giovanni and Maria Santori, and then there was their eldest son, who I guessed must have been 17 or so and was called Marco. There were two girls too. One was their daughter, Anna, who might have been my age and another girl called Juliana, who looked 16. She looked more like a family friend who happened to be at the Santori’s house when they were about to leave to come here. I have to admit that Giovanni was…handsome. He had really short, dark brown hair and green eyes. The thing that intrigued me was that his face expression looked so calm and cool. When he greeted Uncle Jack he had a shy smile but as soon as he came close to the twins his smile turned into a grin. He had such perfect teeth…and very nice lips. When the twins presented me I blushed so hard that I must have been redder than a tomato, which was always hardly seen for mom is half-cast and dad is Caucasian. He simply said hi and turned back to the twins. After talking for five minutes they decided to go to the twin’s room and they all went upstairs. I already knew how this was going to end, but being naturally polite I followed them and sat down on a chair. They speaking Italian and I couldn’t understand a word of what they said. It was horrible. Then I decided to quietly leave the room, I mean they wouldn’t even notice it if I was gone. I slipped into my bedroom and went to sit down in front of the mirror. I stared at myself for like five minutes until I thought Ok! I get it! I’m not good looking! It’s horrible when you don’t look good, I mean in the first place you feel uncomfortable around people of the different gender. It’s also annoying when guys actually look at me for a while and then smirk. It’s not nice. A tear strolled down my cheek and I wiped it away. I’m in Italy to have fun…not remember the horrible laugh I have back there in San Francisco I told myself. I think that Juliana was Marco’s girlfriend, it was obvious by the way she was sitting next to him and also by the way that she kept on massaging his back. I started brushing my hair, one of the two only nice things about my body, when someone knocked on my door. I said come in and to my surprise Marco came in.
“Hi,” he said sitting down on my bed, “so you’re Tom and Ben’s cousin. Nice.”
It was unbelievable! His English was actually good.
“I guess so,” I replied shyly.
An uncomfortable silence broke in as we both sat there with nothing to say. One reason was that he wasn’t actually interested in me, I guess the twins forced him to come, and the second reason was that I was shy.
“So…how do you like Rome so far?” He asked trying to brake the silence.
“It’s ok, I guess,” I said not looking up.
“You guess?”
“Yes, I think.”
“You think?”
He chuckled a bit and sat up again. What was so funny? It’s not like I said a joke or something.
“What’s so funny?” I asked with sheer curiosity.
“Are you ever sure about what you think?”
I was getting really uncomfortable and I guess he sensed it since he then decided to leave and said goodnight. I put my PJ’s on and went to bed.

The next day Tom and Ben actually took me to the Fountain of Trevi. Tom said that you had to throw a coin in the fountain and make a wish. It seemed cool even though I wandered if the fountain did make your come wish true. I have wished so many things in the past and my wishes never came true, so now I was starting to doubt about my wishes. We threw our coins in the fountain, took a couple of pictures, and then decided to eat lunch. Our habit of fighting amongst us never left since at one point Ben, Tom and I were arguing on whether we should go eat at Burger King’s, Mc Donald’s, or eat at an Italian restaurant.
“Come on…I came to taste the good savors of Italian food and you guys wanna go to McDonald’s or Burger King? What is wrong with you guys?” I said.
“Well McDonalds is so good and it’s been a while we haven’t been there!” Claimed Tom.
“What are you talking about? We went there yesterday with Marco!” Exclaimed Ben.
“Ah I see….I guess yesterday was a long time ago,” I said sarcastically.
“Do I feel sarcasm in here? Plus, he never said long time ago, he said a while. Burger King is the best…the fries are good and the burgers are eatable,” said Ben getting heated up.
“You know what? Let’s all go eat where we want to eat!” Said Tom walking out on us.
Ben quickly joined him and walked out on me! This argument was really…umm…not smart and pointless, never the less I was furious at them for walking out on me. I tried to follow them but then I fell, which made the people around me laugh. It was so embarrassing.
“State bene signorina?” Asked this middle aged man helping me up.
I just nodded and said thank you in Italian. I looked around but the brainless twins were out of my sight. I just sighed. This is the best moment to get lost, I thought sarcastically. It was 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I had enough money to buy a water bottle. You might think why was she stupid enough to not bring a lot of money? Well, I supposed everything would have gone right on this trip so I didn’t bring much money. Silly me. I was lost. I also didn’t want to ask anyone help, I guess I’m like my mother; won’t accept help from anybody. I had no idea where I was, my phone didn’t receive any network and I was a bit hungry, so I just walked around and saw such nice buildings, like at one point I saw a plaque saying “Piazza Venezia” with big buildings and like 15 buses. It was a nice place. I decided to walk on so I took some turns on the right and then on the left and two hours later I found myself in front of this big building saying ‘FAO’. I was so tired and hungry. I just sat down next to the metro station and relaxed. Why? Why didn’t I do the simplest thing you can do when you get lost, which was just stay where you are so you are easily found? WHY???????? Was I that dumb? So I sat there with a hungry stomach which kept on rumbling every five seconds until all of a sudden my cell phone started ringing. A miracle! I thought. I answered the call.
“Belle, where on earth are you? We’ve been looking for you everywhere, and we tried to call you a billion times,” said Uncle Jack.
“Actually, I don’t know ,” I said getting up to see where exactly I was, “all I know is that I’m in front of a big building saying FAO. By the way my phone had no network so I couldn’t call you.”
“What? Ok. Look, just stay there and wait for us.”
“Ok,” I said and then hung up.
Finally! There was an end to my seemingly endless journey. I sat there on a wall, watching people pass by and realizing how different people were here in Rome. It was very fascinating hearing people speak a language you are just beginning to learn. The way they spoke it and how soothing their voices are. I was sitting there for like half an hour until uncle Jack finally arrived.
“Belle!” Said Uncle Jack getting out of the car, “Let’s go back home.”
I got in the car and Uncle Jack started driving. I was surprised to see Marco sitting there in between the twins.
“So how come you got lost?” He asked while driving.
“So you two misérables didn’t tell him how I imaginarily got lost?” I say turning to face Tom and Ben, “Anyways, I didn’t get lost. Those two guys at the back just got annoyed and walked out on me just like that and they left me behind without even realizing that I do not know where I am in this city of Rome!”
“You guys didn’t tell me that!” Said Uncle Jack looking at the mirror so he could see their faces.
“Well…we were mad but…” Said Ben trying to get out of it.
“And you know what? I was left there without knowing where to go and my phone had no network, I am starving and I’m tired…what else have you two guys caused me? Just pain!”
“You do look tired” said Uncle Jack taking a quick glance at me.
“Yeah, by the way, when I was trying to find them I fell down and I scraped my knee!”
I hoped that I made Tom and Ben feel bad, because that’s how they should have felt even though that I knew that a scraped knee wouldn’t do much. I was still very angry.

When we arrived Uncle Jack put some disinfectant on my knee and gave me a band-aid. After that he talked to Tom and Ben seriously about how they shouldn’t do things like that to me and that next time if I want to do something they should go along with my idea since I was their guest. It was nice seeing him talk to them like that. Finally there’s some justice in the world! I thought. I went upstairs, lied down on my bed, and closed my eyes.
“Never saw Jack so mad,” said Marco coming in my bedroom, which made me jump.
I should have closed my door.
“Really?” I asked shyly.
“Why are you so shy?” Marco asked with interest.
“Why not?” I asked deciding to chase the coward in me.
A friend of mine had once told me to take chances in life and I decided to take one…being confident for once in a while, like now.
“You haven’t answered my question.”
“I’m not shy…I guess.”
“And you’re back with the ‘I guess’,” he says making fun of me.
“Look, I’m not shy, I just have nothing to say to you.”
“Is that so?” He asked while raising an eyebrow.
“Yes. And I am sure about this.”
He smiled at me and came closer to me. Our faces were like two inches away.
“If you’re so sure this time why don’t you make sure you’re right by going to the movies tomorrow night with me?”
WAS HE ASKING ME OUT ON A DATE????? Calm down, calm down, I said to myself, this must be a joke from the twins as revenge.
“Are you asking me out on a date?” I asked as calmly as possible.
“What if I was?”
Wait…didn’t he already have a girlfriend?
“If you were I’d say yes,” I said flirting back, “but your girlfriend too would have to be ok with it.”
“What girlfriend?”
“You know…Juliana.”
“Always drawing to conclusions so quickly. She’s not my girlfriend, she likes me but we are not going out. I just let her be because I can’t be bothered to break her heart.”
“You’re so mean!” I exclaimed.
“I’ll come and pick you up tomorrow at 7 p.m.”
“You drive?”
“Yes, I have a macchinetta.”
He walked out of my room like this, without even saying good bye. Who cares anyways! I was going on a date with him!!!! A date with an actual hot guy!!! I have to make sure that the twins don’t ruin it. The twins eventually came in my bedroom and apologized to me. And, as if nothing had happened, we were all friends again.

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