The two ventured out in the evening before they were to depart home, and went out for coffee and spoke of things. Julianna asked her spouse what the problem was as he had seemed to come to be isolated. He in turn responded, Nothing is wrong, just homesick I suppose. The two hadnt been speaking much in recent months, Julianna had much work to be done, and her husband was just sitting on the side. He didnt realize how to tell Julianna that he had been having an affair for some time now. Julianna was a beautiful girl, the two had met in high school in Florence. The first words he said to her was Bella Regazza. The two had slowly started drifting in recent years, he had been working as a car dealer and was layed off suddenly, and with Juliannas work, decided to go on the trip with her. The two started to speak over coffee at a caf in Oslo, the atmosphere was somewhat depressing, the lights were dim and there were others in the caf who seemed to live lonely lives and not have much to say. The two spoke quietly as not to be heard and the silent jazz music was playing in the background. Julianna looked at her husband and said, do you love me? Giovanni smiled and asked, what kind of question is that? She replied, A question which I need to know. We have become so distant, and at times I wonder if we were ever truly in love or whether it was a high school romance which just kept us feeling safe. The husband was not used to these questions, and as her lit up a cigarette said to her in reply, I do love you but things have changed. Julianna replied, I know. The most recent time we had a conversation that was meaningful was back at your parents house last Christmas in the outskirts of Naples. Giovanni said in reply, I think we need to go our separate ways for a while. The two had been in Norway. Julianna was doing research on a mammoth which was recently found. Giovanni at times felt like his life was stagnant and although he had feelings for Julianna he felt as though something was missing.
Giovanni had been seeing a girl from Oslo for some time, and Julianna was definitely aware that something was not right in their marriage. She told him that she too had started feeling for someone else and that it is possible it may be love. Giovanni replied to her,
I have something to admit to you in that case my first love
What is it?
I have been seeing someone else for a few months time now
Julianna did not react with hostility but seemed to understand the situation. She admitted back that her feelings too had been growing stronger for someone she worked with, and felt that it was possible it was love. The more they spoke, she claimed, the more she felt passion for the person she had only just met about a year earlier.
Giovanni said he understood, and although the two were in an awkward situation, Giovanni informed his wife that it would be best perhaps if they went their own ways for some time. The pursued to leave the caf, as they did the sound of Piano Man could be heard being played. Julianna laughed and said, Do you remember when this song was always being played at that pub we used to go to in our younger years? He replied with an earnest laugh, yes. The two hugged and left each other.
The following day Giovanni booked his flight back to his hometown of Florence, really not knowing what to expect. He was jobless, he had nowhere to stay, and his mistress was far from aware that he was now going to be pursuing more than just an affair. She had visited him in Oslo numerous times while Julianna was at work but never stayed more than a few days, and she never expressed the feelings she had for him.
The following day when arriving in Florence, Giovanni called his mistress and told her the events which had occurred with his wife, and that they were now separated. She paused, and not understand what the problem was, pursued to ask.
Is something wrong Claudia?
No, well yes, you see Giovanni, I am married as well. I have not been in contact because me and my husband have made mends for our past mistakes. We both were being unfaithful for each other but the truth is we do love each other.
I understand, he replied.
Giovanni spent the next months staying with his old room mate who was single. They spent the nights going on the town, almost endless nights of intoxicating meaningless nights, meeting women whom Giovanni did not consider any more than one night stands. He felt as though something was missing but he did not know what.
Julianna had almost finished her work and was about to head home to her home of Italy as well. She had already arranged to stay with her parents in a suburb of Venice. Her parents were very traditional Catholics and did not approve of the situation between her and her husband. Julianna had recently found out the man she had been talking too was not interested back as she had felt he had when they were speaking.
It seemed in a matter of months the two who thought the marriage between them was over was in fact leaving them both depressed and lost in life. When Julianna got home her mother kissed her and said, Julianna my angel, is there any way you and Giovanni could reunite?
I do not think so mom, we have just grown apart.
Marriage is for life Julia, you know how your father feels about this situation.
I know mom
Juliannas father refused to speak to her after he found out what had happened. He did not believe in divorce on any terms.
Months had passed, and Giovanni had started working again as a salesman at a Fiat dealership outside of Florence. Julianna had been out of work for some time, not because she was layed off but because her field of work only calls her when a find is made. One day Julianna was on her bed reading her old yearbook and a piece of paper fell out from it that she had never been aware of. It read, To my dearest Julianna, I love you more than words can explain and want it to be you and I forever. If at any time we stray please remember the times we had in Florence. Remember all of those nights in the car just driving around with no particular place to go, but nothing more than our company mattered. I love you Julianna, and I could not live my life without you.
Julianna broke out crying and realized that she had never stopped loving her husband. Life had thrown obstacles and the two had forgotten how much they had at one time had such passion for each other. Giovanni had realized this months back, which he had made a great mistake but figured that by this point his wife would want nothing to do with him again, especially after admitting to an affair. One day he himself had been walking around Florence, right near the Church of St. John the Baptist, and reminisced the time he had first kissed Julianna in the rain in that very spot while they were only fifteen years old.
Julianna tried calling her spouse but the number had changed. Even old friends of the two admitted that they had not heard from Giovanni in a while, and the last they knew he had moved back home with his parents. At this point she realized if she wanted to reunite with her first and only love she would need to go see him.
Julianna packed her things and took a train to Florence, about a two hour train ride from her home. She was very nervous as she did not know what to expect, had Giovanni found someone else, she wondered. At last she arrived and heard the familiar sound of the market right outside of the train station. It was in fact one of her favorite places to hang out when she was in her youth. Although the two originally came from different areas of Italy, the two had come from families with money and sent them to prestigious boarding schools in Florence, the St Francis of Assisi School of higher learning. The father of Julianna always had wanted her to be a nun. She never had any desire.
As she walked the streets which she had not been to in so long, as the evening began to break and the sun was setting in the west, a crescent moon began to rise to the east and the planet Venus could be seen sparkling right over it. She came to walk by St. John the Baptist Church, and stopped.
It is him, she thought to herself.
Giovanni had come to this spot for some time now, mostly feeling as though he had ruined his life for good. As he sat there smoking a cigarette she sat next to him.
He said Good evening regazza.
Buona notte, she replied.
What brings you to this bench with me tonight?. Giovanni had still not raised his eyes and still did not realize who was with him.
Julianna replied, If we ever lose sight of our love, know that we are and forever will be in love.
Giovanni raised his eyes and exclaimed, Julianna! I have not been able to stop thinking of you.
Neither have I, my love. Our lives have had ups and downs, we have not always been perfect to each other, but we are and always will be perfect for each other.
I just am so sorry. I love you and that will never change
Do not apologize Gio, it happened and now it is just you and I, in the same spot we once so passionately kissed in our younger years.
He looked at her in the eyes and the two began passionately kissing. The crescent moon was brighter now and the stained glass on the St. John the Baptist Church was reflecting on them. The two walked away and holding hands glanced down the road which they had known so very well in their younger years. This is love, they both thought, and never again would they let life get in the way of that.