Chapter 15 - Love Is Pain

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Sunday, August 27, 1967; six months later

It was a beautiful summer morning one weekend. The sun had just come up, and the summer flowers were blooming. Antonio, Alyssa, Alexander, and Rose had to attend to some royal duties that day and had to go to the palace. Rosa was feeling a bit ill, so she stayed home in bed.

Rose said to her before she left, "Remember, if you start to feel worse, call Nonna, and she will come straight home. Is that understood?"

"Yes," Rosa replied weakly.

"All right. I shall see you soon," Rose said, concerned and watching her sister closely.

Rosa nodded in reply, and then Rose walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. Rosa slowly got out of bed, one hand on her stomach, which had grown immensely, and the other on her back. She walked over to the window and watched as Rose stepped into the carriage just outside the bricked fence. The coachman closed the door after she was inside and jumped onto the carriage as it started to move. Rosa waved as she watched them leave and then turned back toward her bed. She went to move forward but froze when she got a strong, intense cramp in her lower back and abdomen. She had been having these cramps through the night, but this time, the pain was fiercer, more extreme. Rosa took a deep breath and leaned her right hand on her bedpost.

"You are okay. Everything is okay," she told herself nervously, trying to keep herself calm. She moaned out loud as the pain intensified and spread down to her thighs. Her breathing started to increase, and she moved towards the en suite, feeling the urge to pee. When Rosa reached the en suite, she closed the door behind her and gasped loudly when she heard a pop and then felt a warm gush of fluid pour out between her legs. Her eyes opened wide as she looked down at the white tiled floor, and the pain rapidly came. Rosa bent down, leaning her hands on the sink and cried in agony.

"Oh no, no. Not yet. Not now," she groaned, horrified, her whole body shaking from fear. She looked up at the reflection of herself in the mirror, and tears rushed down her face, her forehead perspiring. Rosa waved her hand over the sink, and a black telephone appeared. She picked up the handset and dialled the number for Giuseppe'sCafé.

"Giuseppe's Café, Giuseppe speaking. How can I help you?" Giuseppe answered on the other end.

"Can I please speak to ... to Francesco Dawson?" Rosa asked painfully, her left hand tightening around the side of the sink, her head pounding.

Giuseppe glanced over at Francesco, who was scrubbing the wooden floorboards in the café before he replied. "Sorry, dear. He's not here right now. Can I take a message?"

Rosa froze at his reply, and her heart constricted. "No," she breathed out with a quiver, her head starting to spin.

"Miss, are you okay?" Giuseppe asked with no concern, and Rosa hung up.

*****

"Hello," Giuseppe voiced when he heard the line go dead. He shrugged and then put the phone down and whispered to himself, smiling darkly at Francesco. "That ought to teach you for asking for more money, you brat."

*****

Rosa dropped to the floor, her arms wrapped around her stomach. "Francesco!" she cried out, terrified, and shut her eyes, tears falling down her hot cheeks.

*****

Francesco abruptly looked out one of the shop windows and up at the cloudy sky, hearing Rosa's cry. "Rosa!" he exclaimed rapidly, getting to his feet and speeding out of the store.

"Hey!" Giuseppe yelled out in protest.

But Francesco didn't hear him. He lifted off the ground and vanished into a red light.

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