Perfume

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I couldn't stop laughing once I was seated in the car. The gorgeous bouquet of red roses on my lap and Vincenzo In a navy blue mock neck sweater and plaid mid-gray formal pants sat beside me.
I felt anxiety rush through my veins in a speed so jarring that I burst into a fit of laughter that I couldn't control. Vincenzo looked at me first, but then he looked away, and he hasn't looked at me since.

However, his large hand on my thigh is reassuring as he drives.

He speaks for the first time as my laughter quiets down, and tears begin rolling down my cheeks.
"I have to ask a stupid question for the sake of conversation, so bear with me." He says, and I turned away from him, feeling more hot tears pouring down my face.
"Is everything alright, Bambi?" His tone is so soft, so gentle, without looking at his face, his hard empty eyes, his concern was believable.

"My dad kicked me out, or I left; no, I left, I think." I stammered out the explanation. "And my mom is dead, and that sucks," I whined out, tears free falling as I attempted to wipe them down with my hoodie.

Vincenzo reaches into his glove department and takes out a box of tissues, keeping his eyes on the road.
He places them on my lap beside the roses.
"You cry enough to keep tissues in your car?" I asked jokingly, and he looked at me for a second.
"Something like that." He says, but the lack of gentleness in his voice implies many things that both made me afraid and excite me.

I wiped off my tears, "every day, I go to school, and I think, one day, I'll make it, and I'll bring her. I'll buy her a first-class ticket here, and get her the best medical care, the best dresses, take her skating, watch and reenact all her favorite movie scenes and hold her, and be held by her. And now she's gone, she's gone, and I don't know how I'm supposed to-" I could feel the panic rise in my lungs, burn me from the inside out until I'm struggling to breathe.

"I always knew the chances of her dying- were high; they've always been high- we knew she had cancer long before we could afford to treat it, but god, I didn't I-think she could die." I rambled, feeling the burning of panic continues to plague me.

"Breathe with me," Vincenzo commanded suddenly, interrupting my sharp intake of breaths.
"Breathe with me, Sara." He repeats himself. "In 1,2 out 3,4," he instructs before he following the pattern himself.

I held on to his hand, and I began slowly following his breathing pattern.
Once I was calm, he turned to look at me.
"I don't know how to console people when they lose others. I can only say I'm sorry for your loss and hope you'll find comfort in sharing your memories of her with me."
"You don't know what it's like.." I said and felt myself shrink into the seat.
He doesn't say anything.
"You don't know how this feels," I said, and he frowns. It's such a strange expression on his face, fair from the usual indifference. It looked so practiced.

"No, I don't know."

"I'm sorry-" I said aggressively, wiping tears on my face because I didn't mean to break down like this.
"Don't be sorry." Vincenzo's deep voice is comforting.
"You shouldn't ever be sorry for being upset."

"Where are we going?" I asked, "anywhere you want to go." He says, and my hand passed the flowers to search for his larger one on my thighs. I entwined our hands, my soft ones with his large rougher ones.

I turned to look outside to an old building with many police officers and an ambulance standing outside.

"where do you want to go?"
"Huh?" I asked, my eyes never leaving the scene as we drove past it. A black body back on a stretcher was rolled out of the building by two burly men.
"Where do you want to go?" Vincenzo questioned; I turn to him as we drove past the scene.
"I'm hungry," I complained before I wrap my hands around his arm, snuggling into him as near as the car would let us.
" there's this really good diner nearby," I said, recognizing the street sign now monergary drive.

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