“Mia madre viene per restare,” he whispers, tears glistening in his beautiful dark eyes.
What? His mother is what? Restare…resting…gone to her rest…dead? Hallelujah, the selfish old crone is dead. He’s free, at last; we’re free.
I think back to when he took me to meet her for the first time. Behind the charmingly crumbling facade of Calle dei Furlani 4232, through a shabby wooden door, was a courtyard surrounded by tall apartment buildings. With a trickling fountain and olive trees in huge terracotta pots, it was a cool, tranquil oasis in the middle of noisy, vibrant Venice. And then, there she was, his mother, sitting on a hard kitchen chair on the stone slabs. My pleasurable anticipation faded as she gazed, malevolently, at me, the latest girlfriend.
“When? Quando?” I ask.
Two weeks? She’s been dead for two weeks?
“Are you sure?” I ask. This happens a lot, but this time I need to be sensitive.
“It is sudden,” he shrugs. “I am not expecting. I am in shock and do not have words.”
I pull him into my arms and murmur comforting words even though I want to jump for joy.
She did her best to split us up but our love proved too strong for her.
“I will help you prepare a room to welcome her,” he says.
Hang on, something’s not right. I replay his words, slowly, in my head, eventually coming up with the correct translation.
“My mother is coming to stay.”
To stay, to stay, damn it, not dead.
“This time, I’m sure, you will be friends,” he says.
Highly unlikely, I think, but for you I will try, again, to make friends with the woman who behaves so badly because she loves her son so well.