by Melinda Gallo

A cappuccino and olives

Tonight I met Debora at the Cibrčo bar for a drink. The Cibrčo restaurant, not the bar where we met, is well known by tourists as a "must go to" restaurant when they come to Florence. She ordered a cappuccino and I ordered a Bloody Mary. When they brought us a plate with bowls containing three types of olives and a few pizzettine (small pizzas) for us to enjoy, we burst out laughing. Who has a cappuccino with an aperitivo?

It was great to see her again. I only left a month ago, but she wasn't absolutely convinced that I'd be back even though we already set up the apartment with Simone and bought a few household items. While we were in the US, we didn't talk at all and exchanged only a few emails.

She told me about her dad's health and his latest doctor visit in Milan. He has a tumor on his liver and they're going to operate. I sat and listened, not wanting to say anything. I've been in her position. All the hope you live on and all the reality you avoid. I don't want to share my experience with her; I want to protect her. So, I sit and listen.

She looks out then window when strong emotions come up and I look away. We both reach for an olive and she sips her cappuccino. "E' buono!" (Tastes good!) I say...and we laugh.

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