by Melinda Gallo

Meeting up with an old friend

I have walked past the mosaici (mosaic) shop behind the Duomo a few times since we got back from California looking for Martina. The guys that I ran into near Piazza Pitti back in October told me that my friend Martina worked at this mosaici shop.

We used to all work together: Martina was the store manager, the three guys (Marzio, Luca, and Gabrielle) did all the marble work, and I developed the customer database.

I stood outside the window of the mosaici shop and saw a blonde woman inside. I couldn't see her face because she was looking down. I had decided today that I would go into the shop no matter what and ask if Martina worked there since the last few times I came by I didn't see her.

As I walked in, I closed the door behind me and smiled at her. She screamed as she ran toward me to hug me. "Cosa ci fai qui?" (What are you doing here) I told her that my husband and I moved to Florence over a year ago and that I've been looking for her for quite some time.

We talked for over an hour about what has been going on these past 4+ years that we haven't seen each other or talked. The last time I talked to her was in October 2001 when I came to Florence for a month. She was at Careggi hospital and had just given birth to her son Niccolò.

We exchanged cell numbers and plan to have lunch sometime next week with the other guys. It was great to see Martina again. It's as if no time has passed. It'll be fun to rehash old times: we had a lot of fun working together. I don't remember much about working together, but I do remember us laughing a lot.

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