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   Chapter 22 Growing Pains

Hidden Away [Mafioso Book#2] By Serena B. Light Characters: 10852

Updated: 2018-10-28 12:09

Going about her cottage, the woman brushed away her chin length white hair and went about the interior, gently humming to herself. Her dress swayed with her movements as she danced along to the music playing and just as her song finished her doorbell rang.

"Well, who could that be, Ms. Snowy?" She looked down at the little kitten before making her way to the door.

A wide smile overcame her face and her blue eyes lightened with joy at the man before her. He was the spitting image of her late husband with dirty blonde hair and misty green eyes; he looked just like his father when he was clean shaven, but the stubble sported on his jaw made him look more like himself than the deceased.

"Alessio, " She pulled him into a hug as he held on just as tightly.

"Hey, ma, " He buried his face in her shoulder.

His mother pulled him inside the house, making him sit down as she asked him what brought him all the way to France. He had to laugh at her antics as she placed various refreshments on the table before him.

"I thought I needed a vacation then decided to come to France, dropping by to see how you were doing as well, " Alessio played along. "How are you doing?"

"If you want to know whether I miss you and your brother, " She called from the kitchen. "Then yes, yes I miss you two and your ruckus, "

"Hey, we don't make that much of a ruckus anymore, "

"You two have such loud presences that it's enough to give me a headache."

Alessio laughed before picking up the kitten and placing it on his lap, playing.

Soon his mother sat down with him, having made a delicious meal enough for four as if though she knew her son would be coming to see her. While they ate, she asked how his brother was doing, and how her future-daughter-in-law was faring. She even asked about how work was going and if things had settled down in the Mafia. She asked about the Regnante's in turn, Arcangelo, Rosalie, Arsenio and his family, Salvatore and his business, Marco and his education, and then when she finally asked about Serafina, Alessio could do nothing but shrug and say she's fine.

"Still have that little crush on her, do you?" His mother, Myriam, chuckled as she put the dishes into the sink. Watching her son give her a weak smile before he began fidgeting with the table mats. "Tell me, "

"Well, know how she was supposed to get married-"

"-And your brother shot the groom on the wedding day on orders of her brother, "

"Yeah, so after that-"

"-You went to Brazil with her and spent the next 2 months there."

"Exactly and there-"

"-Things went too far, "

Alessio stared at his mother's back in shock as she was washing the dishes, and saying that as if though she just hadn't taken the words right out of his mouth.

"How do you-"

"-If I didn't know my sons what sort of a mother would I be?" She wiped her hands on the towel and chuckled at his incredulous expression. "I know, Alessio, I know."

"We said we would stop it once we were back in Italy, and we should have. We should have stopped, but we couldn't." Alessio swallowed as his mother sat down across from him, listening in silence. "And you know how long I've liked her, and it was all like a dream come true, waking up

the middle of a busy street. It's seeing their face in all the people you pass by. It's feeling okay for weeks at a time and then all of a sudden, you feel the ghost of their lips on your neck and their nails on your back and then you're choking on memories of their presence. It's waking up from dreams of them coming back and screaming in the middle of the night because your chest aches like a rotting tooth." Arcangelo told her, watching as she kneeled before the banister, her head pressed to the wooden structure, trying to regulate her irregular breathing, knowing the truth behind her father's words. "Stop romanticising pain. Stop using people like objects. A heart isn't a cigarette – you can't just light it up and stomp it out when you're done. Don't act like anything about heartbreak is beautiful because I wouldn't wish that feeling upon my worst of enemies. Least of all my own daughter, "

Getting up from the sofa, both Arcangelo walked over to his wheezing daughter, kneeling before her and pulling her into his arms, knowing that they should have been more vigilant, should have been there for her more, should not have let her go to Brazil and instead spent time with her, and maybe, just maybe, they wouldn't be here.

"You know what your mom and I call this sort of pain?" He murmured into his daughter's hair, hugging her tight. "We call this 'growing pain' because you are both breaking and healing all at once. You're growing."

"By the time the pain leaves you completely, you are older, and wiser, experienced. You are no longer the person you once were and you never will be, you have grown and can't shrink back to what was." Her father stroked her hair, feeling her tears on his skin. "You will experience such growing pains throughout your life: from your friends, boyfriend, husband, children, everyone and anyone. But after everything, it is entirely your choice to grow bitter and resenting or to open your heart and be forgiving. Because after all the pain people cause you, in the end, they all allowed you to grow into someone stronger, someone more knowledgeable, "

"And just like every pain, growing pains end too, "

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