The alarm clock goes off. It’s time to wake up. I don’t think there is a more annoying sound in the whole world than an alarm clock going off in the morning. The sound sets off a series of motions inside my head. I sleepily wait for my turn to go to the bathroom. I notice that my roommates keep glancing at me, smiles flickering across their lips. What are they laughing at?
I brush my teeth and wash my face and I start thinking about something else. I make my bed then leave to go and have breakfast. It’s a quick trip from the room to Salone. Whilst walking I notice the colours in the sky: orange, red, purple. Another dawn in paradise. When we get there I start to realize that something is wrong. “Are you going to tell me what’s up or not?”
“Luca, your family are coming to visit you today.”
My heart stops, my eyes glaze over and my thoughts start to spin. I lose my appetite. Wave after wave of emotion sweeps over me. Memories of my Dad, my Mother, my little sister keep swirling all around me uncontrollably. I finish breakfast in a hurry and I head back into the room to have a shower and I quickly get ready for this very important day. I almost can’t believe it. It’s been ten long months since I last saw them, ten long months that I’ve been waiting for this moment.
My legs start to tremble. I don’t know how today is going to go. I’m a bit scared. I mean it’s not fear. It’s more excitement.
For anyone that’s been to San Patrignano, they’ll know what the wait is like. Anything could happen, it really is a day that is shrouded in mystery.
I get down into my sector, Grafiche. My friends surround me, hugging me, happy for me. “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine, everything will be ok”. Everyone is talking at the same time and I don’t hear a thing: people move their mouths but my thoughts are elsewhere.
I sit down and try to distract myself with some work. My anxiety doesn’t get the better of me though and finally, after what feels like a million years, I hear some voices that are familiar to me. Finally I realize what’s going on.
You probably want to know what my story is. First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Luca, I’m twenty two years old and I’ve been at San Patrignano for ten months. I’ve been waiting for today for almost a year, to spend a whole day with my family.
The first person to reach me is my sister, who starts running as soon as she sees me and instead of slowing down when she comes near, she runs even faster. “Luca I’ve missed you so much!!” She kisses me then looks directly into my eyes, which slowly turn to hers. Something breaks inside of me: the last piece of the mask that was my old character. I’m finally ready.
The others finally arrive. My father hugs me tight and starts to cry. I don’t know what to say. I start to say that I’m sorry. He’s red in the face; he moves his hand to his mouth, his eyes, which are the colour of ice, become even more transparent. Then it’s my mother’s turn, then my brothers, then it’s the turn of my older sister. Then I turn back to Irene. I’m happy to see everyone but I have an irresistible urge to look back into her eyes. It’s like we have never been apart. In an instant I remember everything: my “complicated” parents, the orphanage, the adoption, my new mother and father. The hard times. My life is reflected in her eyes. Always. I could fill pages with all the memories. One day I’ll tell you everything my friend. Just give me a second to breathe and to remember everything.