One morning in Florence, we stood on platform #12, waiting for the high-speed train to arrive from Rome only to turn around and speedily take us right back there for our last two days in Italy—two bonus days that were added to our itinerary because Alitalia changed flights on us. Almost every other train was delayed or canceled that morning, due to strike. The out-of-towners were easy to spot that morning, since they were the panicking ones. The locals seemed used to it, got comfortable waiting, or ran off to make other travel arrangements.
I waited patiently. And people watched. As I’m apt to do on occasion.
The lady in the red dress was standing facing to her boyfriend/fiance/husband/lover (?). He held her hands in his and whispered into her ear. I could only imagine what romantic Italian sweet nothings he was saying to her. “I will miss your face so much.” “I want to feel your warmth and worship your body.”
(Or, you know probably not, “Don’t worry, I’ll pick up the kids from swimming.”)
Her train pulled up and the arrivers ran off the train and onto the streets of Florence while the departures made their way to their seats. The lady in the red dress and her companion didn’t seem to care. Or notice. They stood there and allowed everyone to move around them, as if they were the only two at the station that day.
When the train was ready to leave, she pulled away from him, dropped her right hand first and then her left. She started walking towards the stairs but hesitated, ran back to him, embraced him. She put her head to his chest and he sniffed the top of her head before kissing her.
One last time before you go.
(However you say that in Italian. I’m sure that’s what he said.)
And then she turned away, teary, and got on the train and he began walking away.
She looked back at him one last time before she left to find him doing exactly the same. She smiled. He smiled. And then she disappeared.
I smiled at my husband. He smiled at me.
And then we went to Rome.
(And we probably talked about who was picking the kids up from swimming.)