• Michelle Fix

Chapter 1 - Mama

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

Though they loved one another, mother and daughter had a fraught and tense relationship when it came to who told who what to do and when. But cross one of them, and they’d defend one another to the death.

Alba was embarrassed by her mother’s behavior and tried to defuse the flare-up.

“Mama…..non fare cosi. We’re almost finished and the jacket is looking beautiful. Please adjust the sleeves for Roberta.” Nothing but stony silence. Alba clasped her hands together in a gesture of prayer. “Mama.” Francesca glanced over briefly and Alba shook her hands in a prayer gesture again. “Mama. Per favore.”

Roberta only knew basic Italian but loved the passion of the language and was actually delighted by this exchange. The accompanying hand gestures were particularly enticing. Her New England upbringing and social standing didn’t allow for public outbursts such as this. Protocol was to hold your emotions in, be civil, and go to therapy. Roberta was an effusive story-teller herself so welcomed this show of emotion and felt at ease in this environment.

“Alba. It’s fine, really. Francesca did a great job. I think it’s going to be tight enough.”

“Are you sure? I want that you be happy, Roberta.”

“Yes, yes. I think it’s perfect.” Ever the gracious peace-maker, Roberta didn’t want to make waves and could see Francesca was upset so turned to her and gestured “Perfetto, perfetto!” Francesca acknowledged her with a big smile then turned to Alba and said, “E perfetto” with a familiar look that put her daughter in her place.

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