Sum­mer In San Caprile

This up­lift­ing short story by An­gela Petch is set in the hills of Tus­cany.

The People's Friend Special - - COOKERY -

breath, Tina thought. It was un­real.

“I don’t un­der­stand.

What have I done?” she asked.

“You haven’t done any­thing. It’s prob­a­bly me.” As he spoke, he ran his hand through his hair. She’d no­ticed him do­ing that when­ever he was un­der stress.

“Can’t we talk about it?” “There’s no point, Tina.” “Is there some­body else?”

Tina was cry­ing now. She knew peo­ple were watch­ing and lis­ten­ing to their raised voices, but she couldn’t help it.

“There’s no­body else. I just need to get back home to Aus­tralia. I feel hemmed in. I’m sorry.”

****

Back at the house, she’d numbly watched him shove his few pos­ses­sions into his worn ruck­sack. The same one she’d shared when they’d trav­elled across Europe; the same one he’d been car­ry­ing when she’d met him in Thai­land.

He avoided her gaze while he packed and, as he left, he started to say some­thing, then shrugged, raised his hand in a half-hearted wave and, with that, he was gone.

Af­ter she’d cried her­self dry and un­der­stood he wasn’t go­ing to ac­knowl­edge her fran­tic text mes­sages, she took to her bed.

Af­ter two days she had to change the sheets be­cause they smelled of him, and the ef­fort wiped her out. Then the end-of­sum­mer rains ar­rived, beat­ing hard on the ter­ra­cotta roof tiles so that wa­ter dripped through and she had to place buck­ets un­der­neath.

She lay in her bed,

How would Tina cope here alone now Nick was gone?

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