More to come
I awoke feeling completely disoriented. For a few scary seconds, the disgustingly outdated wallpaper of the apartment was something completely alien. Then I remembered the time jump and my racing heart stopped pounding in my ears. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and let my gaze trail up to the mirror on the vanity. I looked disheveled and utterly out of place. It was almost eerie to me that every detail in the glass was completely crisp and perfect. After a second of reflection, I got out of bed and opened my closet door. I didn’t want to go see Luca again in the scandalous leggings. Fortunately, I had a few maxi-skirts along for the summer, so I slipped on my favorite lavender skirt with a white v-neck tee. I’d grown a little since I’d last worn these clothes, and the skirt was almost too small, but I ignored it. I was only going to be here for a week; it was Luca’s clothes I needed to worry about. I could easily throw him in another of Dad’s old t-shirts, but pants? Yeah, my skinny jeans would not do him a whole lot of good.
I walked over to the wall mirror and stared at myself for a long time. It felt so different to have my hair down after a couple of years of wearing it in a medieval hairnet. At the same time, this was how I normally wore it here. After another minute of indecision, I wrapped it in a donut bun on the back of my head and went to check on Luca.
He was still fast asleep when I tiptoed into the room. He looked so dang cute when he was sleeping. I considered rummaging around for a sketchbook to draw him, but I figured that’d wake him up. I sat down in the recliner and tucked my feet up under me, just enjoying watching his strong shoulders rise and fall as he slept.
“It appears that a beautiful angel watched over me while I slept.” Luca mumbled, his beautiful green eyes opening a second later.
“Oh,” I gasped, feeling guilty, “I didn’t mean to wake you. I was just considering how perfect a sketch that would have been.”
“This is so strange.” Luca said, a bit of apprehension clouding his face. “I can’t wrap my mind around it. I keep thinking I’ll wake up in my bed in the castello.”
“That’s just how Gabi and I felt when we first arrived.” I said, feeling partly defensive and partly guilty for making him experience the utter confusion that I knew firsthand. “Well,” I said after a short pause, “Should I start some breakfast?”
“Breakfast?” Luca asked.
“Breaking our fast.” I explained, once again feeling a wave of guilt for using a word he didn’t know.
“Ah, yes please.” Luca returned, standing. “I shall help you.” I gave him a knife and a loaf of bread and set him to cutting. I figured I shouldn’t break out cereal yet, but we could maybe try toast. Back home in Boulder, I would have blared music while I fixed my breakfast in an attempt to wake Gabi up. I smiled as I edged around Luca toward my phone.
“Luca, would you like some music to accompany us as we work?” I asked, grinning mischievously.
“Do you plan to bring in a band to break our fast?” He asked, raising a quizzical eyebrow.
“Something like that.” I mumbled. I searched my music library, trying to find something that Luca might appreciate. All the while, I could feel his eyes curiously watching my unfamiliar device. Eventually, I decided on Phillip Phillips’ Home. It seemed appropriate.
I pressed play and Luca’s eyes widened. The guitar chords emanated around the room for a minute before the vocals started in.
“Is there a person in here?” Luca asked, a little loudly.
“It’s coming from here.” I held up the phone. He took it carefully and stared, awestruck, at the screen. “We call it recording.” I said gently, trying not to laugh at his childlike wonder. “The man in the song sang and played his instrument and captured the sound so that we could play it over and over again.” It took me off guard for a second, realizing the complexity of technology for the first time, really. It had always just been a part of my life. I didn’t even bat an eye at the fact that I could poke a piece of glass and make it play music.
“How can you capture sound?” Luca asked, bewildered.
“To be honest, I don’t really know. I’ve always had electronic music, so it doesn’t seem strange to me.” I tried to explain everything as simply as possible without sounding condescending, but it was difficult. I was in my element; Luca was not.
We ate a simple breakfast, Luca in awe of the toaster and the refrigerator, the plastic plates and the paper napkins. Afterwards, I turned on the news, another habit from before that I fell back on.
“…last seen with Dr. Manero yesterday afternoon.” The announcer was saying, “Police have combed the area, but Dr. Betarrini and her daughters, Gabriella and Evangelia, seem to have disappeared into thin air.” Luca’s head snapped toward me from behind the TV, where he’d been examining the tangle of cords.
“Lia? Why is this box talking about your family?” His eyes were wide with concern. I sushed him quickly, staring intently at the screen.
“Dr. Manero intends to search the site for any criminal action, and he suspects that the Betarrinis have indeed compromised this priceless treasure.” The news anchor droned, sounding rather bored.
“That little weasel!” I yelled, knowing full well that this was the most logical outcome of our disappearance. It still stung though, this was Mom’s big breakthrough and Manero was already getting his filthy hands into it.
“What is this about?” Luca asked, slightly impatiently.
“Manero is always blocking Mom. I know it doesn’t matter anymore, but I still wish I could somehow give her credit for it.” I said, frustrated as all get out.
“What if this Manero person comes looking for you here?” Luca asked, focused on the more practical issue.
“Yeah, you’re right.” I said, “We need to get out of here.”