English Version Part six
It was dark and no moonlight filtered through the curtains. The silence was oppressive. Rose was sleepless and couldn’t find any peace of mind. In many years this was the first time she was panicking about what tomorrow could bring. She searched the phosphorescent arms of the clock on the night table, ‘It is not yet two o’clock,’ she thought.
She rose from the bed and went to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. Then she sat at the bay window overlooking Newcastle harbor. It was her favourite spot from where she usually admired the view of the city.
In the distance, she saw the lights of seven ships anchored outside the harbor, queuing on the choppy waters, waiting for the time to enter the port to unload their cargos of iron ore at the steelworks. At this time in the night, the city below was still and somnolent.
The only place showing activity was the steelwork furnaces. She noticed the incandescent floodlights illuminating the area and the white and red clouds of vapour raising high in the sky. The docks, not far away, would be the next to be awakened at dawn, when the new working shift will start with their activities the morning life in the city.
Rose remembered how she came to like this place on the first day Angelo and her came to live in this residential area. It has been Angelo’s idea.
One day he told her, “It is time for me to retired from work and to live a more peaceful life. Don’t you see how beautiful view we have from here?
“This hill stands high above the rest of the city. From here we can see the ocean breaking onto the high cliffs of Bar Beach. Look up in the sky, Rose. Do you see those young people gliding suspended from the wind for hours? They look like superb birds, don’t they? Yes here is where we build our final nest Rose, just over these cliffs dominating the coast.”
How time had run fast since that day. There were fifteen years since they had moved to this part of the city. Unfortunately Angelo’s dreams were shortened by the sickness that took him away for ever. After his death she couldn’t move away. Too many good memories of him, yes, because at the end she came to love him; he had always been generous and never insisted to talk about the past. In the years together he had been a good husband and father. That was the main reason she decided to still live in the large house. There only she could still share life with Angelo. The house was sometime too large for her alone. She knew that, but nowhere else in the district could she find a better place offering so much. The only place where she could be undisturbed with an entire life of memories, even those that had resurfaced since Ludovic had returned unexpected in her life. Life had kept moving with the same rhythms, she didn’t change much, routines maintained over the many years which she had started with Angelo. Her early morning jog on the wet sand over to Merewether beach, just a stone throw away from home and in the afternoons over the warm summer days, she choose to go to the rock pool just below Edward Park. She had come to love that secluded place full of history of the first settlers. She could see the hard labour of those first convicts cutting by hand the pool into the slippery rocks bathed by the ocean, for the governor of the new city. Yes it happened well over two hundred years earlier, half way up the cliffs, but closing the eyes it was easy be back in time. Nothing had really changed; the crude marks of the convict’s chisels in the rocks were still visible.
Those early morning activities had been the secret of her youth. She was quite proud of her slender body that at her age had still preserved the grace of when she was much younger.
She had started to do, together with Angelo, those morning exercises on the beach in the past and now being alone, so often missed his company.
Angelo, as many of his countrymen, was of a few words, but in all those years they had spent together he had always showed his love to her with many small and big attentions. Yes, she could see now how a good husband was and she never regretted having married him even if at the beginning took time to accept him. But then they had worked together for years and helped each other; and together they built a comfortable and solid future. Angelo had been right in choosing her. She had also been a good wife to him. Angelo over the years regretted only that she couldn’t give him that son that he wanted so much. Luckily enough she gave him a daughter. Doctors at that time commented that it had been a miracle she was alive after such a difficult delivery. Both could have died in such circumstances. Graziella has been the greatest gift to both and she always had been the magic in her own life. And now Graziella was herself a happy mother. Rose thought how much she loved both, and that was reason enough she had to preserve this joy above all the rest.
Rose concluded her meditations,
“I want justice. I want Ludovic to be punished for his crimes. At the same time I want the curse of my life to keep going for ever on the path that I have established.
This is the way I want to live my life, on top of this hill, and be full of loves and passions. No one, not even the ghost of Ludovic has the right to enter my existence to disrupt and spoil it.”
It was the weekend and normally these were the best days to dedicate to her hobbies. But this particular weekend was quite a different one, because of the emotional upheaval in her life.
She had a long sleepless night and her eyes were ringed black by fatigue. Visions of the past had tormented her as they had come, gone and come back again in her nightmares. She couldn’t control her feelings any longer. A considerable change because since the first day she landed in Woolloomooloo, she had controlled her life so well, but not now.
She never thought it was possible to see the German Commandant again, even if he was now old and with a new name. Seeing him she had gone back in time to when she was still the young Lucia in the old days of war in Tolmezzo, the town where she grew up. Those hard old days had tempered her into the tenacious young woman that had become Rose.