News - June 21, 2016

Mortierstraat 14B - Vaccination

Rob Ramaker

The story so far: Bianca is going abroad for a few months. This makes the timing of a promising romance with housemate Filippo a little unfortunate.

Bianca noticed immediately that the last vaccination was more painful than the previous one. On a walk to the Forum her arm gradually started to feel stiff and sore. She went through her checklist mentally. Vaccinations. Check. Tickets. Check. Accommodation. Check – sort of. A couple of whatsapp messages made her mobile phone vibrate. From Filippo of course. Check mate.

‘I’ll be there in a sec,’ she hastily replied, with some kisses. Her fling with Filippo was increasingly taking place in a parallel universe. One in which she was not about to leave for Africa for a long time. Bianca had expected that ‘a serious talk’ would quickly convince them that the timing was hopeless. But things took a different turn. Now they’ve been creeping into each other’s rooms in the evenings for weeks. And they’ve been behaving as if the summer would never come.

What are we doing, actually? Bianca wondered. It is obvious that this is only going to bring us sadness. Deep in thought she walked into the Forum.

‘Hey babe.’ Filippo, already installed at the back of the grand café, kissed her hastily. Bianca listened to his story with half an ear. ‘OK, tell me what’s up. You’re completely absent-minded.’

Silently, Bianca stared at her cappuccino. ‘I don’t know.’ ‘You don’t know what?’ There was irritation and concern in Filippo’s voice. ‘You mean you are not sure about us?’ Bianca felt tears pricking her eyes. ‘It is so complicated. I’ll be away for months soon and the internet is terrible there, apparently.’ ‘So what? We’ll pull through.’ ‘But we’ll probably grow apart. And you’ll meet lots of nice girls in Italy.’

This made Filippo laugh. He grabbed Bianca’s hands and leaned towards her. ‘Okay babe, don’t you agree that we are doing great so far?’ ‘She nodded. ‘And you have some great months to look forward to in Africa, right?’ Another nod. ‘And afterwards you will see me again.’ Bianca moved her head slowly up and down.

‘So you don’t have any problems.’ Filippo sipped his coffee. ‘No use worrying about possible future problems. If they materialize tomorrow you will have plenty of time to worry.’

Bianca smiled wanly and squeezed his hands. Filippo’s blind faith was encouraging. ‘See, you are gonna make a fine Italian.’’