It started with a text! To a handsome Italian man’s photo on the internet. From there, I got a beautiful love poem, firstly in Spanish, and later in Italian, twice and then three times a day for a year and a half.
I got poems about fairy tales, nature, sensations, love, sex and passion! All sent with wonderful accompanying ‘Good Morning!’, ‘Good Afternoon!’ and ‘Goodnight’ messages!
Every day, like a Pavlov dog, I waited for my poems to make the unmistakable sound on WhatsApp, and I knew the next one had arrived.
Sometimes, there were chats, and at other times, photos from his marvelous holidays, usually in Italy, and I wanted to be with him there.
As time went by, the poems became deeper, more loving – from an Italian criminal lawyer – who said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and I believed it was for real.
I made my plans, as my daughter was leaving to go to London and I sold and gave away many of my things.
I went to meet him in December, before Christmas, 2017, and we spent a great day together, in between his work appointments, and I knew that it felt right for me.
He lived 3 doors away from his parents’ flat, and I knew it would be complicated. I made allowances for his lack of commitment, his busy job, and his lack of personal contact, despite the daily writing I received.
I got special love phrases in the afternoon, and outstanding magical poems in the morning and at night.
I wanted a new life, and I thought that this was it. I said I was coming to Italy and he didn’t stop me. I stayed with a friend in Rome, and I knew that could be my starting point, and maybe, my special Italian man would commit himself once I was in Italy.
A year ago, this week, I flew to Rome to begin my new life with not much money, no job, and I didn’t know the language, although I knew Spanish very well.
I arrived on a cold, wet, miserable night in the wintertime, from a warm, sunny Spanish seaside resort. Everything was strange, different, hearing only Italian accents, and not understanding what anyone was saying.
I had 2 suitcases, one half filled with paperwork and fleecy jackets and the other with my best underwear, some winter clothes and socks, ready to find work as an English Teacher, my usual job. In a strong carrier bag, I had also brought my computer, and left the rest of my belongings in boxes, for safe keeping, with a friend in Spain.
All the time, the poems arrived and I wrote back.
Three days after arrival, I asked what our plans would be, and I hoped that he would ask me to go to the North of Italy to be with him then, or at a later date.
I got an unexpected reply that he wasn’t looking for commitment, nor did he didn’t want to give it, and my dreams were shattered, despite all the loving words in his poems and chats. He said it was fantasy in the poems, and not real life.
After the initial shock and a few walks on a cold, wintery beach in Torvaianca, I pulled myself together. I got a teaching job within three weeks, and I am still there, and love my job and the people I work with.
I started to learn the language, and although I still cannot respond very well, I can understand most of what Italians say.
It took me a year to find my own peaceful flat, after renting rooms with various Italian people, who spent a lot of time arguing with their families, or boyfriends.
I learned where everything was, made friends with the wonderful English ex-pat group, and some lovely Italians, and I went Latin Dancing in Pomezia. I went from being the only strange English woman at the dances, who asked the proud Italian men to dance, to being accepted as part of the crowd.
I initially broke off contact with my Italian man, but, it soon continued again as before. Every day, even now, I still get the 3 poems, and maybe, a greater commitment, but not enough to be together.
But, from shattered dreams, I have lived a great life in Pomezia, and I love being here. I was right to come. I was right to stay. I want to build my life in Italy. I have met some absolutely wonderful students, who have become my friends and have helped me to settle and feel welcome in Italy. Italy is now my home!
Submitted by: Anonymous