The more time I spent with Sanguinello the hard I fell for a boy with a tormented past. As time slipped by he eventually began to open up with me a little more, bit by bit and piece by piece. And slowly a better picture of who Sanguinello was began to form, though a lot of things were still pretty much a mystery. I came to relish his sudden bouts of passion even if they did make me feel like I was about to cross over an edge that I wasn’t ready to. But it was exciting to find myself up against a wall while he kissed me as his hands would roam making me want to whisper that I was indeed ready. But I never was, I didn’t want to have my first time in an empty laundry room at 3 am because I had lost my head in a kiss from Sanguinello.
“Sometimes I feel like you are going to lose patience with me.” I said after ending one of our make out sessions that border lined turning into something else, especially this close to my bed. “Why would I lose patience with you?” Sanguinello asked while still holding me while he leaned on my shoulder without any obvious intentions of moving away yet “Because you’ve done this before and each time you’re probably expecting it to happen but you keep getting shot down by me.” I answered while he gave me an odd look. “I’ve never done you know… it… before.” He said while shifting nervously as he began to play with my knitted skirt. Please don’t unravel it I thought silently while thinking of his idle hands while he finished answering. “I told you I have to kind of get used to people and the idea of physical contact with them.”
“But you always seem to know exactly what you are doing compared to me. I feel like sometimes I’m just trying to keep up with you when we mess around.” I confessed after getting over the initial surprise that Sanguinello had probably just as much experience as I did in this department. “I try to turn off my mind and live in the moment which is easy when there is only one thought at that moment. And give into it instead of clumsily trying to fight it. So if I want to let’s say touch you here” he said while tracing his finger lazily down my back and to my bra line where it ended it trail. “I just do so until you let me know when to stop.”
I did eventually find out where he would disappear to every weekend like clockwork. “So you really just go to your Aunt’s every weekend?” I asked in surprise when he told me a Friday afternoon after he had gotten out of class. We had just come back from a summer break a few days ago and it felt so good to see him again. I spent the summer in between my parent’s house and visiting Shadow Sea so I didn’t really get to see Sanguinello that much during the break since he was off doing his own thing too. Emails, texting and telephone calls were abound though that often lead in to the next day, filling in the void of not being able to see him every day.
“Yeah, not so exciting is it? Where did you think I went? Did you think I had some rich lady who required my ‘services’ only on the weekends?” Sanguinello teased with a smile before leering at me as he raised his eyebrow suggestively. “I don’t know.” I replied instead of telling him all the crazy thoughts that went through every Friday through Sunday night until he would suddenly return without a word. I didn’t want to seem like some insecure girlfriend, especially now that I was actually his girlfriend. But now that he was telling me where he went I was curious as to why he went there so often and why it was some big secret with him. Going to his Aunt’s house seemed like nothing to me as I went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house often with my cousin. So I asked him “Why do you go there every weekend? And what’s the big deal you could have just told me ages ago that you went to her house.”
“Reasons I assure you that you’ll find out eventually.” And as he said this I scrunched up my face in preparation to protest this while he quickly recovered. Holding his two hands up in front of me as he gestured to me to hold on Sanguinello continued “I want you to come with me next weekend… To my aunt’s I mean. I want to introduce you to her.”
“You do? Really?” I almost squeaked in surprise as I fought the urge to wrap my arms around him and cover him in kisses. The prospect of meeting his Aunt was exciting since she was at the center of Sanguinello’s little world and seemed like a big step for him that he was taking for me. “Yeah, You’re important to me and I want you to be a part of my life completely. Plus I told her about you since the beginning of last school year and she really wants to meet you.”
After I got over my initial happiness I began to worry, what if she didn’t like me? I had never had to deal with meeting a guy’s mother and I knew that it was something that my sisters fretted over, that first meeting. And I hadn’t exactly won over Sanguinello’s friends with my charming personality yet. Toff was polite but Mizu was off putting to me. It was Thursday night, the night before Sanguinello and I were going to go to his Aunt’s house for the weekend. We were hanging out with Mizu and Toff in their room when Mizu requested “Sanguinello come up with me to the corner store, I want to pick up some twizzle sticks.”
“You want us to come with you too?” Toff asked her but she just shook her head and said “No we’ll be fine. I just need to have a talk with Sanguinello about something. Be back in a flash.” As they left I scowled at the door after it closed and wondered out loud forgetting for a moment that Toff was even there seated not even 6 feet away from me. “Ohhh come on…Why does she hate me? What did I ever do to her?”
“It’s not that she doesn’t like you.” Toff said from me behind me making me almost jump out of my skin. “It’s just that she’s over protective of Sanguinello. She’s known him longer than I have. He kind of wanted to date her when he still lived back in Huckleberry Sprigs, but I kinda got there first and Mizu never had those kinds of feelings in return for him.” Toff replied with an answer that surprised me.
“Sanguinello liked Mizu?” I asked in confusion. Sanguinello never mentioned having any previous feelings for Mizu or any still there feelings for her. “Yeah… But it was ages ago and he eventually got over it. Though I still feel bad about it, I mean we were all best friends and I didn’t even know that he liked her. I should have told him that Mizu and I started dating when we did instead of him finding out the night he put his dad into the hospital. Sometimes I blame myself for that happening and I think Mizu does too.”
“Why are you telling me this?” I asked because all of last year neither one of Sanguinello’s friends had ever offered up any information on him and were completely hush on anything that had to do with his past the same as he was. “I guess because I know how much he likes you. Fudge he actually told us about you and you know how he can be. I mean I don’t ever think I’ve seen him feel the way he does about anyone the way he feels about you and I don’t want for him to lose you because he is afraid to share certain things about himself.”
“So you liked Mizu?” I asked Sanguinello while he walked me up to my room. And he looked at me in surprise before he put it together “Toff told you, I take it?” Sanguinello asked as I opened my door and followed me into the empty room. Can-Can was off at classes after she switched her schedule around to take a bartending class that was offered to all the culinary students this semester.
“Yeah… I did back before I moved to the city, I sort of developed a crush on her. She’s always been there for me and was my only friend until Toff moved to Huckleberry Sprigs when we were little. But you know it’s was for the best that Toff and her ended up together and even though it hurt back then, it was for the best. They are more than happy together I don’t think anything or anyone out there could break the two of them up. And I met you; if I was with Mizu I don’t think I would have been a good boyfriend around you. Because when I am with you I’m happy, you, you make me feel happy. It doesn’t bother you that I used to have feelings for her does it? Because I would never do anything to hurt you Starry, I’d rather hurt myself than hurt you.”
“I know. Sanguinello, I know.” I didn’t know how I did but I knew somehow that Sanguinello would rather crawl across broken glass than to ever break my heart. At the same time I was unsure of myself for letting me go this far with him, for letting my feelings for him go on as they did. Even though I knew that he would never hurt me still there was one blaring fact that ran through my head and that was first loves rarely ever work out. No one ever ends up with the first person they date, living happily ever after.
Meeting his Aunt I would like to say went well. She looked a lot like Sanguinello and requested that I’d call her by her name Fina. I found out that she was a doctor and that her house was one of the original homes built in Briocheporte. Beautifully maintained except for Sanguinello's room, it was well over a couple hundreds of years old and worth more than a fortune, she reminded me as she also added with a rueful smile under her breath that it had been a steal from her ex-husband in their divorce settlement. Everything was going so well that I didn’t know why I had been worried now, it seemed so trivial and stupid of me.
That is until Saturday night, Sanguinello and I were in his room listening to some of his music just hanging out as he showed me some family books. “I’m going to go get a drink you want me to get you something too?” I asked feeling strangely at home with him in this house. “If you want I can run down and get it for you myself.” Sanguinello offered uncertainly as his eyes glanced around the room, but I just shook my head. “Nah, its ok maybe I’ll get some of that leftover pasta that Fina made us for dinner.”
With a quick kiss to his forehead I lightly hurried downstairs trying not to wake his Aunt up. But it turned out that she was awake and sitting on a counter while eating bon-bons in the kitchen. “Oh I didn’t know you would be up.” I said lamely as I hung by the kitchen doorway, unsure if I should have just gone back upstairs quietly. “It’s ok dear help yourself.” She said beckoning to me to come in “Thank-you.” I said as I went to fetch a drink for myself, the pasta had been momentarily forgotten though its heavy fragrance called my name after I opened the refrigerator door. My hand settled on the Tupperware container longingly before it moved to a bottle of water as I started to close the door. “So umm goodnight.” I said turning to quickly hop up the stairs and back into the waiting arms of Sanguinello so we could stay up until the sun came up and watch it slowly rise through the buildings like we had the previous night together. But Fina’s voice stopped me as I reached the kitchen doorway “Starry?”
“Look you are a nice girl but don’t get too serious about Sanguinello.” Mrs. Moro said to me just as I was about to leave, her words made me stop right in my tracks and retrace my steps back into the kitchen. “Why? I’m 19, he’s 20 we’re both adults plus Sanguinello and I really like each other.” I asked her but she sighed and shook her head. “Sanguinello isn’t like everyone else. He...He has some problems you’ve must have noticed by now. It’s one of the reasons why he is here and no longer living with his parents, had I not been a psychiatrist myself he would have been sent to a specialized home instead when he was a teenager. It’s only been under my care that he has been doing so well.”
Mrs.’s Moro’s words sunk slowly into my head that night as I tried to push them away but as I looked at him while he excitedly explained his new art project in hurried words and a more than rushed voice making his words blend into a steady stream I knew in my heart that she was right on some level.
But that didn’t stop me from trying to find or look out from anything that would disprove it. I loved Sanguinello even though I was very far from admitting it. And I didn’t want anything to be wrong with him. He was perfect to me, someone that was patient with me and my temper and that made me feel things that I never felt before for another. I didn’t want there to be anything that could break us apart for any reason. As naïve as it sounded I knew deep down inside that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, my first love.
Sunday night we were packing to go head back to our dorms when Sanguinello had to grab a few things from the basement that he wanted to take back. If his Aunt was telling the truth and not trying to scare me away then there was probably something around here especially in his room where I was right now. Alone. The first time since we got here Sanguinello left me alone in his room and here I was about to break his trust as I went on a rummaging rampage. But I didn’t have to do anything through looking because it had been right in front of me this whole time. Barely hidden under a cloth a few yellow bottles with white lids peaked out.
As I spied the prescription bottles on his dresser my curiosity got the best of me, so I walked over and quickly picked them up. Reading them I saw Sanguinello’s name printed neatly on the label followed by directions and long names that looked more than intimidating. They were long and confusing like the printer just threw up a bunch of letters and called it a name. After struggling to pronounce the name of it Sanguinello easy pronounced it quietly from behind me which made me drop the bottle of pills on the floor cause the cap to come off and the contents to spill on the ground.
With a sigh Sanguinello just lowered himself to the floor to retrieve them and put them back into the bottle. “What… Umm… What are they for?” I asked as I bent down to help him to pick up the pills that laid scattered all over the floor. “Don’t... Don’t touch them.” He said as he scrambled to pick the rest up quickly with his hands mixing in the different colored pills together in his hands before answering my question in a vague way without telling me exactly what they were for but just enough to make me know enough about them to not question them anymore. His breath was uneven as his came quickly in and out of him, his voice breaking as he said “They’re for me. I have to take them every day basically to be as normal as I could ever be.”
“Oh.” Was all I could say, for the first time I felt truly speechless. Thoughts floated through my mind but none of them seemed right to say without being taken as offense. What do you say to someone that been hiding something like this to you without hurting or offending their feelings? There were so many questions that I wanted to ask but found myself unable to.
Looking at me I could see traces of sadness and regret in his eyes that did more than just tug at my heart strings, as he said “I never wanted to be like this. It’s hard to explain sometimes but it’s not like I hear voices or anything... I… I’m not really comfortable talking with you about it. But I don’t want you to have to worry about it so please just continue to treat me normally as you would anyone else. This doesn’t have to change anything between us. Please just let us keep going the way we are. Don’t let me lose you because of something that has already made my life hell.”