He was terrified of small spaces, and she knew. Leroy being up in the loft with her meant a great deal to Maria. Being the eldest he knew what was up there better than his siblings. He’d helped his father get it up there. This loft was full of the life their parents had together and relics form their childhood.
Maria took the commuting between homes and countries hard.
Andre knew no different; he didn’t remember his parents being together.
The photo albums of happy family snaps a contrast to their later nomadic existence.
‘She’s not here.’ Andre piled the albums up and set them aside.
‘I don’t remember Aunt Giovanna being around at all.’ Leroy moved some boxes to make a path.’ We can sort this in my room.’
‘Are you ok?’ Maria touched her brother’s arm.
‘I just wanted us to go up there together just once and this is likely our last chance. I’m going down now. You can pass all this stuff to me.’
The three siblings were stood among the piles when Gabriella walked in.
‘Lucy’s on her way.’
‘This must be so difficult for you.’ Leroy put his arm round her. ‘We would understand if you would rather not be here.’
‘I have to see all this through. Besides I want to meet my niece. All this isn’t her fault.’
‘That’s very generous of you, Not sure I’d be this understanding.’ Maria cleared a chair so Gabriella could sit down.
‘We weren’t together, not really.’ Tears crept don her face.
‘Why did you never get divorced? He wasn’t exactly faithful.’
Andre gave his mother a box of tissues.
‘Neither was I. I’ve lived with Antonio longer than I ever lived with your father.’
‘One man is not the same as a revolving door of women.’
‘Oh Andre, don’t judge your father too harshly. I don’t think it was that bad.’
‘You didn’t see them, but I don’t know how many …?’
‘Ended up in his bed? No, me neither. I certainly didn’t expect one to be my own sister.’ Gabriella stood up. ‘Come on. We shouldn’t leave him alone with her too long, she might be trying to kill the bugger.’
‘Not sure I’d stop her.’
‘Leroy, at the end of the day he’s still your father and he was a good one. You’re just angry. Besides, he hasn’t got long.’
The four shared a group hug and went back to Mario’s room.