Story #1

Roll to Me
Based on the song by Del Amitri

She was the beautiful daughter of an Italian count, he was the celebrity son of a multi-million dollar businessman. It should have been the wedding of the year, People magazine surly made it seem that way. But very few people knew the real reason for the marriage between Aria Leone and Emilio Bertolini. In reality, the two young people couldn’t care less about each other, it was a political marriage, arranged between their father’s. The marriage would secure the fortune of the Leones and offer further prestige for the Bertolinis.   

Aria stood elegantly in her wedding dress amidst the chaos, feeling very alone. She looked at herself steadily in the mirror. You’re doing this for father, she chanted in her head. You’re doing this because it will secure the family fortune, because it is the right thing to do.

“That’s no way for the bride to look on her wedding day.”

She turned and, at the sight of the pitying look on her older brother’s face, her calm, assured exterior almost cracked.

“I don’t know if I can do this,” she whispered, then she clapped her hands over her mouth in horror. No, she was doing this because her family needed her.

Marco pulled her out into the hallway with a sense of urgency. “What’s going on Aria?” 

She wrung her hands. “I never knew the dissent would be so rapid between father and I once he decided that me marrying Emilio would secure our fortune. I want to do this, for him… for him to be happy. We used to be so close, Marco. But… I don’t know if I can do this.” She swallowed hard. “I don’t want to be stuck in a loveless marriage, forever stuck behind a camera flash!”

Marco gripped her arms and looked her dead in the eye. “Aria… Are. You. Sure?”

She looked up at him, wide-eyed, then she nodded.

It was all a haze to Aria, but it seemed just seconds later when she stood outside the hotel in an alleyway with a stuffed duffle on her shoulder and a debit card from Marco. One of his large hoodies was flung over her shoulders, partially hiding her white dress.

“What are we doing?” she whispered.

“I’m giving you a chance,” he said. “You don’t deserve the future that Dad and Emilio have planned for you. You deserve a chance to travel like you want to—to live. Now, my buddy Paolo is going to pick you up,” he said. “He’s a taxi-cab driver here and has been waiting for an opportunity to leave and travel. He just needed a traveling buddy.” He grinned. “You guys are going to take good care of each other.


A car horn honked and an ugly yellow cab pulled up to the curb. Marco engulfed her in a hug. “Be safe… and go live.”

Then he shoved her puffy dress into the car along with her in it. “I love you!”

Aria watched as he ran back inside, coat tails flapping. “I love you too…”

“So, Miss Leone, to the airport?”

She looked up quickly and was greeted by the twinkling blue eyes of Paolo through the rear-view mirror. Dimples flashed when he smiled.

The airport… an escape offered by her good brother and his handsome friend. A new chance at life. A slow smile spread across Aria’s face. I’m sorry dad, but it’s my life. The fortune will always be there, this opportunity won’t.

“Yes, Paolo… to the airport.”


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