Authors: Petra F. Bagnardi
A Veil Of
Glass and Rain
Petra F. Bagnardi
A Veil of Glass and Rain by Petra F. Bagnardi
Copyright 2013 Petra F. Bagnardi
And to Rome, home.
Cover Picture for the ebook edition:©Ryan
for the support and the encouragements. You really warmed
I would like to thank Aurelia Lemoine for
her useful notes and comments, and for loving
Brina and Eagan from the very beginning. A
huge “thank you” to Francesca Chericoni for
her artistic contribution. And then a big “thank
you” to the talented Nina Monti, to Barbara,
Lubna, Emanuela, Gaia, Alice, Maria, and
Michela. You're all amazing and supportive
friends. I'll never forget.
veil of glass and water. I was nine, and he was
We were at my parent's place. It was
raining, and I was playing outside by myself. I
was wearing a yellow raincoat and yellow
boots. Eagan, his parents and mine were in the
kitchen, talking, laughing, probably making
tea. I could see them through the kitchen
Our garden was dotted with small and big
puddles. I jumped around them, pretending
they were black holes that could capture me,
if only I grazed their surface with the tips of
When I paused and looked up, I noticed that
Eagan was observing me through the window.
He smiled an easy smile and waved. I waved
back and resumed my playing.
After a few moments he joined me outside.
He was carrying a deep-purple umbrella. I
stared at him from the edge of a huge puddle.
He stood on the opposite side and for a few
seconds we considered each other. I noticed
that his feet were too close to the water, and I
wanted to warn him about the danger of black
holes, but I felt shy. He was tall, like a giant.
His smile was gentle , and he smelled good.
“You smell like cookies,” I told him.
He chuckled, and the sound made me feel
warm. “My mum has a thing for cinnamon. She
puts it everywhere. She even found a
cinnamon scented fabric softener. And
cinnamon scented soap,” he explained.
“You shouldn't stand so close to the water,
it's dangerous.” I finally informed him.
He contemplated the murky puddle that
separated us with a serious expression, then he
looked up at me. “I read somewhere that if
you jump into a puddle, the currents will carry
you away to another world.”
Suddenly the dark water became less
frightening and more interesting. “If I jump in
and get lost in the other world, will you run
after me to bring me back?” I asked him.
He smiled. “Of course.”
I know it's cruel, but I don't remember his
We met at a party. I picked him because he
has Eagan's colors; dark-blond hair, and blue
eyes. But everything else looks wrong. He's tall
and lanky, and from the way he walks and
moves, it's obvious that he's uncomfortable in
his own skin. He's younger than Eagan.
We drank, we talked, he invited me to his
place, and I accepted.
It's awful, but I still don't recall his name.
We are in his bedroom. The lights are on
and we are still dressed. I think he smells like
beer and sweat.
He presses me up against the wall. I can't
make myself touch him, so I flatten my palms
against the brick behind me, and I trace the
bumps and cracks with my fingertips.
He buries his face in the hollow of my neck.
His kisses are warm and wet. I close my eyes.
I can't remember his name and I can't feel
He presses his erection against my belly and
he begins to grind; the cold zipper of his jeans
scrapes the exposed skin of my belly; this I can
He breathes and moans into my skin. I open
my eyes and start counting the stains on the
carpet beneath our feet.
He slides one of his hands under my black t-
shirt. I'm not wearing a bra, because I don't
really need it. When his fingers brush the
underside on my bare breast, he moans.
He bucks against me harder and faster. The
wall scratches my back a little; this too I can
He cups my breast in his palm and then he
squeezes it. When I whimper, he thinks I'm
enjoying what he's doing, so he crushes my
breast again. I moan in distress and he groans
in pleasure. Eventually, his erection jerks, and
his lean frame shakes as he comes.
“Sorry,” he pants into my neck.
“It's fine,” I tell him.
He keeps me pressed up against the wall.
“It's just that you're so hot. I saw you on
stage, a couple of months ago. With your
guitar, and your tight skirt, and I—Well, I'm
glad I met you tonight, at the party.” His voice
his rough, and still tinged with arousal. He
kisses my shoulder.
I place my palms on his chest, raise on my
tiptoes to kiss his cheek, then I push him away
“Stage lights are deceiving,” I tell him.
“They make you seem taller, hotter, better.
But it's just an illusion.”
While he's in the bathroom, I leave his room
and then his house.
Three days ago it was my birthday, February
Eagan called me.
“Happy Birthday, Brina!”
“Thanks,” I murmured.
“I found a job in Rome. Next month we'll be
in the same city. Finally!”
His deep voice resounded throughout my
entire being. It awakened feelings and
sensations left dormant for a very long time. I
tried to detect signs of disappointment and
anger in his tone, but all I could perceive was
“Really?” I clutched my cellphone so hard,
that I felt the plastic cracking.
“Yeah. I missed you.”
“I missed you too.”
“I read there's an Exhibit of this very
popular, and quiet unusual, Italian artist. I'm
curious. Let's go together when I'm there.”
I hesitated then. And suddenly the silence
was filled with all the years spent apart, and
all the words left unsaid.
“Say yes, Brina.” He uttered in a husky
tone; it was both a request and a plea.
“Yes.” I breathed.
I'm twenty years old.
In a few weeks Eagan will be here.
During the last four years we've been barely
in touch. I have tried very hard not to think
about him. I've buried his memory under the
kisses, the touches, and the voices of other
guys. But now all I can feel, sense, perceive is
him and the scent of cinnamon.
Autumn and Winter were my lonely seasons.
My parents were constantly abroad working,
and Eagan was in New York, living his life
there. We exchanged emails and talked over
the computer almost every day, but it wasn't
I wasn't really alone at home, in Italy,
because we had a housekeeper named Lea,
who was kind and protective, but she wasn't
my family, and she wasn't Eagan.
Eagan and I bonded in the first place
because, despite the age difference, diverse
nationality, and opposite gender, we were
reflections of each other lives.
Our parents are photographers. My parents,
just like Eagan's, can't bare to stay apart. They
are each other air. And they're all very
dedicated to their work.
My parents love me, and Eagan's parents
love him; but it's not enough.
Spring and Summer were my happy seasons,
because I could spend time with my family and
with Eagan. Everything seemed better when I
was with them; food that normally tasted like
ash, was suddenly appealing.
During the summer we spent on the
, which I renamed the Lighthouse
Island, everything began to change between
Eagan and me. And it was mostly my fault.
We had our first big argument. For three
days I tried to avoid Eagan. He let me, because
the island was very small and it wasn't really
difficult to locate me; most likely he knew
that one word from him would have made my
resolve to stay mad at him crumble. He
wanted to let me be upset and be by myself to
think, but not for too long. He found me on the
Early morning, I went for a walk to our
favorite beach; in truth I wanted him to come
to me. The sun was still casting a cold light on
the shore, the sand was cool under my feet. At
first, with just shorts and a t-shirt on, the
ocean wind chilled my skin, but after a long
walk I discarded them and stood on the water
edge in my purple two-piece swimming suit. At
thirteen I was skinny, and my breast were
barely showing, despite that my friend Mina
had convinced me to wear a bikini
I let the icy water caress my toes. I stared
at the imposing lighthouse standing on the
highest point of the island, dressed in its black
and white striped suit, protecting us from its
vantage point like a tall and benevolent
monarch. I wished it could talk and dispense
My best friend in the world was a cheater. I
loved Eagan, and I did not understand how he
could hurt a girl as kind as Ines.
Ines was Portuguese. She was petite and had
dark hair and dark eyes, just like me. Unlike
me, she was curvy and she had enjoyed food.
For me eating was something I had to do in
order to survive. For Ines food was pleasure.
We got along not only because she was
Eagan's girlfriend, but also because she was
really my friend. Despite the age difference,
she treated me as an equal; exactly as Eagan
did. And she loved cartoons.
We delighted in playing entire conversations
using the squeaky and high-pitched inflections
of the cartoon characters. We drove Eagan
“If you don't stop talking like that, I swear,
I'm going to strangle you. Both of you,” he
On a cloudy Sunday, Ines took me to an
amusement park. We talked, we giggled, we
ate pink cotton candy and we rode the merry-
go-round. When she rose her gaze toward the
roller-coaster, however, I shook my head
“Why not?” Ines asked.
“It doesn't look safe,” I replied.
“Come on, Brina. Where else can you raise
your hands up and yell, hands up?” She
“Everywhere,” I told her.
It became our favorite joke of the summer.
Once we were at the supermarket, the only
one on the island, therefore it was always
crowded. Ines was about to hand to the cashier
money for her purchases, her hands were full
I yelled, “Hands up, Ines!”
Suddenly, it was raining euros.
Ines retaliated, of course.
Eagan's parents were friends with other
American families that chose to spend their
vacations on the Lighthouse Island. Twice a
week we all gathered together at a restaurant,
reserved especially for us, to have pizza
parties. Not everyone was Italian, or of Italian
origins, but everyone loved pizza, and the cook
was from Naples.
Italians rarely eat pizza using knives and
forks; I am half Italian but my mother, who's
full-blooded, taught me to eat pizza using my
Ines waited for the moment when the slice
of pizza, overloaded with tomatoes and
vegetables, was almost touching my lips.
The she yelled, “Hands up, Brina!”
Suddenly it was raining mozzarella,
tomatoes and vegetables.
I remember that Eagan and his friends
hollered; I remember that my friend Mina, her
curly red hair full of toppings, laughed until