julipych wrote:chanrakter wrote:marianner wrote:Here's the continuation of Chapter 1: Venice.
I decided that the first one I posted would be some kind of prelude or something.
Hope you guys like it!
- The sun started to set on the City of Water. After strolling and getting lost together through the avenues, Non and Suchin found themselves on a dock. An elderly man passes by with his gondola of faded blue and chipped red. The man spoke in a low but calming voice.
“Vuoi una gondola ride, signore?” (Would you like a gondola ride, sir?)
“Sì, signore. We would like a ride,” replied Non, wiping sweat off his brow with a blue handkerchief.
Suchin looked at Non with puzzled eyes. She could not believe that she was going for a gondola ride, because the fare, as she heard, was 70 Euros for a 50-minute ride; a steep amount. Non looked at the elderly gondolier, who seemed to have read Suchin’s sentiments.
“Signorina,” said the man in accented English, “I believe you are concerned with the price! I can see it in your eyes, the apprehension and the worry.. But you two are very lucky, even blessed! Today happens to be my last day as a gondolier.. And it would be my pleasure for the lovely couple to have this gondola ride.. Gratuitamente.” As he said this, a smile came up his creased face, his eyes twinkling in the sunlight. He was giving them a gondola ride.. Free.
The girl in the black and gold gown beamed as she took the gondolier’s hand to step into the gondola. Non followed shortly after, and took his place beside her.
“Signore e signorina, will you permit me to speak as we go through the Venetian Canals?” asked the able oarsman.
“Why yes, sir. Please do. We would like to know about our very generous gondoliere!” Suchin replied cheerfully, as she patted the sweat off her neck with a lace kerchief.
“Thank you, dear miss. My name is Federigo Costa,” he started. I was born in 1942, here in Venezia. I am part of a long line of gondoliere here in the city. Our family did not just treat this as a business, but part of life itself. Many others only view this to make money, but we don’t see it as that. Yes, it does help us to survive day-to-day expenses such as food, but my nonno (grandfather) always told me that to drive a gondola down the canals should be a life-changing experience. We want the people who come to us just not to look, but to see. Venice is a magical place in itself. Why, it is the City of Water..”
As he spoke, Non seemingly lost awareness of what was going on. He found himself looking, no, gazing, at Suchin as she listened to the somewhat melodic voice of Federigo, sharing his story. He noticed her rumpled hair-do, how it made her look prettier than when he saw her during Carnivale. He saw her fingertips grazing along her forearm as she lightly scratched her wrist. He observed how her eyes sparkled when the light chanced to come by them. She was beautiful, in a slightly messy but lovely way..
The gondolier continued to recount his memories of the Canals, from how he met his wife to how he saved a young lad from ending his own life. His stories captivated the couple as they floated along the water.
Federigo pointed to a spot in front of them. “Look over there. That is the famous Ponte dei Sospiri.. The Bridge of Sighs. It was named such because that was where convicts saw their last view of Venice before being imprisoned. Sad, but nowadays there is a local legend about it..”
The girl and the boy looked quizzically at Federigo. “They say that lovers will be assured eternal love if they kiss on a gondola at sunset under the bridge..” said the old man.
Non saw that Suchin became startled. He understood what she was feeling. They just met each other unexpectedly at the climax of Carnivale. They just strolled around together like children in a new place. Would he kiss her, this early, this fast? But then again, he thought, it’s the Bridge of Sighs..
Suchin clutched at her paper fan, not knowing what to do, what to saw, how to react. She recounted the day’s events, on how she met this man during Carnivale with a backpack and a DSLR in hand. She only met him that morning, but it seemed as if she knew him for the longest time. Peering into his eyes, searching for an answer, a little smile crept up her mouth, becoming a beaming smile, and let out a little chuckle.
Seeing that the boat was nearing the bridge, Non slowly took her hands and held them in his. He smiled shyly to her, not knowing how she would react to the sudden gesture. Pleasantly surprised, she turned to him, like a signal of approval that yes, she would let him kiss her. As the gondola glided under the bridge, he steadily leant towards Suchin, their hands still in each other’s, kissed tenderly in the crimson sunset.
Federigo took a glance, and turned away, smiling, and a tear gently rolled down his wrinkled cheek. He turned back to see the couple smiling at each other, and them smiling back at him. It was moments like this that made him realize how magical it was to be a gondoliere. He would miss this, he definitely would.
As the sunset made way for glimmering stars, the gondolier and the couple made their way back to the docks, bringing with them an unforgettable memory that would surely become embedded not just in their minds, but in their hearts as well. Federigo was able to say a proper goodbye to the waterways he loved for most of his life, while Non and Suchin lit a flame in them that would grow steadily throughout their time together – it was the flame of love.
Good job yet again!
*gets inspired to develop hers*
wow! suchin! wonderful....
you're inspiring me actually...
it makes me wanted to develop the writer in me...
Love you, my talented friend!