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Chapter Thirty-Two – Do You Believe?
From the beginning of this long-distance love story, we had our share of problems. The first one was jealousy. Although Lisa put some doubts in my head about Tony’s fidelity, he was always more jealous. Convinced I was dating every man I encountered – from those I phoned for interviews for stories I was writing to my oldest high school and college friends – Tony and I did a lot of fighting in the early days of our relationship. I was constantly repeating that I was faithful and that these other men were either just friends or business associates. I started to get frustrated and resentful that Tony was questioning me so much. I was especially peeved because he would go out with his friends, go dancing, and stay out very late.
Tony was also spending lots of time with Roberto and Lisa. You’d think I’d feel better about this than his nights out with the boys. After all, Roberto was my cousin, my blood. He would have my back, and I could keep an eye on Tony through him, right? In my head, I rationalized the time Tony spent with them as being a good thing for all these reasons. But my gut was telling me a different story. I couldn’t explain it, but I felt a darkness overcome me every time I heard they were all hanging out. There was something about Lisa I didn’t trust. Maybe it was what she said to me in her car. Maybe it was her behavior when I got injured. Maybe it was how she was always so paranoid about Roberto. I couldn’t pinpoint it, but there was something gnawing at me about her. She was very guarded. We spent so much time together, and I never felt like she opened up to me. I felt like I still never knew her.
When I think about how Tony defended her to me every time I brought up my nagging concerns, I would feel just a little sick to my stomach. He said she was fun, and she would grow on me. He told me to give her more of a chance. And he reminded me that we had to grow our friendship with her for Roberto’s sake. I never told Roberto about my feelings, even when he would ask me. But I did mention to his mother that I wasn’t convinced she was the best person for him. She agreed and was even more critical of Lisa than I was.
Truth be told, I also didn’t care for the fact that Lisa openly expressed how attractive she thought Tony was. Sometimes, she would sing Tony’s praises in front of Roberto just to get a reaction from him. He never gave her the satisfaction. Sometimes, he would tell her to just go for it and leave him alone. Then, they’d share an awkward laugh, and I wouldn’t say a word. Still, when we were all together I never suspected anything was going on between Lisa and Tony, who was extremely loyal to his friends, especially Roberto, whom he considered like a brother.
With the distance between us, however, I couldn’t be sure about Tony with other women. Even if I was nowhere near being as jealous as Tony was, I feared about his faithfulness. I knew I wasn’t seeing anyone else while we were on different continents, but I had no idea what he was really doing.
Some names and identifying characteristics of the real people involved have been changed.
Tune into this Web site, Two Worlds, every Monday for the latest installment in my blog about my experiences in Ischia, and every other Monday to ItaliansRus.com for the latest Our Paesani column about all things Italian. Di Meglio is also the Guide to Newlyweds for About.com.