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I Give Devise and Bequeath (11)
Debby thoroughly enjoyed her first year of marriage. She was thrilled with the newly won power being the wife of Marco La Terra brought with it. Marco had insisted she stop work and if they were not traveling, she spent her days shopping for their new house and herself, lunching with friends or playing tennis. She learned to cook Italian food from one of Marco's cousins. The family was extremely important to Marco and Debby always welcomed everyone who came to visit with open arms. Marco was totally charmed by his wife and considered himself the luckiest man in the world. When Debby told him she was pregnant he was over the moon. A son is what he wanted. A male child who, like himself, could follow in his footsteps and some day take over the ropes as he had done. His mother and Nonna fussed over Debby, constantly coercing her, "Eat, eat, you too skinny". It was on one of these occasions where the fussing was in full swing that Debby viciously snapped back at her mother-in-law to leave her alone. It was also the first time that Marco had noticed the restlessness in his wife. When he told Debby she was out of order, his mother tried to reassure him it was all okay, just the hormones. "It's not the fucking hormones", Debby yelled, quite out of character. Her swollen body shaking with built up anger. "I am so sick of all the people here all the time, never any peace. Mama and Nonna constantly stuffing food down my throat!" Mama, now insulted, "I'm a going, I'm a leaving. I come back when the baby is born for the blessing". And with that she stormed out. Nonna, gave Debby a dark look, then she poked Marco in the chest and said in Italian. "You had to marry a foreigner, smart-arse? She don't know nothing about Italian ways. Men!!" Then she gave a mock spit and mumbled something about men always following their dicks as she went after her daughter.
Marco, who was used to family squabbles, was appalled at his wife's viciousness. Up until now she had always shown the greatest restraint and acceptance of their way of life. He grabbed his wife by the upper arms and told her to apologise to Mama. Debby wrenched herself free of him, and turned on her heels to go to their bedroom. Later that night, she apologised to Mama, and to Marco who gently took her in his arms: the forgiving husband. It was just the beginning of many fights they had during the last two months of her pregnancy, and at times Marco was itching to give Debby a slap, but he desisted. His father had never ever slapped his mother and Marco still wanted to believe it was the pregnancy and hormonal turmoil causing the change in his wife.
Their daughter was born without complications, and although Marco was disappointed for a split second that it wasn't a boy, his feelings of love for his child and his wife flooded his whole being. They called the baby Maria Angelina. Debby breast-fed the baby for four weeks, then left most of the caring over to Mamma and Nonna, who would show up every day to see to all the baby's needs. Debby concentrated on getting her figure back to normal, and after three months she was her old self again, if not more beautiful. It did not go unnoticed by Marco that his wife showed only a minimum of interest in the child. Her perfunctory holding and good night kiss were never combined with the natural cooing and pride of a new mother. The child received all the more attention from her father and when Marco addressed Debby's lack of motherly interest she just shrugged it off. Marco asked the family doctor about it and he explained Debby was probably suffering from postnatal depression, something Marco had never heard of and could not understand.
Debby spent much of her time out of the house again during the day whilst Marco attended to business. She would see her best friend Simona every day when they would plan luncheons, play tennis or shop but she always made sure she was home again when Marco came home. They would eat together, Mama and Nonna having left for the day again, and afterward if Marco did not have to go out, would enjoy making love almost every night. When the baby cried it was always Marco who saw to her, and he would cradle her and cover her with kisses, or sing to her until she happily fell asleep again.
Simona had met a man at the tennis club. Pierre Carter, a Canadian artist of little renown, blonde, suntanned and not exceptionally looking. What he did have was an inherent attractiveness, due to his carefully chosen vocabulary and extraordinary charm. He flirted shamelessly with any woman he came into contact, whether a shop assistant or the wife of a Senator, he had them all eating out of his hands. His facial expressions and charm with a dose of sensuality guaranteed his popularity. Lovely Simona was besotted with him. When she introduced him to Debby, with a raised eyebrow and a devilish smile he shook her hand and held it a little too long. Debby felt the same attraction as others but was fully aware she was dealing with a player. And she would not be played.
She later told Simona to beware of Pierre and took the stance of disliking him intensely with her friend. Simona just waved Debby's warnings away, she was in love and wanted Pierre more than anything or anybody ever before. Well, Debby thought, it's your funeral. How right Debby would turn out to be.
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