She (Amanda) loved sports, he (Antonio) loved sitting down.
She ran and jogged in Villa Borghese, he hobbled and gasped to get bus 360.
She drank Gatorade and ate energy bars, he ate paninis and drank Coke.
(«Chiasmus!», cried the writer, interrupting his own story)
She was beautiful, but maybe she didn’t know, he never cared about his looks.
(«Enough antithesis for now», he said, interrupting the narration again)
(«No more interruptions, ohshit I did it again!»)
Anyway, you get it, they had nothing in common.
Good, let’s continue.

Amanda ran every day, on the stairs, to answer the phone, to use the restroom, but she didn’t run after boys.
No, I don’t know why, keep reading and let me write. Bloody hell!
Comunque, Amanda (you don’t get what this name means? Study Latin!) ran and ran and ran. So Antonio had no reason to know her.
And yet… And yet sometimes you take a decision without knowing why, without thinking that you may regret it or be thankful.
Antonio decided to read a book in Villa Borghese. It was La Desinenza in A, an old book nobody read, I doubt it was even translated.
Meanwhile Amanda went on running between trees in the park.
She had an iPod, fuchsia, and listened to music we could criticise for many long hours.
Now, reading a book sitting on a bench with stretched legs is not a good idea. Neither it is running near benches with people sitting on them reading books.
Nothing happened, she passed by, he didn’t see her.
Nothing happened for the next 3 months.
They didn’t see each other, even though every day they were in Villa Borghese, 20 centimetres apart.
They didn’t see each other for all the time one needs to read La Desinenza in A.
They saw each other only when he finished the book.
She was passing by, he saw just an iPod fuchsia owned by a blurred something.
It was the same colour of his socks (the iPod, I mean).

Now, since this is supposed to be a romantic story, let’s say they met.
Now I don’t want to write how or when. Life is not a film, people meet in stupid ways.
Just think they went out for drinks. And spoke.
Now, since I’ve had no discussions of such kind, I have no idea of what they said to each other.
Anyway, after a couple of bottles of Gatorade and cans of Coke, they were speaking of poetry.
«I love Petrarca, I know half the Canzoniere by heart!» Amanda said
«Laura, great pain to Petrarca and great bore to Italy all» he quoted
«Pardon me?» one eyebrow raised in question
«Never mind, something I read»

They went on like this for a while, neither of them asking if it was friendship, neither thinking of love or that other thing that make couples and is not called Fondnessness, because it would just be silly.
It was that happy time in human relationships when one does not think about labels, just living the moment, happy not to know what the other thinks and that nobody is making any move whatsoever.
O, happy times in memory, already undermined by doubt!
(«Oh God, I sound as Victorian as “spake”!»)

It happened, eventually.
Amanda, in her athletic and attractive lack of self-esteem, decided at some point to do something that wasn’t like her: tell someone she felt something, and I’m not talking of «sure is hot today, innit?», I’m talking of that feeling something.
I must say she was lucky, if the beginning of a temporary happiness can be considered luck.
She asked him to go for a run, because «I have something to tell you».
When people bear bad news they ask you to sit down. Amanda, albeit low on confidence, didn’t think of this as bad news.
(And, truth be told, neither would Antonio have, had he known)
Whilst Antonio rested to massage his thigh, Amanda said three words: I like you . Then three more: in that sense.
She gave him a heart cramp.

Now, I don’t want you to think I am some sort of depressed who can’t end a story happily, because yes, Antonio does die.
I shan’t say I’m realist either (some pessimists call themselves this, other just are, realist I mean), I just wanted to write a story like this.
If you want to take the first bit and end it your way.
And, to be completely honest, I have done stories ending with fireworks (if you mean some sort of physical encounter by that).
All right? Good.
THE END

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