The Ink Well Prompt #64: Gina navigates the sea of life



Gina Pasqualotto is a skilled seamstress raised in the fields of Sicily. One day she decides to go to Rome to try her luck in order to achieve her dream, to become a high class dressmaker. There she meets Giuseppe Mastroianni, a playboy that no woman had ever managed to conquer. Giuseppe is a young construction worker, charismatic and very attentive to the ladies, a virtue he uses to seduce them. On a rainy afternoon he enters the coffee shop Café Udine. The warm atmosphere and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee do not prevent him from noticing the striking Gina, who is wearing an elegant fuchsia dress, white low-heeled shoes and an exuberant white flower, placed on her curly hair, which matches her outfit. Giuseppe asks Gina for her usual espresso coffee. She suggests he accompany it with a freshly made cannoli. Giuseppe agrees.

-Here is your order.-

-Thank you, beautiful lady,- replies Giuseppe.

This didn't please Gina very much but she continued to serve him. That was her job. She had to keep her job so she could buy her sewing machine.

Giuseppe continued to take his afternoon snacks at the Café Udine. He always managed to get Gina to wait on him. After talking and treating Giuseppe for 3 months, she changed her impression of him and agreed to his friendship. Time passed and everyone noticed that Giuseppe was changed. ..... His friend Leonardo tells him:

-It seems that this time you really fell in love.-

-Yes, but I don't know how to tell her. I'm worried he'll reject me because of my playboy fame,- Giuseppe nods.

-Just dare. Play with destiny. You've always done that,- replies Leonardo.

-Yes, but she's different from the women I've known. I want Gina to raise my family. She is an excellent person, hard-working, responsible, intelligent, serious, cheerful. That contagious joy and optimism has me spellbound. She is a beacon of light on my path.-

-Giuseppe, just express your emotions from the heart. I guess she'll understand. Otherwise you'd be gnawed by doubt. My friend, keep sailing on that calm sea called love, it will take you to a good port,- Leonardo replies, saying goodbye.

The inveterate playboy was now nervous, he didn't know how to conduct himself .... He thought and thought. Inwardly he speculated:

-It's now or never. The bad thing that can happen to me is that she rejects me. He planned a lunch with Gina. Then I would take her for a romantic walk along Via Veneto, give her red roses, her favorite, and declare my love for her.-

The day arrived.....Giuseppe, still sensitive, does everything he planned and, surprise! his fears are immediately dispelled...Gina accepts him. The courtship was short. After 3 months they were married in the intimacy of the family. Gina gives up coffee and buys her sewing machine. After a while she manages to set up her own workshop: Cassandra Atelier. Giuseppe decides to support his wife's dream; he would be in charge of delivering orders and managing the business.

Fate takes an unexpected turn, all plans would fall apart...... Gina becomes pregnant. The pregnancy gets complicated, she has to give up sewing. Giuseppe returns to his old job.... Fortunately the pregnancy comes to term. They go to the Central Hospital. Giuseppe did not suspect that his old girlfriend, Claudina, who swore to take revenge on him, was working there. As soon as she sees him, she addresses him with well-planned kindness and gentleness:

-My wife is going to give birth. It is suspected that there will be two babies,- he answered her parsimoniously.

Claudina's imagination was blown away but she reacts and answers:

-I congratulate you. Now I have to go, Dr. Maselli needs me in the emergency room.-

Giuseppe doesn't give importance to this encounter .....Six hours later Giulia, the nurse and midwife, who attended Gina's give birth, arrives and informs him:

-Mr. Mastroani all was normal. Two babies were born but one is delicate. Be prepared for the worst. I'm sorry, there is not much hope.-

Giuseppe does not speak, only the pain is reflected on his face.... The nurse leaves, she will continue to attend Gina. No one suspects what she has agreed with the diabolical Claudina.

Gathered in the hospital cafeteria, Giulia slyly passes a written paper to Claudina:

-You have to quickly get those who want the girl I can't keep pretending she's sick. I have to get her out of here now.-

With a sarcastic smile Claudina answers:

-I have everything ready. They will take her to Greece this evening.

Giulia manages to deliver the girl. They too would leave the country immediately.
When the nurses on duty become aware of the baby's disappearance, they inform the authorities. The police search for them but do not find them. The next day Gina, depressed, leaves the hospital with her baby.

Ten long years had passed since that fateful news..... But, the stolen daughter still did not appear. Gina lost all hope.... Depression is still with her, truncating her longing. Meanwhile, Layla, her beloved and only daughter, grows up normally. Time went on ...., and Layla, 20 years old, following her love for cooking, decided to participate in the famous Masterd Chef contest. This made Gina remember her failed dream and, she starts to wake up from her lethargy,....apoya in everything to her daughter.

Layla applies herself. She passes all the tests. She makes it to the finals. The event will be broadcasted worldwide. Giuseppe and Gina will be with her on that special day. A huge surprise awaits them all.

Meanwhile, in Greece, model Anthea, also a cooking enthusiast, had been watching the contest. Seeing her twin sister, she decides to call her parents to watch the show. Immediately the couple was shocked.
Anthea asks her parents:

-What does this mean? Can you explain?-

-We don't know anything. We adopted you when we were told you were an orphan girl who had no family. We are very happy to have you with us...-

-I've always trusted you. You always told me the truth but now I am leaving immediately for Italy. I have to know what really happened. The final is three days away. I will be on time.-

-Daughter, please keep us informed,- answer the Pappas husband and wife, kissing and hugging her goodbye.

Anthea arrives in Italy and immediately contacts the program organizers. She decides to tell them a white lie in order to enter the final event. Everything was planned to perfection. ....

The grand finale of the contest arrives. Anthea would remain hidden until the end of the event .....
The two finalists battled it out in a beautiful duel of flavors..... The judges tasted their dishes and were ready for the final verdict.....

-And the winner of this edition of Masterd chef is..... Layla.-

All applaud. Here appears Anthea with a bouquet of flowers for her sister. All is confusion. The cameramen focus on the twins. Gina faints with emotion. She found her stolen daughter....Giuseppe, pale and mute, can't think of anything.....Giuseppe immediately attends to Gina. Thirty minutes later, everything is calm again. Anthea explains what happened in the past. All embrace happily promising to visit Greece to continue celebrating......

Gina navigates the sea of life by María del Carmen Sánchez Copyright © 2022

Translated with (free version)

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