I watch my husband’s retreating back. He’s a five-foot-six, dark-haired, confident Italian man, always impeccably dressed in a three-piece suit. There is no backward glance or nonchalant wave. Nothing. He’s not in the least bit concerned about leaving me—his new bride—all alone. I don’t speak a word of English. Until three days ago, I’d never set foot outside of Italy. Never mind being on board a ship bound for Africa. If I were to be truly dramatic, I could almost state that I’d never really been left by myself with strangers. I’ve now departed from all that is familiar: my mother, Giuseppina; and my grandmother, Donna Maria. During World War II, the three of us survived bombings, hunger, and disease in Torino, Northern Italy.
But, now, I have left them.
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