Renzo sees Raffaele enter the back room and says: "I'm almost finished, do we have customers?" then he sees his lover's expression: "What is it? You look like you've seen a ghost."
"Well... in the coffee-bar... Your mother and father are here. They've recognized me, they've figured it out, I think..."
"Ah. Well, it's for the best. I'd have to tell them sooner or later, actually I've wanted to tell them."
"How do you think they'll take it? That they are taking it?" Raffaele asks, worriedly.
"I don't know, we'll see. You'll come with me?"
"If you want..."
"Yes. But let me do the talking, we'll see what happens."
"OK." They return to the coffee bar.
"Mom, dad, what a surprise. When did you arrive?" Renzo asks trying to sound casual.
"Today..." his mother answers stiffly. The father watches ashen-faced: Renzo understands that his mother has explained everything to him.
"You know Raffaele? He is the co-owner of the coffee bar. To tell the truth, he put up the money for this place. He's my friend, the one I've told you about."
"Your boyfriend!" shouted his father.
"Yes, dad, my boyfriend." Renzo says stiffly. Two customers enter, Raffaele seats them, takes their orders.
"Where we can go to speak, Renzo." the mother asks nearly whispering.
"We can go up to our apartment, if you like..." Renzo says.
"Very well." the mother answers.
"We'll enter from the outside, the spiral staircase is too narrow... come on... If you need me, Raffaele, call me on the intercom..."
They go outside, through the nearby gate and go upstairs. Renzo takes them to the living room.
"Now then, what's going on?" his father asks aggressively.
"Dad, if you're going to take that tone, I think we'd better change the subject."
"Your mother says the two of you... well... like a man and a woman..."
"Well... we are together, yes."
"But he's a faggot, that one!" yells his father.
"So am I, dad." Renzo says frankly.
"Oh God! But... Since when?" asks his mother, deeply wounded.
"Mother... always, I think... I realized it... at least five years ago."
"Five years" his mother repeats, "but how is it possible? And five years... with him?"
"No, mother. With him only since carnival."
"So before him..." his father says grimly.
"Before him other men, dad. But he is the first with whom I'm really in love."
"In love..." his mother moans.
"Don't give us that bullshit!" his father says sharply.
"Dad, I'd have told you sooner or later, and if I didn't do it until now, it's because... I imagined that you would have taken it badly."
"Taken badly. Taken badly he says. How are we supposed to take it? Should we throw a party?" his father screams.
"As far as I'm concerned, yes: I've never felt so happy before..."
"To give him your ass!" his father says, angrily.
"Aroldo!" his mother pleads.
"Eh? To give him your ass?" repeats the father.
"Dad, this is non of your business, don't go there. Would you like me to ask what you do in bed with mother, if she gives head or not." Renzo answers.
The father gives him a backhander.
The mother, in tears, interrupts: "Not like this, not like this... we can reason, Renzo... come on Aroldo... nothing will be resolved like this..."
"There is nothing to resolve, mother. I'm fine with Raffaele, I'm happy. I'm sorry that you can't understand, accept it..."
"To accept that my son is faggot!" moans his father and tears stream down his face.
Renzo has never seen him cry, and this upsets him. But he can do nothing about it.
"Dad, I didn't ask to come into the world, I didn't ask to be gay. But I'm here, and I am gay. What should I do? Kill myself? Castrate myself? Eh? Is that what you'd have me do?" a deeply wounded Renzo asks. The father is silent. The mother wrings her handkerchief, blows her nose. Renzo, nearly whispering, says: "I love you. I'm sorry that you suffer because of my happiness..."
"How can you speak of being happy about being... like you are?" his father says, shaking his head.
"I'm happy to have someone who really loves me, and who I really love."
"But you're still so young..." says the mother.
"I'm nineteen, mother. And he's twenty-two. We know what we are. He gave up his career for me, how do you account for that? For his love of me. That interview, was a message for me..."
"I don't understand..." says the mother.
Then Renzo tells his parents. He begins from their first sexual encounter, without going into details that he knows they wouldn't want to hear, but tells all. Up to their arrival in Bologna, to the opening of the coffee bar. And he insists on his happiness: he wants them to understand that he is truly happy and he owes that to Raffaele. When finished, his father shakes his head again, but not hard. As if he wanted to say: "I don't understand."
In fact, then he says: "It's not easy... But you seems so sure. If you are indeed happy... I hope that you don't have any regrets. Remember this, you'll always have a home, a family in Rome."
"I'd like you to know him better: there's no way you won't like him!"
"Not, you're asking too much... I don't feel up to it." the father answers firmly.
"But why? He's done nothing wrong." Renzo say sorrowfully, looking his father in the eyes.
His father shifts his gaze: "You can't ask me to do such a thing. I think it's better that we return to Rome, your mother and I. We've brought you some Christmas presents, over there. Merry Christmas, Renzo."
He doesn't want to hear reason. Renzo wants to accompany them, but they say goodbye there, on the stairway. They hug him.
"I love you." Renzo says.
"We love you, too..." his father answers and goes.
His mother gives him a kiss: "I'll write you..." she says, and follows her husband.
Renzo looks at them going down the stairs -- they seem frail to him, as if they suddenly became old, and he feels sorry for them. He goes back home.
He calls Raffaele at the intercom: "They went away."
"How are you?"
"Fine. I'll come downstairs."
"Should I close and come upstairs?" Raffaele asks.
"No, I'm fine." He goes downstairs. There's just one customer.
"It didn't go smooth, huh?" Raffaele asks in a low voice, looking at him worriedly.
"No... but not too poorly either." Renzo answers, sketching a sad smile.
Raffaele, under the counter, takes his hand.
"It's OK... it will pass... Don't worry." Renzo murmurs, grateful for that small gesture of affection. Then, in a whisper, he adds: "I love you."
They can finally close for the night. They go up to their apartment. Raffaele takes Renzo in his arms and they hold each other tightly. There is no need for words. Their bodies do the talking. Raffaele picks up Renzo and carries him to their bed. He caresses him, kisses him. Renzo slowly undresses his lover and, as he unveils his lover's body, he kisses it. Also Raffaele pulls off Renzo's clothes, full of love and tenderness.
The train speeds towards Rome. A middle-aged man and woman, lost in their thoughts, sit side by side, holding hands. She feels his suffering, and would like to soothe it. If they were alone, she would have hugged him, cuddled up with him. She'll do so as soon as they are home. He is so fragile, her man, at certain times... but she knows how she might give him back his strength, since she loves him. And she will bring him, little by little, to accept. There is no other answer, anyway...
Raffaele goes down between Renzo's legs -- he inhales the perfume that he now knows so well, that excites him so much. He brushes with his cheek the beautiful, hot member smooth as silk yet hard as stone. He kisses it -- soon he will savour its taste. Renzo quivers and smiles -- he is starting to feel better. He takes the vigorous rod of his man, caresses it, admires it -- it is beautiful, and he knows that it is his...
Somebody shuts off the lights in the compartment. The man leans his cheek on the shoulder of his woman, she leans her cheek on the man's hair. She feels the light smell she knows so well and feels tenderness. She hears him sigh lightly. The man's hand squeezes her's, still resting on his lap since the train started.
Then the woman murmurs in a barely perceptible whisper: "If he's happy..."
"I'm happy..." Renzo whispers when their lips part. He feels the turgid rod of his man strongly pulsate against his own, his belly tightly adhere to his own, the chest of his beloved sweetly brushing against his own.
"I love you, Pierrot!" Raffaele murmurs gently nibbling his ear's lobe.
"I can feel it, hussar!" Renzo answers caressing his wide, strong back, his sinewy loins, his small, firm buttocks.
He spreads his legs and closes them like scissors around his lover's waist: "You are mine." he says sweetly, rotating his pelvis so that his man's member slips inside his opening. Then he pushes against him, tempting.
"I want you..." Raffaele whispers, manoeuvring so that his hard rod points on the hot waiting hole.
Everybody is asleep in the compartment. The woman recalls the first time with her man, in a movie theatre... She smiles inside herself, puts his jacket on their legs then, under it, her hand goes to caress his fly, as she did before, so many years ago. She feels it -- how hot it is! ... It is responding, exactly like that time at the movies. She smiles happily and asks herself: "Who knows why I never again did it, after we married? It is so good..." She feels it quivering, hardening, pushing.
She asks him in a whisper: "Is everything OK?"
"Yeah..." he says and puts his hand on her's, in a clear encouragement.
Raffaele stops, his glans barely wedged in the hot bud: "Is everything OK?" he asks.
"Yeah..." Renzo says pushing his pelvis against him, tightening his legs hold around his waist, in a clear encouragement. Raffaele pushes with all his body -- Renzo quivers, takes him little by little, feels it advancing majestically, solemn, full of vigour... he is happy. Raffaele's face is of an incredible beauty, while he tastes that intimate and profound union.
The buttons of the swollen fly surrender one after another, her fingers slips under the cotton boxers and brushes the hard and strong member of her man.
"I can't wait to get home..." the man whispers in a bliss.
"Me to, darling..." she says caressing all its firm length.
Doing it there, in the half darkened compartment, makes her quivers with pleasure she hasn't experience in a long time. He too feels like a young man. They didn't even stay for the end of the movie, he brought her to his place and they made love for the first time together. It had been wonderful... Also tonight, he can tell, it will be wonderful...
Raffaele enters completely. Renzo sighs, satisfied. Then his lover slips out little by little and Renzo holds back his breath, clasping his hole around his lover's rod. He feels it starting again to sink into him, strong and calm.
"Oh, Raffaele..." he murmurs filled with joy and pleasure at that slow, sweet, intimate massage.
"I'm yours, do you feel it... all yours..." Raffaele joyfully pants slowly accelerating his rhythm.
Renzo rises to nibble his nipple and to lick it -- he knows how sensitive his man is there. Raffaele vibrates, like a tuning fork...
The train makes the sleeping bodies of the passengers rock, and also those, well awake, of Renzo's parents. Her hand continues the gentle massage of his rod, and he quivers with pleasure at that secret, intimate manoeuvre. She continues, filled with tenderness -- she feels her man quivering more and more stronger, hears his breath accelerate, feels his member vibrate, dart.
Then his hand delicately stops her's and he whispers to her: "It's becoming dangerous..."
She understands, smiles, stops, but without withdrawing her hand, and whispers: "We are entering Rome... we'll be home soon..."
"Yes, Marina..." he says thinking that her words are filled with promises.
"Oh... ooooh... Love... oooooh!" Raffaele moans pushing as deep as he can inside his beloved.
"Yeah... cumm... yeah... fill me, Love... ooooh, yeah... I too... I too am... cummiiing!" They recoil from intense pleasure, they fiercely kiss, hold each other tightly, really feeling like one body, and one soul. Their moans subside. Renzo sighs.
"Do you feel better, now, Love?" Raffaele sweetly asks him.
"Yes... I feel OK, now..."
"It's gone, the sadness?"
"You chased it away. You know that I go crazy feeling you inside me!"
"And I being inside you. Do you know that I love you madly?"
"You just told me in the best of ways, Love..." Renzo whispers caressing Raffaele's member that is slowly going back to its rest.
The two are at home. They took a taxi, to get back faster. Like a couple of newlyweds, they are filled with desire. They undress in haste, slip under the sheets, search each other yearning, quivering. "You aroused my desire, you know?" he says going on top of her and covering her with his hot and shuddering body.
"Yes, darling..." she murmurs guiding him inside her.
It's been so long since she felt him so ardent. She is happy. She feels him inside her, and feels his blazing desire. "How many days ago was the last time?" she asks herself. "Never again so many!" she swears. He is near exploding, she follows him and feels that after so many years, she will also have an orgasm. They pant, moan, hold each other tightly, and wave overcomes them. Then, he slowly pulls out from her and lies at her side, caressing her.
"How do you feel, Love? better?" she sweetly asks.
"Yes... thank you..."
"The most important thing... is that he is happy, isn't it?" she whispers, waiting for his answer, with baited breath.
"Yes... just... I was asking myself... would he be on top or on bottom?"
"Hey, Aroldo! What... does it matter?"
"No, no, nothing... not at all... just, if he were a daughter... or a son like all the others, I could guess..." the man says, thoughtful.
The woman smiles... he is cooling down, happily. Certainly, it has been a blow. More for the surprise than anything else.
So she adds, hesitant: "He seems like a nice boy..."
"Bah!" he drily answers.
"Our Renzo... is a good boy."
"I thought you were talking about the other one." the man retorts.
"Yes... exactly. He gave up everything for our Renzo, anyway..."
"I'd have preferred he gave up our Renzo." the father stubbornly says.
"The problem would not have changed... and who knows who he would have ended up with..."
The woman doesn't insist - little by little, she knows, she will bring him where she wants. Especially now that... she knows how to take him.
"I love you, Aroldo..."
"Me too, Marina... but I wonder how can he not like women."
"Well... these things happen."
"But why to us?"
"And why not to us?" the woman wisely asks.
He doesn't know how to answer.
On Christmas day, the father calls Renzo for the greetings. Renzo is happy to hear from him. "To that one also!" the man then adds, grumbling.
For Easter, they send them a present. "For both of you" his mother writes with her elegant calligraphy on the card accompanying it. And beneath there is also his father's signature.
In Summer Renzo calls: "We are going to Capri. We thought we'd stop and say hello."
"All right... we'll be expecting you." his father says with a dry tone, slightly harsh.
When they ring at the door, both are somewhat tense. Renzo's father opens the door.
Stiffly, he lets them in, then says to Raffaele: "I think we should call us by name..."
"I'd be honoured." Raffaele answers in a subdued tone.
"Well... I know that you are just passing through. Thank you for coming to say hello..."
They sit in the kitchen. The father lights a cigarette. The mother, while busying herself with pots and pans, makes small talk, evidently worried to let silence fall. Renzo and Raffaele talk with the mother, trying to involve, through their glances, the father. The man, for a while, keeps silent.
Then he says: "Marina... Raffaele will never again come to see us, if you keep up this way..."
Renzo looks at his father. The man makes him a fleeing smile and winks.
Then he says, seriously, to Raffaele: "Just give me some time... Maybe I'm a little old-fashioned... give me just a little more time, boy."
"Sure, Aroldo. No problem at all."
"And see to it that you take good care of him."
"He is the thing that is most dear to my heart."
"So, Marina... is it ready? The boys must be hungry, then they have to leave!" the man says.
The woman smiles in herself -- she's won... she didn't doubt it.
So, dear friends, this is the story of Raffaele di Capri. He possibly could have became a great actor, one of the greatest in the history of cinema. But he doesn't have the slightest regret -- he has something lot more precious than an Oscar. And if he didn't became a great star, he certainly is a great man... Now even Aroldo is sure of that...
Ah, by the way, at the end of September of the year following that of the fateful Carnival, Renzo got a little brother, unexpected but not for that less loved... Now they both are more careful, of course, but their renewed relationship has not cooled down. Relatives and neighbours ask themselves how that middle aged couple seems suddenly rejuvenated. Well... you now know why.