The Italian Job - Part 13

Before I could control myself, I started crying.

To my eternal relief, Mrs Wilson didn’t come and offer to help.

When I’d recovered my composure, I said to her,

“You can’t be serious. You really want me to come and tell a load of adolescent girls about a man who does not want to be a man and why he’s having his dick cut off?” I blurted out rather angrily when I’d recovered at least some sort of composure.

I dragged a handkerchief out of my handbag and tried to dry my eyes without making too much of a mess of my makeup. 

“Why? I’m sure the girls would be interested to know about this particular aspect of sexuality.”

“Not from me they won’t. Ten seconds after I finish speaking to them it will be all over Twitter, Facebook and who knows where else. Perhaps a tabloid newspaper would be interested in paying for the story. Besides, I’ve never told Sophia or her brother about myself.  I’m sure their father will be wanting to have a very long talk about this with them.”

“Sophia has done nothing wrong. Why would you punish her for speaking the truth?”

I’d recovered a bit more by now.

“Mrs Wilson, whilst I appreciate your good intentions and all that, there are some members of Sophia’s family who would use this
knowledge against her father in a trice. “

My argument didn’t seem to hold much water with her.

“To whom are you talking about?”

“Her Mother and Grandmother!”

This seemed to stop her momentarily.

It was an all too brief moment.

“Why, If I may ask? Surely they are entitled to know who is looking after the children?”

I wanted to throttle her from that moment onwards.

“That might be true but their Mother wants sole custody of the children. If she finds out about me, then their Father would be lucky to see them ever again. He Mother goes through lovers like they are going out of fashion. Now, I ask you, is that right and fair?”

Then I gave her a little smile.

“Oh, and the extension to the Science block may be delayed a little.”

Mrs Wilson gave me a really serious look.

“And what do you mean by that?”

“What I mean Mrs Wilson is that a sizable donation that was earmarked for the Science Block appeal will now not be making its way to the school. Instead, I think it might go to an animal welfare charity instead.”

“I don’t believe you. How would a faux children’s governess be able to make a sizable donation to anything.”

“Mrs Wilson, I am sure you would understand that that sort of question is not one you would really expect an answer to now is it?”

I smiled at her. I felt much better now. I was back in control of my emotions.

“How can I believe you?”

“Mrs Wilson! I can assure you that I am a person of independent means. One who is quite prepared to make good that promise I just made to you.”

She didn’t answer so I did it for her.

“Perhaps I should leave now. I think I’ll take Sophia with me. Her Father will be flying in from Italy in the morning and will be spending more than a little time with her in the next few days!”

“But… you can’t. The term isn’t over. Besides you aren’t a parent or guardian.”

I smiled sweetly back at her.

“Mrs Wilson, if you look at Sophia’s file, I am sure you will find a letter from her father appointing me as a person who can act ‘In loco parentis.”

“I really must protest. You can’t just take a girl from the school.”

I smiled back and pulled my mobile phone from my handbag.

“If you’d prefer it, I could phone Sophia’s Father and get his opinion on the matter. I am sure that when he hears about your little scheme he will have no objection to me removing his daughter from this school without delay. Well?”

I didn’t wait for her to answer. I dialled Luca.

If she was waiting for me to back-out then she was mistaken. He answered on the second ring.

“Hello Darling”

“Yes I’m fine. I’m at the school now. I’m sitting in Sophia’s House Mistress’s study.”

“Yes there is. Sophia knows about me and included it in a piece about her family.”

“Hold on Luca. It was nothing like that. For her age, it was very beautifully written. It is Mrs Wilson that is the problem. She wants me to talk to some senior girls about being a Transsexual.”

His reaction was as I’d expected. I help the phone away from my ear just so that Mrs Wilson could hear his reply.

“That’s right. Twitter and everything else. Probably within minutes.”

“Agreed. There is no way I am going to do it. Mrs Wilson tried to blackmail me. I told her that my donation towards the new science block was in danger. I want to remove Sophia from school at once.”

I listened to him start a bit of a rant.

“Hold on Luca. Why don’t you tell that to her yourself?”

He agreed.

“Sophia’s Father wants to talk to you himself.”

I handed the phone over.

She took it very reluctantly. She knew what was coming.

Three minutes later my phone was back in my handbag and I was on my way to Sophia’s dormitory. She would be leaving with me despite Mrs Wilson’s initial protestations.

Sophia was sitting at her desk writing something when arrived at her room.

“Knock-knock,” I said quietly.

She turned around and when she saw me she dropped her pen and ran over to me. She hugged me tightly.

“Sono così spiacente. Non ho significato scrivere quella storia.” {I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to write that story.}

“Non importa. Che cosa è fatto è fatto.” {It does not matter. What is done is done.}

“It does matter. I was wrong. I should be punished,” she said switching effortlessly back to English.

I eased her grip from me and then I knelt down to be at her level.

“Sophia, it is no use worrying about it. I’ve come to take you home. Away from that Wilson woman.”

“Mrs Wilson? Why?”

“It is nothing for you to worry about my dear. All you need to know is that you have done nothing wrong. Nothing wrong at all.”

She held onto me for a long minute. I gently stroked her hair.

“Is papa coming from Italy?” She asked in a whisper.

“Yes. He will be here tonight if he can get a flight.”

She looked up at me and gave me a very tiny smile.

Two hours later we arrived back home. The place was eerily quiet. Saffy and Claudia were living in my old apartment in town which meant that there was no one else besides myself to comfort Sophia.

As much as I tried, I failed to get her out of what could only be called a ‘fug’. It started as we left the grounds of the school.
I even tried to bribe her with her favourite ice cream but she didn’t touch it.

This was one of those times when I seriously questioned my suitability for this whole governess and family malarkey.

All Sophia would do was keep saying that she was sorry.

In the end, I gave up and called the Saffy. I desperately needed help.

~o~O~o~

A little over an hour later both Claudia and Saffy arrived to give me that much needed help. Their arrival was perfectly timed as Luca had just phoned to say that he couldn’t get a flight back to London. He’d tried Turin, Genoa, Milan and Nice. The earliest he would be with us was lunchtime tomorrow but he was still trying everything he could to get away that day.

Saffy breezed into the kitchen, removing her Crash Helmet as she came through the door.

“What’s up Fran? What couldn’t you tell us on the phone?” She asked smiling.

“Lets wait for Claudia to come in? Then I don’t have to explain it twice.”

Saffy smiled back at me and headed for the sink. She began to fill the kettle with water.

“This looks serious so I’d better get a brew on.”

I gave her a little smile in return. In times of stress, Saffy always turned to tea. Not just any tea but a delightful blend of Assam and Darjeeling. I have to admit that she’d hooked me on it years ago.

Claudia finished parking her Guzzi and joined us in the kitchen.

“Ah Tea! Wonderful”

Saffy giggled. Before they’d gotten together she’d very rarely dunk tea. Now? Let’s say that she is a convert.

I let Saffy pour us all a cuppa before I began.

I took a sip of the hot tea and simply stated,

“Sophia knows about me.”

The smiled disappeared from their faces in an instant.

“How? Why? I don’t understand?” Exclaimed Claudia.

“How does not matter. What matters is that she wrote an essay for school about her father and casually mentioned that her father was going to marry a man who dressed up as a woman.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

“Say that again?” Asked Saffy.

Instead of telling them again I opened the same manila folder that Mrs Wilson had given me at the school.

“Why don’t you read the story for yourselves.”

Together they read Sophia’s words.

When they’d finished, Claudia asked,

“Does my brother know?”

“Yes. He’s on his way here but last I heard, he might not get a flight until tomorrow.”

A stern faced Saffy asked,“What do you want us to do?”

“Make Sophia understand that she’s done nothing wrong.”

They looked at each other and smiled.

“Where is she now?”

“In her room. Why?”

Saffy smiled at Claudia again. Claudia nodded back.

“I think it is time to get the dressing up box out again.”

I sighed and thought to myself. Why didn’t I think of that?

“What do you want me to do?” I asked.

“Nothing Darling. Absolutely nothing. Why don’t you go and have a nice soak in the bath and let Auntie Claudia and Auntie Saffy sort things out?” Suggested Claudia.

I couldn’t argue with her or their logic on that point.

~o~O~o~

This whole episode made me question just about everything that was going on in my life. I felt that I was not cut out for be even a step-mother. Even the phone call from Luca late that night failed to dispel my lingering doubts about my future.

My demeanour the following morning was not much better. Thankfully, Saffy had left for the shop with Sophia by the time I emerged from bed looking like something the cat had dragged home and then thrown away. Luca was going to stop by the shop on the way home.

My melancholy was still very much apparent when Luca came home with Sophia late that afternoon.

He took one look at me and then at my totally dishevelled appearance and quickly ushered Sophia into the games room and sat her in front of the TV. This is not something we would normally do but Luca needed to speak to me alone.

I was still sitting in the kitchen in the same place he’d left me hours before. I hadn’t moved in all that time. The half empty coffee cup was still where it was when Luca had left me alone that morning.

My mind was still a virtual train wreck. Why? Why me? What should I do? I’d asked myself those and a thousand other questions over and over again all day.

Naturally, no viable answers had been forthcoming.

Once he’d gotten Sophia settled, Luca came and sat down beside me.

He gently put his arm around me and drew me close.

He didn’t say anything at first. For that I was glad, very glad.

Eventually, I relaxed a bit and let my head sink onto Luca’s shoulder.

We sat there for nearly an hour. Our shared solitude was interrupted by Sophia ‘bouncing’ into the room.

“Daddy, I’m thirsty,” she exclaimed as she walked into the kitchen.

Almost automatically, I made a movement to get something for Sophia. As I did so, Luca tightened his grip on me.

“I’ll do it. You stay put my darling.

I relaxed and sunk back into the chair.

Luca got up and went to sort out a drink for Sophia.

Sophia saw her opportunity and came up and hugged me.

“I’m so sorry Miss Fran. I should not have written that silly story.”

I managed to give her a little smile.

“It is all right Sophia. You did nothing wrong. You told the truth. That is all anyone could ask for.”

She hugged me tight.

I tried to force a small smile from my lips but failed miserably.

Luca returned with Sophia’s drink.

“Qui è la bevanda Sophia. Forse vorreste berli nell’altra stanza?” {Here is your drink Sophia. Why don’t you drink it in the other room?}

“Sì papà.”

She took the glass and left us alone once more.

I took a deep breath and said,

“I… I can’t do this anymore.”

Luca didn’t answer but came and wrapped his arms around me.

“Yes you can my darling. You have come so far this past year. You have changed into a lovely confident woman.”

“Until this happened maybe I would have agreed with you. Not now, I’m a wreck.”

“You did wonderfully well at the school. You could have easily clocked her one for doing that to you like that. God knows, that teacher probably deserved one.”

His comforting eventually worked. I couldn’t stop a little giggle from keeping out.

“That’s more like the Fran I know and love.”

Saffy and Claudia came over for dinner that evening. Luca made us one of his delightful ‘throw what’s in the fridge into a pot and add some pasta’ surprises. As usual, it was fantastic.

Claudia and Saffy were the life and soul of the diner table. I tried my best to join in the fun but my heart wasn’t really in it. Still, I was feeling a bit better than earlier in the day.

As I sat there watching Sophia I marvelled at her ‘innocence of youth’. As the evening wore on, it seemed that she’d totally forgotten the story and all the angst it had generated amongst the adults in her life.

~o~O~o~

I felt a lot better the next morning. So much better in fact, I ducked under the bedclothes and woke Luca up slowly and gently with my mouth massaging his penis.

“That feels nice,” He mumbled after a few minutes.

I sped up my massage until he got nice and hard.

He was just about to ejaculate when I heard Sophia calling.

“Daddy, Daddy, I can see a rainbow. Come see.”

Luca got out of bed and put his dressing down on. He came back and kissed me gently.

“Daddy, Daddy”

Came the call from the next room.

“Oh, the joys of parenthood.”

I smiled back.

“Let me go. If I’m going to be her stepmother, then we should start now.”

Luca took my hand.

“Let’s both go and see this rainbow.”

[to be continued in Part 14 of 15]

[Authors note]

This part was very hard to write. I think I must have written and rewritten it at least a dozen times. I hope I got the cantor right.



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