Once upon a time, there was a girl from Italy called Elena. She was 19. She was short, with long, curly, dark brown hair and brown eyes. Her skin was creole.
Once she and two of her girlfriends decided to travel to Greece in the summer. The friends wanted to spend a week there. They talked about how they would get there: by plane, car or ship. Finally, they chose to go by ship.
The summer holiday started; they packed all kinds of things into their suitcases and waited for the day of the cruise.
That afternoon the girls packed their luggage into the back of the car and started toward the port. When they arrived, the ship was already there. They boarded it and went straight to their cabin. All of them chose a bed, sat down and started to talk about what places they would visit. Then the ship embarked.
After a couple of hours it was dinnertime. So they went to the ship’s restaurant and looked for a table. They sat down, and after some minutes the dinner was served. Elena looked around. She didn’t find anyone who was familiar, but she saw a handsome boy with his family. He seemed tall, he had short wavy dark brown hair, blue eyes and a nice smile. His skin was just like Elena’s.
She left her eyes on him. After a while the boy looked right at her. When the girl realised it, she immediately shifted her glance. She blushed like a rose, and her friends noticed it.
– Who did you see? – asked Ines.
– Just a guy. – Elena tried to act normally, but she was totally embarrassed.
– Maybe… You might already like him? – laughed her other friend, Catarine.
– Noo! I.. I just looked into his eyes! – she tried to explain it, but her friends made fun of her.
They went to their cabin and they talked about all kinds of things until they fell asleep. At night Elena woke up because she felt sick. She went out to the corridor and then straight to the deck, where a narrow staircase led. On deck she sucked a little fresh air, and after she felt a little bit better, she went back to the stairs leading down. She stepped down two, slipped on a wet stair, and fell down. But she didn’t land on the floor; there was something soft under her. She fell on a passenger. This passenger was none other than the boy she had seen in the restaurant. They were around the same age.
– Are you okay? – asked the boy, lifting Elena up.
– You asked me this, when I fell on you. You didn’t hit your head, did you?
– Just a little. But now I know what it is like when an angel falls from Heaven. – Elena immediately got butterflies in her stomach and she couldn’t do anything, just smile. The boy also smiled at her.
– I’ll accompany you to your room.
– Oh, thanks. – They followed the way to the girls’ room.
– What’s your name?
– It’s a beautiful name for a girl like you. I’m Matteo. Nice to meet you! – They shook hands. The two young adults arrived at the door.
– I hope we will see each other!
– So do I! Have a Good night, Matteo!
– You too, Elena!
She went inside, leaned against the door, and let out a big sigh. “Now I believe in love at first sight,” she whispered.
The boat moored on the Greek shores of Corfu at midday. The girls got off and took a taxi to their accommodation, which was in a motel. As they had plenty of time, they decided to look around the town.
Even this little bit of sightseeing was an unforgettable experience. The island of Corfu also showed the typical Greek townscape. There were lots of houses on top of each other on the hills.
Most of these buildings had walls polished white, but there were some painted red, orange and even blue. Probably the houses were monochrome, but the people were very varied.
Their lives took place in the street. Wherever the girls went, they saw many men in pubs and cafés. They heard the women chat and whisper. Almost every store played music, and there was a street musician on every corner. Little boys played football on the squares. Everyone looked happy.
The view was astonishing. Bays surrounded by steep rock walls, long sandy beaches, lush green vegetation. From hundreds of meters you could see the sand sinking below the water’s surface. Some parts of the island showed untouched nature.
The girls also saw different kinds of sculptures in the streets. They were similar to those in Italy, but not the same. These Greek statues looked as if a living person had hardened into stone. Their faces also showed real feelings, like happiness and sadness. And the precision with which the details were depicted on the human body and face was simply amazing.
It started to darken. Instead of going back to the accommodation, the three friends visited a pub to have fun. This experience was almost the same as in their homeland, just not in Italian: everybody was talking or singing very loudly. After a couple of shots the Italian young women started to enjoy themselves.
They sang, danced and drank. Around two o’clock the tipsy girlfriends left the pub and somehow got back to the motel. Ines and Catarine went into the room, but Elena stayed in the hallway, because there was a food-dispensing machine and she felt hungry for chocolate. She bought one piece and ate it. Even before she went to sleep, she heard somebody calling her name.
– Elena, is that you? – asked a guy with a deep and soft voice.
– Who’s asking?
– Don’t you remember me? Did you forget last night, my angel? – At that moment she realised who was standing in front of her; she didn’t think, just did what she had to do…
She kissed him.
Matteo was surprised at first, but then he kissed her lips again. He knew the girl was drunk, but it was too good to stop. However, this whole thing couldn’t take so long, because Ines and Catarine came out and took their friend into the room.
The next morning Matteo wanted to knock on the girls’ door, but his family called him to come before he could do it.
When Elena woke up, her girlfriends were already awake. She wasn’t sure about the previous night, because she thought that it was only a dream.
– Good morning!
– Good morning! Did you sleep well? – asked Catarine.
– Very well. I had a pleasant dream. The boy from the boat, Matteo, kissed me. – The two girls started laughing.
– What’s so funny?
– You’re such a silly girl. Don’t you remember? – said Ines.
– He really kissed you last night – continued Catarine.
– Did he? – Her friends nooded.
– By the way, he is very handsome – Ines commented.
– I think so too.
– Did you see him this morning? – asked Elena.
– Yes, he was walking in front of our door. – She immediately ran out to the corridor, to make sure Matteo was really there.
But he wasn’t in the motel. She didn’t see him anywhere. Then Elena went back sadly to the room.
– Don’t grieve! You will see him again. We have many more days left in the holiday – Catarine sat down next to Elena and hugged her. – Let’s go to the beach! Maybe then your mood will come back!
They went to the coast. They spent much time in the clear blue water and swam a lot too. Catarine and Ines talked about the boys they saw. How handsome this one was, how muscular the other. They could chat about it all day long. But Elena didn’t look at anyone. Matteo was in her mind all day. She wondered what she would say to him when she saw him again. But Elena didn’t think about what would happen if they didn’t meet again while they were in Greece.
The days passed very quickly that week. The friends visited museums and cultural places. They also tried the typical Greek food, such as gyros, salad and souvlaki. And when they could, they went to the shores. Unfortunately Elena and Matteo didn’t meet again, because they always looked for each other when the other wasn’t in the motel. She felt pretty sad, because she couldn’t say goodbye to Matteo, with whom she fell so strongly in love during these few days.
The three friends traveled home. A week, two, and even a month passed. Elena couldn’t get the boy out of her head. Catarine and Ines tried to cheer her and told her to get over him.
But the girl did not listen to them.
Even before the end of the summer holidays, new neighbors moved across from them. The girl’s family decided to greet them. One evening they went over, Elena rang the bell. The door opened and at the door was none other than Matteo.