Mia stared with wide green eyes, up at the giant aqueduct—la Fontana di Trevi. No stars soared above, only darkness; the friendly black that Italia offered.
Europe was so different—a haven, it was, where nature and modern technology touched, hands held in friendship; nothing like home, America, where she breathed pollution, drank pollution, swam in pollution, and liked it. Italy was so new.
La Fontana di Trevi swam before before her eyes, and she thought of that tale: One coin tossed into La Fontana will grant a wish of someday returning to Italy.
With a small smile that rarely came, she reached into her pack, in that little corner even pickpockets could not find...she found a euro, worth two. Euros were lovely currency, and she quite happily threw it at Oceanus; his blank eyes changed not.
She is older when she returns to Rome; or, rather, Rome returns to her. It gives her a discount ticket, so cheap she would cry, if she could.
Abigail lets her go very reluctantly. But Mia smiles all the same, because she can; La Fontana awaits. She arrives in Rome with hair that's violet, more purple than ever; eyes greener, rounder; they are like emeralds. If poppies were green...
The Italian people, they appeal to her; their language, it is like singing. There is that romantic spot, where Hispanic-looking men sell orange UFOs for five euros each, and trying to peer pressure—and it should be a verb itself—buyers into the blue ones for five more, and others who offer the green lasers that are three euros, whose grip of light is harsh, and reaches far, far into the galaxy, glowing bottle-emerald. They are like stars, and obnoxious American teenagers like to point them at Oceanus's great bearded face, lighting up tiny pools along the stone.
Mia turns nerd as she looks at the world-ocean's face once more; it is night again, and she thinks of how he was once the great river ringing the world; now he is an icon from Arcadia. Why should it be La Fontana?—can it not be sexless, and beautiful in its own right?
There is a guide nearby, speaking British with Italian to a gaggle of high schoolers who speak American, because Americans are oh-so-special. Mia feels special.
The guide's name seems to be Linda, though Mia cannot tell, and probably doesn't care; Linda wears sunglasses even in the Italian night, whose streetlights softly glow. They are black, the sunglasses, or brown, or tortoiseshell.
That is how she learns of the second coin.
That is how she learns of the second wish.
That is how her second euro lands, worth one, at the hem of the world-ocean's robe. It is a promise of an Italian husband.
Mia turns, cheeks glowing red, and it has nothing to do with the Italian warmth. Or does it.
Then she sees him—hair brown like caramel, a shade almost like blond; eyes very much brown, twelve shades darker. They are large and innocent, and he stares at her as if at Botticelli's angels, but not naked.
He looks familiar.
And it just so happens that he holds a poppy in his hands, red, red, red, one of many that scatter Rome. They clash with Mia's hair, and match with her eyes.
Behind them, the loud Americans giggle like the assholes they are; there is a third coin, a third wish, but Mia does not hear, too transfixed on the little poppy, too transfixed by his shy smile.
They return to America together, and though Abigail smashes his face in, he stays, and Mia ties the knot.
Their last kiss was many, many days ago—it is swimming away, or rather, Mia is swimming away.
Edward is cute even as he grows old; he is charming, almost, and rather funny; his strands of hair still stick upwards at the forehead, blond or brown. But Mia tires of him; he never grows old, true—but she tires. She wants to go about the world again, or at least Italy. She suddenly doesn't want him. Marriage is tiring, and though her fidelity remains strong, she tires.
Her hair a dulling violet, she returns to Rome, leaving no note, no word; just a phone number scribbled on the kitchen table.
Oceanus receives her as soon as her plane crash-lands at the airport, five feet above; no one is hurt, but shocked. She goes to La Fontana, and meets the Ocean Sea's gaze. Jaded as one can be—she is older—she drops the third coin, sealing her tale.
She wishes for divorce.
Mia awakes with a start.
Was it real?
And she has never been to Italy, either; but the vision is a nice one.
But Edward...her, falling in love with Edward, and marrying him? Brown hair and browner eyes come to mind, and that silly strand of hair that stands up, always. She has seen it gelled; nothing can slick it back.
And Edward, having a crush on her?
That is almost worth a giggle.
She would roll her eyes, if she is the type to; she doesn't.
But she must admit that Edward is indeed funny, at times. He is charming enough, she decides, but then decides that she doesn't care.
Still, that was a strange dream.