(Pen) Name: Carrie-Anne Brownian
Title: Little Ragdoll
Description: As she grows up in the Lower East Side and Hell’s Kitchen during the tumultuous Sixties and early Seventies, Adicia Éloïse Troy is buoyed by the loving bond she shares with her sisters, friends, and one decent brother. Adicia dreams of one day leaving her poor class origins behind and finding someone from the outside world who will love her just the way she is. Along the way, she inspires a #1 hit song after a chance encounter, learns that sometimes the truest, strongest, most lasting love bonds come when one grows instead of falls in love, and finds the inner-strength to get through the nightmare that’s delivered to her after she finally thought she was getting a happy ending. Happy endings are always sweetest and most appreciated when you had to earn them and didn’t have them handed to you on a silver platter, after all.
The waters of the Palazzo Rio look calm and smooth, though Adicia is still uncertain, particularly when sunset isn’t too far off. If there should be turbulent waters or another boat coming at them, the gondolier will never be able to see and do something in time to rectify the situation. Her heart is beating very fast as Ricky helps her into the gondola.
“You don’t mind engaging in a little public display of affection in front of our gondolier, do you, if he happens to look our way?” he whispers as they take their seats.
“What? I wouldn’t do that unless it’s too dark for him to see us. You know I don’t do that in front of other people. It’s too personal and private. I don’t want anyone, no matter who it is, being privy to such a personal thing.”
“Well, you don’t get a choice,” he grins. “You’re gonna have to let me kiss you when our gondola goes underneath the bridge that’s coming up. You wouldn’t deny your husband this one wish on his own birthday, would you?”
“Is there a superstition associated with that?”
“It’s called the Bridge of Sighs. It was given the nickname by Lord Byron in the last century. He believed convicts got their last sight of the beautiful city of Venice while passing underneath the bridge, even though that theory wasn’t historically accurate. The name stuck, though.”
As the sky fills with the beautiful colors of the setting sun and the gondola passes underneath the bridge, Ricky leans over and kisses her, the same sweet, gentle way he did at the county fair two years ago. Adicia nervously smiles at him, hoping the gondolier didn’t see anything.
“What was that for?”
“The legend says that if you kiss your beloved on a gondola going underneath the Bridge of Sighs at sunset, you’ll be together, blissful, and in love forever, and will have a happy, blissful marriage. You want that, don’t you? After what we went through in our first year of marriage, I’m not taking any chances, superstition or not. I wanna be with you forever.”
“That is a beautiful legend,” she smiles. “There’s no one else I’d wanna spend the rest of my life with.”
“Remember how we rode on the tunnel of love as our last ride of the day at the county fair the last day we had together before I was taken away from you? You made a comment about how ironic it was that the waters ahead of us were so smooth when in real life they were anything but. Now the waters are smooth in every way.”
“It would be delusional to think the rest of our lives will be just as smooth sailing, since no one’s life is perfect all the time, but we’ve both been through the worst. It’s all behind us. Now the rough first nineteen years of my life truly are nothing but troubled water under the bridge.”