You hugged the newspaper close to your chest. All it covered was your swollen tummy. For now, that was most important. The cup beside you only held $1.23, and you hated that. But you couldn't blame those who passed you and sneered. You were living a worthless existance, where no-one cared about you. Doomed to carry the child of your ex-boyfriend, you struggled to satisfy the needs of a pregnant woman. You took shelter in the back alley of the local Olive Garden, crying yourself to sleep and wondering why you were so stupid to fall in love with the man who wronged you. Yes, it was a worthless existance, where nobody needed you. Then of course, he walked into your life.
Marcello Vargas was a very lovable man. He was one to chat with the female variety very often, as far as to kiss them on the cheek, compliment them, then mutter sweet nothings into their ears. He would then give out his phone number, but nobody would call him. It was probably because the moment they would call, he wouldn't remember even meeting them. He worked at the Olive Garden, that specific building managed by his grandfather. You always noticed him walking home from work, usually singing a song in Italian and taking a taxi right by your alley. You fell in love with his cheery attitude, sea foam green eyes, and flirtatious smile. He was one of those people who never noticed your sobbing of sorrow and regret, and not even bothering to look. But that was typical. He was one of those many things that you wanted, but because of the state you were in now, could not obtain. And that pained you so.
But everything changed that one day when you were on the wall right next to your alley. Begging for money was useless, as today no-one would drop a single penny. You cried silently, letting the Italian song he always sang flow from your cracked lips. Unknownst to you, he walked by, and looked down. What he saw was a horror to his eyes. A broken girl, roughly the age of 18, leaning against the wall, singing a song that he always sang. Her (h/c) locks were matted and dirty, her face streaked with dirt, and her beautiful (e/c) crystals lifeless. Not to mention her stomach held a circular shape, but it looked malnourished and sickly. Marcello couldn't believe his eyes. He knelt down and spoke to you. "B-Bella? A-Are you okay?" He asked, that angelic voice chirping in your ears. You shrugged. "No. I'm worthless." You said, not even bothering to look at him. You felt something touch your cheek, and it was a soft hand. "A pregnant ragazza should not have to stay out here for the rest of her life." He scolded, immediately taking your hand. "C'mon, bella. Let me take care of you."
There was something about you that made you different from all of the other girls. Maybe it was your tragic life or your beautiful face, Marcello could not put his finger on it. But as he stood there, waiting for a taxi to come by, he held your hand. You looked like a dog compared to him. He dressed like a common waiter, with the white dress shirt, black slacks, and black apron, while you were in a ratty (f/c) t-shirt with torn jeans. Not to mention you clung to the small jacket around you like it was your most precious thing in the world. But Marcello thought you were the prettiest girl in the world, even if you looked like you hadn't slept in ages.
Eventually, the yellow car came by, the irritable driver pulling to a halt as soon as Marcello waved. As he pulled you into the car, you remained silent. "So, tell me your name, unless you want me to keep calling you bella, bella!" He giggled, and you stared at your feet. "[Name]." You said, clutching your stomach. "Very pretty...." He said, looking out the window. Soon enough, the taxi stopped a an apartment building, which looked rather luxurious. "C'mon, bella! I want to show you your new home!" Wait, what?
You felt like you were about to throw up by the time the elevator stopped at the top floor. You were so tired, so you hoped you could sleep where he was taking you. Leading you to the door at the end of the hall, he jiggled the key in the silver door knob then dragged you in.
Surprisingly, the penthouse apartment was larger than you expected. A full wall window led to a balcony over looking the city, and the floor was covered by a fluffy carpet. A flat screen TV was placed on the forest green wall, in front of the black L-shaped couch with two dice shaped footrests. The kitchen right behind it was large as well, with long cabinets, a chrome sink, and silver fridge and oven. The counter was a purple granite, with an island in the middle of the room. The dining table was a silver bottom with a glass platform. A lamp was above it, bronze designs like a flower and then a lightbulb in the middle of a white, wide bowl shaped shade. The hallway behind it led to the assumed to be bathroom and bedrooms. You gasped in awe.
"Please sit! I'll go get us some nice popcorn to munch on!" He said, leaving the living room and walking into the kitchen. Taking a bag out of the cream colored pantry, he put it in the black microwave, and after pressing only one button, the radiation began to work it's magic. In a matter of minutes, the buttery treat was finished, and soon Marcello was sitting with you on the couch.
"So, please tell me about yourself, [Name]." He said, offering the bowl to you. Starving, your fingers reached in and grabbed a handful from the rest. Stuffing it in your face, the Italian said, "You poor thing. You probably haven't eaten much in days." As much as you hated it, that was the truth. For the past week, you had been picking the scraps of food from the garbage. Sure, it was disgusting, but it was better than eating dust. You were happy to be actually eating real food again. Your head darted over to Marcello as you felt a hand placed on your stomach. "....who did this to you?" He asked. You felt tears begin to well in your eyes. "M-My dumbass boyfriend Alfred..." You said, the salty liquid now spilling from your (e/c) orbs. Marcello hugged you tightly. "Shhh, bella. I'm here. No-one can hurt your anymore. You need some rest." And he picked your fragile, beaten up figure down the hall and into the final room.
His bedroom was as luxurious as the kitchen and living room. It was painted a dark blue, with a window leading to the main balcony, jus like the living room. A TV was across from the bed, currently turned off. The sheets were brown like chocolate, the comforter a baby blue. A walk in closet was right by the mirror, and you could tell it must have been huge. You wondered why such a treated person took you in.
As Marcello laid you on the bed, you cringed. An actual bed was something you hadn't had in a long time. The blanket was covered over your frame, and somebody crawled in with you. "Sleep, bella. It's been a long day." Placing a kiss on your forhead, he wrapped his arms around you humming a lullaby. "Ti amo."
You remembered that day as you held the newborn in your arms. It was a girl, that you and Marcello both named Isabella, similar to what he called you the first day you met. She had an assymetrical curl like her father, with you hair color and his eyes.
Marcello hugged you as he made funny faces as the tiny child squirmed, giggling. You smiled, kissing your husband. "Ti amo, bella." He whispered. "Ti amo tanto."