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The Interlude is the seventh of the 91 Days Novelization.
Dreaming, Angelo hears his younger brother calling to him. He recognizes the voice as being from the time he could walk with Luce in his arms.
He remembers he had grown tired just earlier and demanded to be carried, but their mother told him to walk properly and refused now that he was a little older, saying being carried is for babies. Angelo felt conflicted between being glad he was relieved from his burden or to feel lonely and mourn. When he discussed this with Corteo, he laughed, saying he's jealous because he didn't have any siblings. Angelo felt he couldn’t be angry at him for laughing after that.
It is difficult for children with parents in the mafia to make friends. So while Corteo was the only friend they had, they were close. He was smart and passionate about his studies, and he always had something new to teach them. Angelo liked listening to him have fun sharing that information.
The scenery began changing to a time long gone. Angelo realizes that he's dreaming, as the only precious thing left with him was Corteo.
Luce says that they should go on an adventure. He took his brother's hand and pulled him towards the forest. Angelo realizes that this was when they had come for a picnic as a family. Because it was still too early to have lunch, and Luce was full of energy, having come thus far in the car.
Corteo tells Luce not to touch a mushroom, as it's poisonous. Angelo feels that it was a good thing they had such a knowledgeable friend and that Elena was amazing for staying firm and bringing him along no matter how many times he held back and refused her. As he was thinking such, he takes out a handkerchief and wipes Luce’s hands.
Luce asks about another berry and Corteo replies that it isn't poisonous. Before he can stop him, he pops the red berry in his mouth. Immediately, he makes a face and spits it out, remarking that it's too sour.
Corteo looked on despairingly, kicking himself for being too late to stop him.
“...What an adventure,” I murmured, watching my younger brother. I fumbled around in my pockets. As an older brother, I had to be prepared if I was to bring Luce along with me — though the one preparing things was our Mother.
I held out a sweet candy wrapped in thin paper. When he tore off the wrapping and popped the candy in his mouth, Luce’s frown transformed into a smile. I preferred him that way.
Our Father was a member of a mafia family, but he was calm and gentle. On top of that, he was intelligent. I thought that was rather paradoxical.
From time to time, my Father and Corteo would discuss complex calculations that I couldn’t understand. How could those two keep on talking about formulas that looked to me like they were written in code?
Mother called to us. I loved her voice.
We looked at one another, grinning.
When Luce gave the signal, the three of us started to run. Luce was giving it his all, but Corteo and I were naturally running alongside him. Corteo was watching Luce’s feet. He was anxious, preparing to support him if he fell over. That’s how kind he was.
Stop it. It’d be embarrassing to copy Luce at this age.
“He’ll be disappointed. Come on, off you go!”
I grabbed my friend’s arm as he tried to run away and jumped into my Father’s arms.
— If we die, we die together. I’m taking you down with me, bestie!
My Father caught both of us relatively large boys and patted our heads cheerfully. Though he was busy with work, he’d gone to the trouble of taking leave to go on this picnic. I was embarrassed, but I’d just have to bear with it.
When I glanced to my side, Corteo looked on the verge of tears.
I quickly turned away so I wouldn’t see his face, and endured the patting until my Mother called for us. That’s the proof I could bear with a lot.
We laid the food out on the picnic rug. We helped a little, but my Mother had woken a lot earlier than us and made everything, so while we prayed to God before our meal, it was my Mother I was thankful to in my heart...
— I knew I was dreaming. It’s no longer there: that old, treasured... happiness.
The gentle days before he’d lost everything several years ago. Avilio saw that rare dream for the first time in a while.
This was a familiar voice too, though it had deepened, closer to an adult’s now. It was as kind as it had been back then.
Avilio opened his eyes to that thought.
Corteo was glancing at him, looking concerned. Well, on thinking it over, he’d worn that expression since they’d met again.
“Stop it with the revenge. Your life is far more important.”
He said that, but he hadn’t abandoned Avilio.
After calling his name, Corteo averted his gaze, hesitating, like it was difficult to go on.
“What is it?”
After hesitating countless times, he swiped his knuckles across Avilio’s cheek.
Avilio realized he’d just had tears wiped away.
He hadn’t cried in years now. Not since that night, next to Corteo, though during the time he had been on his own, he had woken with his pillow wet.
Back then, the dreams Avilio had dreamed hadn’t been soft memories, but rather harsh reality. He’d startled awake to his own screams, too.
Perhaps being by Corteo’s side had relaxed him.
Avilio got up and lit a cigarette. He sucked in the bitter smoke, as if to drown out the lingering remains of that sweet, nostalgic vision.
Yeah, smoking didn’t suit Corteo. But he didn’t voice that thought.
Someday, and hopefully soon, he had to set Corteo free from this fate.
Stay with me just a little while longer...and then walk a different path. Forever.
Corteo...be loved by God.
I rejected Him long ago. I chose bitter revenge over a sweet dream.
|Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | The Melancholy of Barbero | Interlude | 5 | 6 | 7 | Another Path | 8 | 9 | Epilogue|