I was on a boat...
"Hey, Genie, wake up!"
...Shaking...something was shaking...
I opened my eyes, and the dream vanished. Mom was there, shaking me. That was strange. Mom shouldn't be here. It was Saturday morning. She should be at the clinic. Or in bed, sleeping.
"Good morning, sweetie," Mom said as she cheerfully stroked my hair. "I got the day off. Sharon's covering for me."
I yawned. "Okay."
"So anyway," she continued, "I have some news. I just had a long talk with your Aunt Alison. You remember her?"
How could I forget? Aunt Alison was Mom's younger sister. They were two years apart. When Alison was eighteen, her best friend's family had an Italian man named Victor Villaconi come stay with them for six months. Aunt Alison met him at a bar and they were immediatly attracted to eachother.
Aunt Alison was a very popular young girl, who had a lot of "flings" but no real boyfriends. Victor was just supposed to be another fling. But then, a month before he had to leave, she found out she was pregnant.
Because she wanted her baby to be born in the United States, Aunt Alison refused to go back to Italy with Victor. Instead they married quickly and bought a small apartment in Chicago, where Aunt Alison gave birth to her daughter, who she named Natalia.
But Victor, being a forigner and not a citizen, had trouble getting a job and adjusting to life in the United States. When Natalia was two years old he decided to go back to Italy. This time his wife agreed to go with him.
The family lived in Italy for a while, and they were quite happy. Victor was the only son of a wealthy merchant, and they all lived in his mansion by the ocean.