Signor Api knew something was up when we said yes to a full tank of petrol. Noticing Napoleon bursting with suitcases, he inquired with more than the usual nonchalance, ‘So where are we off to today?’
‘Sicily,’ replied Daniela. ‘And then Milan.’
‘Lampo!’ he exclaimed—‘Lightning! It looks like you’re going for good.’
‘I guess we are.’
I climbed from the car to shake Signor Api’s hand and he pulled me close to touch the leather cheeks of his face against mine—left and right.
‘You’ll be back,’ he said, keeping my hand. ‘Both of you. And there’ll be a bambino in the back seat, not suitcases.’
‘If you say so,’ said Daniela.
‘Nothing to do with me. It’s God’s natural law.’
Signor Api filled our tank and emptied Daniela’s wallet.