Ni Hao, Hello My Friends

George Chapter 3 part 2: The Black Couch

Mar 7, 2011 by

A few hours later, it had to be just a tad after 8am, the phone rang, being awakened by a phone during an early morning on the weekends when most of the world is in a state of slumber is well, un-nerving.  At this moment, it was completely inappropriate and I was NOT going to answer. We, he and I, never answered the phone and preferred to let the machine (that was older than Methuselah) do the answering for us and we screened our calls.

I thought to myself just one more ring and I can see who it is before I decide to pick up the phone – and then the beeeeeeep! I had to listen carefully because the voice sounded weak, like that of a child, almost meek and shy and slowly I heard it increase in tone until “Ni Hao, Ni Hao Dorothéa!!” (Hello) and I realized it was Ma Chang. I dashed toward the phone and picked it up when she was in mid-sentence. She was calling from Nancy’s (George’s sister) car phone (this was when they were called car phones because they were attached to the inside of your automobile), and conveyed that they were going to be at my home in 5 minutes. I had zero time.

Quickly, I dashed to the pristine bathroom that I scrubbed and windexed the evening before, and brushed my teeth, combed my hair and put on the reddest brightest lipstick I could find. Just then the doorbell rang. Nancy was standing upright with a bag of clothes in her left hand and Ma Chang leaning on her right. Nancy and I, helped his mother into the house.

Nancy looked around the house at all of the stacks and piles I had made the night before and said, “Well someone has been organizing!” I nodded yes. She’d asked if I had been cooking and I realized I was still in my clothes from the day before with the apron. I smiled as brightly as I could and offered to make them some tea.

Just as I was finishing my sentence, Nancy put her arm around me and suggested that might be a good idea for me to change clothes because she’d asked a few of George’s friends to come over and help me with his things. I thought to myself, I don’t need any help, I am fine! How dare she!??!

And then I went back into the bedroom and took a long hard look at my face, I was a wreck. I needed to shower. Nancy was an ICU nurse and worked in surgery for a time and knew what to do in these types of incidents – I was too upset to think clearly.

I washed up, changed into what George used to call my ‘Paintin’ Outfit’ – these old Dexy’s Midnight Runners Guess jeans and a Sex Pistols T-shirt with black, Chinese slippers that had paint splattered on them.

Tea was poured and friends began to arrive with food and empty boxes. I felt as if it was a moving party, but I did not want to move. Nancy and her mother gave so much of his things away, I could not bear to look at times. I understood that people just wanted a piece of him and I think Ma Chang just wanted me to live in less clutter. It was something she consistently complained about when she briefly lived with us.

Later in the day his nephew, Paul and niece, Melissa arrived (Nancy’s kids). Paul and I got on well and I knew George would have wanted him to have his music collection. I handed over the best bits, Beatles albums still in their sleeve, old 45s and the few CDs that Paul cherished. Melissa wanted most of the classic hip hop but, I did not part with the Jazz and the more recent items we bought when we were together.

Before I knew it the day had fallen well into the evening and everyone was exhausted and ravenous. Nancy suggested that we order a pizza. Paul had gotten the paper from the day knowing the only person that would read it was his Grandmother. I called the Domino’s number that was printed on a coupon insert and 30 minutes later the most disgusting thing arrived in a cardboard box.

George knew I loathed store bought pizza and any of the delivery places. We would make our own. I taught him how my Nonna Volpe (born and raised in Naples) showed me with real flour, egg and water to make the dough and then flatten it to a perfect circle to cook on a pizza stone.  We received the pizza stone as an early wedding present from Italian friends of ours in New York City from Bed, Bath and Beyond; however his family did not know this. When the pizza was being doled out I simply stated that I was not hungry and too lethargic to eat.

There was a pile of RSVP cards, from our wedding, on the desk that Melissa asked what I’d like to do with. I said, “Please don’t touch those, I have to call those people and places in the morning to let them know what had transpired.”

Hugs were given and I said goodbye to my almost-family. I suppose I was still in shock or maybe too proud because I could not cry or would not allow them to see me crack.  They wept as they hugged me and I thanked them again for coming.

About the Author

Dorothéa Bozicolona-Volpe Has Written 19 Articles For Us!

Dorothea is a senior strategic marketing executive, fluent in 4 languages, who specializes in developing new business for national and international brands via strategic partnerships and technology. She specializes in integrating social media into marketing strategies and understanding how to measure, optimize and build current new media efforts to increase value and develop strong relationships between consumers and brands
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1 Comment

  1. @alsgf Gf author @dorothea007 continues her story about loosing her finance months before her wedding #soulmates

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