My romantic escapades have been brief and quite frankly have ended up in disaster. Minah ended up in psychiatric care, Reena was set ablaze by her evil mother-in-law and the Toad and her marriage obsession was enough to drive off any sensible young man. But heck better to have loved that not loved at all. No way Ginerva could have fallen into this pattern right? Those twinkling green eyes of her made my romantic past evaporate. It was time to know Ginerva better.
Ginerva was 26, quite close to my age. She was born in Naples, Italy to her father Lupara Cattivo and mother Malvagia. Lupara was of humble background who rose to fame and fortune selling what Ginerva referred to as a “recreational product”. She was a bit evasive about what these products were so I decided not to press her. Her mother Malvagia was from a family in Northern Italy, Bolzano that “ran” tankers of wine into Germany.
Ginerva attended Sacred Heart gymnasium in Naples with the crème de la crème of Naples society. Her best friend was the daughter of the Naples Chief Prosecutor. She was a brilliant student. She never worked as “Daddy” as she called Lupara, was overprotective. She spent her summer on the coast at Ischia where her family had a “little villa” and a few seafood restaurants. Ginerva continually watched by two men discretely in the background which she attributed to overprotective Daddy. Daddy had many a meeting at his Naples residence with his fellow colleagues referring to him as “Don Lupara”. When Daddy went out into Naples or for that matter anywhere two cars followed his, one in front and one in back full of men with tattoos and strange haircuts.
Ginerva had been looking to escape her luxury “Naples Nest” to see the world so she accepted an offer from Columbia University in New York in their Criminology Program. She had explained to me her rather morbid focus of “Italian Mafia Execution Techniques”.
One comment Ginerva made without providing an explanation and without conviction was that our relationship would, for the time being, have to be platonic. Otherwise, I might come to harm. Daddy and Malvagia had marriage in mind for my sweet Italian plum. Old fashion folk but not unlike the society I knew in Bombay. Floating in a cloud of infatuation the strange twists in her explanations remained in the clouds. For the time being Ginerva would have to remain my “brilliant friend”.