Since drafting this memoir, in fact in the middle of the writing, I learned of the movie Letters to Juliet. I had been so wrapped up in Italy's mystique and the night in Verona that I had neither noticed the other tourists nor the notes they were leaving in the walls in their own lovelorn states. When I began the memoir, I had a searing flashback of Pepe leaning out of the train and an intense recognition that he had truly loved me, followed by the realization in a more profound way that I had, deep down, not been able to believe that, or in my own ability to respond to that love, when I was in Italy. I began a search for him, only to learn of the bleak eighties and nineties in Calabria, when the 'Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia, waged a blood bath in the streets of Reggio. The more I learned, the more I felt that my dream had been desecrated by awful things. I was, therefore, very happy that I had written this short book before I realized the course of events.
I have not been able to find him and thus my story does not have the happy ending of Letters to Juliet. At least not a traditional happy ending. But I have drafted a spin-off novel, The Rose of Scylla, that is my next project and that picks up where the memoir left off. We can live in fiction, what we cannot in life and yet art so utterly mirrors life. My lover and I lived an opera, our own La Boheme, from start to finish. Stay tuned and thanks for reading. xxJenne' Andrews April 13, 2011. ( I can be reached at jenneandrews2011gmail.com or on Facebook as Jenne' Rodey Andrews.