The Bet

A’s best friend, Ettore, became the proud papa’ of a girl today. Aida was born in Venice, Italy, and although I don’t have any information other than a text announcing her entrance into the world, I’m sure she is a breathtaking little free spirit. How else would you describe the offspring of a freelance photographer and a belly dancer?

Now, about A and Ettore. They’ve been best friends since they were born exactly four months apart in the same hospital. Ettore was born on April 20, 1974, and A came along on August 20 of the same year.

Their connection is almost cosmic. In kindergarten, if one went to school and saw the other one was home sick, he would run back home. It was no use being in school if your other half was at home.

In fifth grade, their teacher called a parent-teacher conference, saying the two boys’ connection was “unnatural” and that they should be separated. (Way to go, small-town Italy, for marking two little BFFs as potential gays.) A’s mom told the teacher that there was no way those two boys would be separated. Go mama.

Ettore was the reason A and I met fifteen years ago. I was living in the same apartment with Ettore in Venice, when A and five other friends from their hometown came to visit for Carnival. A and I met, and the rest is, well, us.

They do crazy things for one another. During one visit to Italy, we barely got to see Ettore and his wife, Camilla. Leaving to come back to California, we had a crazy early morning flight, and had just gone through security at around 5am when A heard Ettore calling him from behind the security line. He’d gotten up at the crack of dawn to come have a last coffee with us and say goodbye.

When we moved to the U.S., I think leaving Ettore was more difficult for A than anything else.

So the news that Ettore had joined the joyful tribe of fathers left A a little giddy today. At dinner, he said, “Just watch. Our little one will be born on April 28.”

Me: “Huh?”

A: “April 28. You’ll see. The two girls will be separated by exactly two months, like Ettore and I were separated by four.”

Without thinking, I said, “If she’s born on April 28, we’ll move back to Italy. Because at that point, you and Ettore really are meant to be together.”

Honestly, if it happens, it means their connection is truly cosmic.

Here’s to you, Aida. Let’s see if your little American counterpart is exactly two months behind.

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One thought on “The Bet

  1. I found your story quite moving, best freinds are hard to find but distance is never more than an inconvenience (and a good reason to travel). I have a fab connection with a bf from when I was 9 years old. We still get together from time to time and talk all night. I think you are tight, there is a kind of cosmic harmony about it. Even when dates are NOT exact (although come to think of it my friend was born on the 19th like myself, although different month and year).

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