by Paolo Copparoni, translated into English by Ruth Stephens
Chapter 1 – Marco’s Had Enough
It’s 6 o’clock and Marco leaves the factory, gets into his car and heads for home.
It’s been a long and tiring day at work. While sitting in a traffic jam, Marco thinks how little free time he has left today, and how he will spend it.
Marco is a 28 year old Italian and, like most young men of his age, he loves football. He organises matches with his friends at least once a week. But this evening he is too tired to play.
What’s more, he isn’t in the mood to drive through Milan’s traffic to the football pitch on the other side of the city where his friends will be waiting.
He decides to stay at home.
Marco has been living in Milan for 5 years now, since he was taken on by a large oil company and transferred here from the Abbruzzo region.
When he was offered the contract, he thought life in a big city would be more fun. He had hoped to meet a lot of people.
But now, after 5 years, he has become disenchanted with life in Milan. He’s had enough of the chaos of city life, of the hours each day wasted in traffic jams, and of the long, dark Lombardian winters.
Every day he thinks how different his life might have been different if he had become an engineer after leaving university.
Most of all, he regrets not being able to travel as much as he would have liked.
Ever since he was a child, Marco has loved traveling and getting to know different cultures and traditions.
He has always been adventurous and interested in what is going on around him.
At school he never missed a chance to participate in exchange projects, and this led to him spending some months in the United States, learning English.
The next morning Marco is having his usual espresso in the bar downstairs from his flat before leaving for work when, unusually for this time of day, his cellphone rings.
“Good morning. Is that Signor Marco Rossi?”
“Yes, speaking. How can I help you?”
“This is Signor Bianchi’s secretary. The director would like a meeting with you this morning to discuss a new project. It’s quite an urgent matter…”