34. Two Coins in a Fountain

34. Two Coins in a Fountain

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Happily Ever After

Two Coins in a Fountain

Even as a kid, my cousin Andrea always had big dreams! When we talked about being teachers or secretaries, Andrea talked of being a movie star. When we dreamed of going to the Mediterranean on holiday, Andrea dreamed of the Caribbean! (A long way from Scotland!)

As we grew up, she was not the prettiest of us, yet she had the most boyfriends. She was a little overweight and not that tall. But Andrea sparkled, both physically and mentally, and young men seemed to find that attractive.

Once on a double date, I marveled at her because she never had one moment of self-doubt or of feeling self-conscious. Because of this, she had the ability to say exactly what she was feeling; she made it seem like you were sharing something very personal with her.

It wasn’t a surprise when she came in and announced, “Well, I am off to Rome to work as a nanny!” We all knew that Andrea had long ago decided she was in love with Rome and always said that is where she wanted to live.

She openly told us, “I am convinced I will meet this gorgeous Italian prince and we will fall madly in love!”

We laughed at that, but were all sad to see her go. She kind of spread light around her and it was all much duller when she left.

Andrea arrived in Rome and settled in with the family for whom she was to be the nanny. They gave her a little apartment, and she already spoke Italian having always known she would need to use it!

Andrea took her young charge out a fair bit, to the Coliseum, the Spanish Steps, but mostly they went to the Trevi Fountain. “To anyone who has never seen it,” she wrote to us, “you think of a little fountain in a square. It is huge, like a giant monument with water; it is breathtaking and beautiful.”

She told us that you throw one coin in the fountain to return to Rome, two coins to find true love. “I have spent a fortune. I throw two coins in every time I pass, but it is an investment. I know it will work!” We laughed at that letter; same old Andrea, still the same big dreams!

One beautiful, sunny Roman morning, Andrea took Pier Luigi out early, and they came to the Trevi Fountain. Andrea could not pass it by without throwing in her two coins, so they went down the steps and she threw in her coins.

She glanced up and two very handsome young men were watching her. The taller of the two asked her, “You weesh to return very much, eef you throw in two coins no?”

Andrea looked at this gorgeous young man, his hair a light gold brown, but his face somehow very Italian. “One is to return to Rome, two is for love!”

They both smiled and walked over to her, and the one who had spoken introduced himself. Marcello continued to study her smiling as he asked, “So you want to find true love, here on your vacation?”

“I live in Rome. I love Rome and I have always dreamed of falling in love with someone here. I am sure it will happen,” she beamed at him. He kept smiling at her and asked where she came from, and the four of them ended up having coffee together in a little café.

Whatever she said at that first meeting, he seemed to be really taken with her and asked if she would go out with him.

Andrea met Marcello the next evening and asked him what he did for a living. It turned out that he played for Roma FC, the football team. Not only did he play for them, he was one of their star players. Andrea’s Marcello was a very famous and much admired young man throughout Italy because he played for the national side as well.

When she wrote and told us about him and sent photographs, we agreed with how gorgeous he was. My younger sister Bertha said that she had read about him and that he was usually with some tall, long-legged blond model or something. It would have made the rest of us wonder what he could see in someone ordinary like us. Andrea never gave that a second thought; she was already nuts about him and fully expected him to be nuts about her!

The thing was, amazingly, he was nuts about her. She wrote and told us that she saw him nearly every day, she had met his family. Then that he wanted her to give up her work and live with him in his beautiful villa high up in the hills that surround Rome. Finally we flew over to visit her, and lying at the side of his huge swimming pool, surrounded by hills and the distant tops of the buildings of Rome, she beamed at us. I asked her, “So is Marcello the Italian prince you always dreamed of?”

“Oh yes, Joyce, and more, he has asked me to marry him!”

When we met him, it took us all of five minutes to realize he was not just in love with Andrea, but he adored her. He smiled every time his eyes rested on her. “There is no one like her,” he told us. “She is so full of effervescence; she is like a bottle of champagne and I could not go back to drinking wine. She drifts off on flights of fancy, and I am running behind trying to find wings to fly with her. I love her very much.”

They have been married for fifteen years and have three kids. She has seen a fair bit of the world, as she somehow always knew she would. Mainly though, she lives in her beautiful house with her gorgeous Italian.

I said to her one day about all her dreams coming true and she laughed. “You have to be determined to achieve your dreams, like throwing two coins in the fountain every time you pass, to make sure they come true!”


~Joyce Stark
Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul

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