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[American Story] 【整理】SENEWS-2007-0818-FEATURE

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As they ate, Mrs. Angle agreed with everything he said, but she was too quiet. Something had left her. It was as if someone had turned some of the light off in the room. You could still see everything, but not so clearly.

He looked out of the window onto the street. Rome, rich in history, the warm night, the happy voices, the shouting voices, voices of mothers and fathers, of children, and even the visitors such as he and his wife, visitors who never really saw or understood all there, is to see and understand.

Then he knew what Mrs. Angle had been trying to do. She had been trying to understand, trying to get a little closer to the city and its people. She had been reaching her hand and her mind out to them.

Now she sat across from him as she met anywhere. New York City, Boston or Podunk. But this was Rome. He had closed the door to her happiness---her ideas of Rome. He had crushed her. That was the right word "crushed". And this was the last thing in the world he wanted to do to Mrs. Angle.

He breathed deeply and said in a voice louder than he wanted to. "Conto, uconto! " He felt Mrs. Angle's eyes look at him. As he paid the waiter for the food and gave him extra money for himself.

Out on the street, they walked near a mother holding a little girl. Mrs. Angle moved closer to the mother and said, "Bella, belicima!" The woman lifted the little girl higher for Mrs. Angle to see. Mrs. Angle laughed and made a special wave, "Ciao, ciao!" She looked at her husband and he saw her eyes were filled with happiness again.

Mr. Angle felt a strange lump in his throat and then he waved to the child in his own way. "Ciao!" He said. And he felt his wife's arm as she moved closer to him and slipped it through his.

You have just heard the story "Ciao" by Patricia Colenge. It was adapted by the Special English staff. Your storyteller was Shirley Griffith. This is Bob Doughty. Please listen next week for another program of American stories in VOA Special English.
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