After working in Kabul for several years, Danny D'Amato needs a break. Stressed with the war, he chooses the blue waters of Positano for his escape.
Soon, the pages of his diary fill with notes about the woman he meets on the sunny cliffs over the Mediterranean, and his own conversion from a war-weary veteran to a man in love. In a few days, both he and Gaia fall in love, share their lives, and imagine what a future would be like together.
And then, she is gone.
After Danny spends countless days looking for Gaia, the vast distance between them finally closes... but for reasons neither of them could have predicted.
Sometimes I think that all I have of Gaia is the dream.
My mind is suspended partway between sleep and wakefulness, a contented smile lingering on my lips, eyelashes fluttering lightly as my conscious self begins to dawn.
Then my eyes flash open, the smile disappears in pain, and a pile of imagined letters flutter before me.
* * * * *
Three years ago, I was immersed in the war that had drained most of my energy and, it seemed, all of my emotion. I was stationed in Afghanistan, in the Kabul office of the State Department, and spent long hours translating clipped recordings of conversation from Pashto and Farsi, languages I had studied while at the university but only mastered once my life and life’s work depended on it.
From scratchy audio files to shards of handwritten notes, my work combined the monotonous exercise of an archeologist dusting off an ancient stone with the keen awareness that a missed word or nuance could get someone killed. I knew that guessing right might put a wanted man in the crosshairs of an American drone, but guessing wrong could annihilate an innocent family instead.
Translation in progress. Translated by Gustavo Silveira Moraes