“When a choice is taken from a young woman of whom she is to marry, something sacred inside her heart has been violated, and the life she lives is not her own.” This is the story of Vittoria Giuliana D’Antonio, the most beautiful young woman in the idyllic paradise of Mosciano Sant’Angelo, Italy, nestled between the sparkling Adriatic Sea and the misty Gran Sassos mountains, torn from the arms of the young scholar she loved & forced by her mother into a marriage with an American to save the family ancestral home. Her story is a testament to the fate of women throughout the ages, and their struggle to survive, and heal, in the face of the world’s injustice. (Based on the life of Vittoria Giuliana DiPasquale) REFLECTIONS IN THE WATER Giuliana was beautiful as few women have been, 15, with a figure to equal Sophia Lauren. Her legs pumped the bicycle madly as she rode through the Piazza in Mosciano, Sant’Angelo, Italy, perched a few thousand feet above the Adriatic sea. Dressed in full cut light blue skirt, and a blue and white striped top, she was the most beautiful woman in town. The birds on the wire, (the retired men in a row on one end of the Piazza) looked forward to her bicycle rides, and her beauty and freshness, as it reminded them of all those things which in steady progression had exited their lives with age, as they do for us all. Young men saw her and dreamed of pressing their lips to theirs, or more, while Giuliana’s mother, Silvia, a small powerfully built woman, worked in the uncomfortably small shop selling pasta, cigarettes, and many small items in the Piazza. The beautiful terra cotta bricks, and century old buildings whirred by as she rode, and she breathed deep the fresh air, and basked in the security one has in knowing each face you pass in a small town. Scents of the flowers and fresh bread from the bakery entered her nostrils, she smiled, and the colors of the fruit in wooden crates spun by, and the small jeweled rings and necklaces in the shoppe windows too. From a bird’s eye view all the small roads in the surrounding countryside led to this Piazza…the heart of life in Mosciano, Sant’Angelo. She saw glimpses of the Adriatic sea as it sparkled, flat and calm, just 3 miles to the East through rolling hills, and then turned the bicycle West to see the Gran Sassos mountains in a grey blue mist ahead. Her leg pirouetted off the bicycle, and she entered the store with a skip. A man with a small sack got on his bicycle which she ridden, waved to her and rode slowly away. All this was before she was sold into a marriage so her parents could buy a house, before she had her children in America with a man she did choose, and before her true love for her childhood sweetheart Biagio would haunt her every waking moment. Like a needle point, a woman’s life is crafted stitch by stitch, and what we know of what lies ahead for us; who we will love, what we will gain, what we will lose, our fate as it will, what we know of it is nothing.