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The Art of Courtly Love

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Prologue Pt 1

T – 30 years

Santa Catalina school for Girls

Rome, Italy

Emily.

"Hey. What's wrong with you?"

Emily looked up as her friend Heidi came over and sat next to her on the grass, before she went back to poking her pencil into the turf. "Nothing. My Dad is going back to DC."

"Really? I wonder if that means we are too." Heidi's father was a part of the Ambassador's staff.

"Nope, not Mom. Just Dad." Emily sighed. "They're getting a divorce."

Heidi's eyes grew wide at that. "Really?'

"Yeah."

"That's awful!"

Emily shrugged. It wouldn't be too bad, mostly. At least they would stop fighting, and she could stop feeling like she was betraying one every time she spent time with the other.

Heidi opened her mouth like she was going to say something, but then someone called her name. Emily looked up as her friend got up and ran over to a woman pushing a stroller. She sat there and watched as Heidi lifted her baby brother Mikey into her arms.

That was the awful thing, that's what she was so upset about. Mikey was kind of perfect, cute and round and cuddly. Heidi's mom let them dress him up and feed him his baby food and even let them help her give him a bath once. He wasn't big enough to really play with them yet, to have any kind of adventures, but someday he would be, and that was going to be the best of all.

"Come here Mikey. Come give Emily a hug. She's having a real bad day."

Emily smiled as Mikey took a few toddling, uncertain steps over to her, his arms up and out for balance, then all but fell against her knee. He looked up at her with those big, proud eyes as if to say "Look what I can do!" and giggled. At that moment Emily knew the one thing she would always want would be a baby brother of her very own.