The school had just ended and each of her companions was moving to a different destination to complete her apprenticeships. Julia’s letter provided an address on the Fiore Island, where Julia had never been. She was ready to go until the last day of school, when she lost conscience and almost died. Yet she was alive and would be leaving soon, she put all she had in a large trunk and painted on top of it the sunflower her father brought her when she came home from the hospital.
He would return home at night after digging canals all day. He was taller than any other man and stronger and he left home early each day and came back when it was dark, in winter and in the summer. Julia was often asleep when he returned. Still he would ask her to follow him in the campo in front of the apartment or the public terrace of the building where they would play hide and seek in the dark with Mom. He would run after Julia and Mom and when he got hold of us both, he would carry Julia like a small bag under his arm and lift Mom over his shoulders and take them both back home, up the stairs and into the beds. He would then eat something quickly, while Julia was falling into sleep again.