The Legend of the Boy who Believed in the Sea
Original title: La leggenda del ragazzo che credeva nel mare
When he dives into the water, Marco feels free. It’s only then that he manages to forget the years he’s spent between one foster family and another, thinking of his parents, about whom he knows nothing, apart from the birthmark shaped like a starfish that he’s probably inherited from them. But now Marco is afraid of the sea. He has hurt his arm diving off a cliff and his dream is fading. Because now he can no longer trust that endless stretch of blue. Because the sea, too, has betrayed him, like everyone else in his life.
And yet there’s someone ready to show him that anger and resignation are not the right sentiments for a boy to have. It’s Lara, his physiotherapist, who becomes fonder of him than anyone else ever has. Lara is the first person to listen to him without judging him. This is why Marco agrees to go with her to the village where she was born and be healed from the warmth of the sand and sunlight. A village straggling along the coast where the pace of life in those little streets smelling of saltwater is still dictated by fishing. What Marco doesn’t know is that Lara helped his mother bring him into the world. She knows the truth. She has brought him there to find himself again. Because in order to conquer his fear of the sea, he has to know who he really is. He has to find out where his roots are. Only then will he be able to look out over a cliff without trembling, because perhaps it’s only his heart that will tremble, ready at last to take flight.
- English sample available