was the one who told him he should try and be a real racer. He just looked at me and said, ‘Have you seen those prissy little jumpsuits those guys have to wear? No thanks, pal’.”
“He was already a rookie driver when we met,” Mom puts in, “So I knew from the very start what I was getting myself into with the F1 world. The first race of his I ever saw, I was with a couple of girlfriends. We were all standing right at the fence as he won. He hopped out of that emerald car and looked right at me. We hadn’t said two words to each other yet, but it’s like he knew I’d be waiting there. And from that moment on, that was it.”
Enzo and I sit together quietly as these warm remembrances are traded, trying not to think about how much better all these people know our father than we do. I don’t want to think about the problems our relationship always had. I want to think about the good memories. There are plenty of them, of course. My father was tough and controlling, but he was a good man. And whatever mistakes he made, I know he loved us to hell and back.
His funeral is small and private, as per his will. Enzo, Mom, Gus and I carry his ashes out onto the estate and let them go into the wind. My father was technically an American too, but Italy is where he always wanted to be laid to rest. I watch the breeze carry him off across our land, over the rolling hills and grassy groves. It isn’t until he’s disappeared that it finally sinks in: he’s not coming back this time.
As difficult as it is to say goodbye, the outpouring of support from the F1 fans and community is staggering and strangely heartening. Our front gates are covered with flowers and letters, and one thing becomes abundantly clear. The world loved Alfonso Lazio just as much as we did, if in a different way. And that is saying something. He was a hero to so many people the world over, even to Harrison. He was our father, but he really did belong to the entire F1 world. In that way, I suppose, his memory will always live on. There’s some solace in that, a little glimmer of light in this dark moment in time.
The night after we say our final goodbyes to Dad is quiet and solemn. Our teammates and friends have left, giving us space to mourn privately. My mother, Enzo, Harrison and I are alone in the house again. After days of harried arrangements, turbulent emotions, and swells of friends’ and fans’ support, the relative silence and stillness is peculiar.
We sit around the kitchen table, a bottle of Chianti at the ready. I hold my glass between my hands, dimly wondering whether people have come to a consensus about having a little drink while pregnant. It seems like ages ago that Bex and I sat huddled in that Dallas hotel room, staring down at those little blue plus signs. But in reality, it’s only been a week. In the midst of my father’s death, I’ve had no time to deal with my secret, no time to think on it at all. There hasn’t been a spare moment to breathe these past few days, much less come up with a game plan for my surprise pregnancy.
“The flowers the owners sent over were rather tasteful,” my mother says, breaking the wilting silence.
“Sure,” Enzo agrees sullenly, “Team Ferrelli’s way of saying, ‘We’re sorry for your loss, but get back to training, would you?’”
“You’re the lead driver, Enzo,” Mom says, “It’s your responsibility to stay focused. Your father wouldn’t want you lingering here for his sake.”
“We scattered his ashes this afternoon,” Enzo points out, “I wouldn’t call this lingering.”
“No, of course not. I think you should take the week to rest,” Mom says, “All of you should, if you like. This house is far too big for one person, after all. I wouldn’t mind the company a bit.”
I look to Harrison. “You should probably check in with McClain and see when they want you to get back to the track.”
“I’ve been in touch with them,” Harrison tells me, “I