Chapter 9: Danielle Bisto
The first thing that Danielle noticed when they started their mile and a half walk to their
next destination was that half of these people on the trip have never walked that far before. By
the time they had walked half a mile, Tori asked how far they had left in their walk. When
Michael answered her, Tori sighed heavily then trudged on ahead of Danielle and her entourage
that consisted of her cousin Michael and friends Erica and Kayla.
The sun was high up in the sky, making it feel like no matter where you go, the sun
follows and beats down on you. Danielle looks behind her to see Matthew talking with Justin
and Stefan about something. Stefan laughed at whatever Matthew said. Matt then looks up and
locks eyes with Danielle for a brief second before she turns away, color rising at the cheeks.
Michael noticed her blushing and looked behind to see Matthew. Danielle know her
cousin doesn’t like Matt very much. She can’t really say why he doesn’t. Matthew was never
rude or mean to him during the meetings. If anything, he was nice and caring towards Michael.
But it doesn’t matter what he thinks, Danielle thinks Matt’s cute and funny and that’s all that
By the time they reached their destination, it was around three in the afternoon, but it felt
a lot earlier than that. Jet Lag must be hitting her harder than she thought. Danielle takes a sip
of her water. The Colosseum was huge on the outside. It was made from all stone that looked
like bronze than anything else. The place was surrounded by metal fencing, so no one could
sneak inside. Danielle knows some things about the colosseum but nothing interesting. She
would have hated to fight to the death inside this place back in the Roman days. When they
reached the front entrance, Sebastian and Tom had them all wait outside while they went in to
get everything set up.
“I heard, you can see the Roman Forum from the Colosseum.” Erica said as the four of
them found some rocks to sit down. They were under the shade which was a blessing on its
“I wonder if we’ll ever get to see the Forum.” Kayla said. “It’s basically where the city’s
marketplace used to be. It’s all ruins now, obviously.”
“I don’t know.” Michael commented. “The Colosseum was the most worshiped of the
places in Rome. It’s the largest amphitheater in the world. Holds up to at least 80,000 people
and was used for gladiatorial contests, public spectacles such as mock battles, animal hunts,
executions, reenactments of battles and dramas. It’s a work of art and we’re going to see it.”
“I don’t understand why eighty thousand people wanted to watch people kill other
people. It’s so barbaric.” Danielle said aloud.
Michael shrugged at her comment, “It was the Roman way of life back then.” After about
thirty minutes passed by, Sebastian and Tom joined back with the group and started handing
out lanyards. Sebastian yelled out to everyone saying that when they walk inside, everyone will
be givin a little microchip that they will put in their so that when the tour guide speaks, everyone
will be able to hear her.
Danielle walked through and was handed the small microphone thing device from Tom.
It was no larger than her thumbnail. She wedged it inside her right ear and heard a soft buzzing
noise. Danielle watched as everyone piled inside the colosseum and then a voice spoke in her
ear, like the person was right next to her. She jumped at the sudden sound, as did Kayla.
“Sorry for the startle, everyone!” A cheery Italian woman spoke through the ear piece.
“My name is Valeri Lawrence and I will be your guide through the most famous Roman
Colosseum or also known as Flavian Amphitheatre. Construction of the Colosseum began
under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and
heir, Titus. But there were further modifications made during the reign of Domitian between the
years AD 81 and 97. Those three emperors that helped make what the Colosseum is now were
called the Flavian Dynasty and thus its other name.” Valeri then urged them to follow her as
they walked around the inside. It reminds Danielle a lot of how sports venues are built like.
Stairs leading up to the higher seating area and down to the lower bowls of the sitting area.
Valeri started talking again through their ears, “As many of you know, the Colosseum
was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles, such as animal hunts. But it was
ceased for such entertainment in the early medieval era and was later reused for such purposes
as housing, workshops, quarters for religious orders, a quarry and a Christian shrine. Now,
follow me again and we can walk around above the field where the fighting happened.” Valeri
switched off her mic and was accompanied by Sebastian, Tom, Rob and Karen.
“This is so interesting,” Suzanna said as she slides up right next to Danielle and Michael.
“If class at school was more like this, I wouldn’t skip so much.”
“You kidding, Suzanna?” You’d still skip the lecture either way.” Brett threw at her.
Suzanna only smirked and shrugged at his comment.
“What about you, Danielle? Ever do anything off the books?” Suzanna asked her.
Danielle likes Suzanna but doesn’t really know her that well. She seems like an open book for
the most part, doesn’t care what others think about her and lives up to her best ability.
“Um,” Danielle started to say, “Not really. I enjoy sticking by the rules.” Suzanna moans
but not a mean moan, more like a, we need to loosen you up. Suzanna grabs Danielle’s hand
and urged her over to Brett Kramer, Greg Shipta, Ben Richter and Patrick Riccio. All of them
went to the same high school Matthew goes to.
“Listen, Danielle. Later tonight in our rooms we will have a little swary, if you will, in one of our
rooms tonight. You should come on by, have a little fun and loosen up.” Suzanna told her.
Danielle was never one for drinking when it came to alcohol. She’s gone to parties
where friends and classmates of her were drinking but she never partook in the social club of it
all. She had some wine last Christmas, but she barely drank a full glass before discreetly
pouring it down the drain. “I’ll think about it,” Danielle finally said after a moment of silence.
Suzanna seemed satisfied with the answer just as the microphone Valeri was using
switched it back on and began talking again about the design of the Colosseum and the famous
fights that happened here. Danielle looked at the arena below to see it was a maze of stone
columns around, some ending in a dead end and others leading deeper into the maze. In the
center of the arena is a large circle. Danielle returns her attention to Valeri just as she ends her
monologue. “Alright, now you can walk around the Colosseum and do whatever you please for
the next half hour.” Everyone breaks into their own groups. Danielle walks away from Suzanna
and her friends and rejoin Michael, Kayla and Erica. Tori joined them as well. They walked
around the place, enjoying the scenery and taking photos together. Thirty minutes seemed to
breeze by instantly because next thing Danielle knows they’re regrouping with everyone and
handing back their little microphone chip things to Valeri before getting on a bus outside the
Colosseum. The rest of day went by pretty fast, they went out to eat at some nice restaurant
and then got gelato ice cream. They then went to their hotel a few miles outside the city of
Rome where Tom announced the roommates and curfew for the night. Michael got Matthew
which he was not very pleased. Danielle heard her name and was matched with Suzanna.
Suzanna squealed with happiness. Both of them got off the bus and were each handed an
electronic key card with a number on it.
“Looks like the fun will start tonight,” Suzanna said when they got off the bus.