I couldn’t get Mrs.Hackelby out of my head, what is her lesson, what is my lesson, i was trying to get an answer, but there was this gentle breeze started and an inner call emptied my mind … Carla!!!
It was around mid day and i ran to get some food and went straight to the Baker’s Shop.
The store was so well maintained, very clean and appealing, after all it’s a bakery, it should give you a sense of confidence.
Inside, at the counter, there was this old but very strong guy that, i could tell by his face that he is a nice man but troubled by life.
– Hello sonny boy, what can i get you?!
– I am here to see Carla.
– She’s not here, she’s down at old Mrs.Lincoln, she’ll be back.
– Can i wait for her?!
– No! … but you can help me with these flour sacks, sonny boy.
We started working and boy, those sacks were so heavy. Maybe i’m not the strongest person alive, but i could tell for sure Mr.Rivers, as strong as he was, he was experiences some back problems.
The bell hanged by the door rang when Carla entered the shop and smile with surprise as we were sweating like water fountains and started teasing us.
– Sorry to interrupt … is this a guy only thing … should i go and come back later?!
We both laugh and Mr.Rivers played along.
– If i was a little younger, he wouldn’t escape very easy.
Carla went to see about the oven, she opened the door and the light and heat went violently on her face, she backed up a little but continued, like she would never give up.
– Watch out !!!
I shouted, she turned to me.
– What ?!
– Beware, you could melt …
I said to her with that big smile on my face but waiting her to get back at me. She looked at me from the corner of her eyes.
– Is this your best line ?!
Mr.Rivers saved the day.
– Sonny boy, you helped a poor old man, come on, have a cup of coffee with me.
My plan was to take Carla out for lunch, but i couldn’t left Mr.Rivers like that, it was not appropriate.
– Come everybody, lunch is on me … you bring the bread!
The annual summer “Farmer’s festival” was approaching and there was much to do in the bakery and for a few days i helped around. Hard work to do but hey, i was spending time with Carla. In the evening she went home to work on her book.
One evening, all three of us were so tired, Mr.Rivers turn to us with the speed of an elephant.
– Kids, tomorrow i will give you the day off.
Carla was thrilled.
– Thank you Mr.Rivers … i want to go sailing.
– Come with me kids.
We followed Mr.Rivers out of the store, through the market, along the docks to this kinda big hut by the sea, he opened the doors and there she was the most beautiful catamaran i have ever seen. He asked me.
– Sonny boy, you know how to sail?
– You bet, i was ailing with my dad since i was a little boy.
– Look at this beauty, are you really sure you can handle her?
– Just try me !
The next day, early in the morning, i was getting the boat ready and i have to be honest with you, i was a little nervous. And i have lots of reasons to be like that and the number one is just walking on the docks.
I don’t know if you are with me on this one, but there are times in my life when i just can’t stop watching something, someone, i don’t know if you understand me, but i just can’t help it, just like a mosquito to the light. BBZZZZZ !!!
She walked charming that day she was in a state of “dolce far niente”, big bag in one hand and with the other she was holding her hat.
– The hat looks great on you!
– We don’t want me to melt didn’t we …
– Welcome aboard !
I reach my hand, she grabbed it and step on the boat like a ballerina.
We sailed on the waves like two leaves in the wind, we both just didn’t care, we enjoyed the sea, the sun, each other.
Do you want to feel it ? It’s easy … just close your eyes, empty your mind and dive into your deepest desires and fantasies.
Around the cliffs we have found this cave that lead the way to this lagoon, just like a bucket with walls of stones, some sand on the sides and the blue-greenish water you can ever imagine.
We both dived in the water and started to look for shells, snails, you know, little treasures of the sea, we got back to the sand, both lying on the sand started to look at the shells.
– Look, this one is closed.
– Let me see … yeah … it will open when the time is right … can i ?!
– Please …
I threw the shell back in water.
– Maaaark …
– Look at the sky and hear the silence … it’s so calming.
– You’re right …
– Maaaark …
– I felt that coming.
– What do you do all that you do?!
– Like what?!
– You want to help everybody.
– I don’t know, i just feel great about it.
– There is no specific reason?!
– I don’t think so, it just something inside that calls me for that … How can i explain … it’s just like you writing your book …
She just reached and squeezed my hand gently.
At night we arrived at the bakery and Mr.Rivers was there with the glasses on and on the table lots of papers.
– Hey kids, how was your day, did you come back swimming.
– No no no Mr.Rivers, the boat is alright, she’s sleeping like a baby in one piece.
– Kids, tomorrow it’s the festival and i will leave you in charge. I have to go to the big city to handle some urgent matters regarding the shop, alright? I’m counting on you!
– Alright !
– I’m going to sleep now, Mark, please help me to get all this paper together.
I carefully put the papers in order and hey, the signature of Mr.Rivers looks so strong, so it’s true, it says much about one’s personality.
The morning of the festival day we were so ready, first thing in the morning, everyone was in front of the stores with fresh products, the smell of Carla’s bread and cakes were bringing dead people to life, she worked so hard and i was behind her all the time. You know what i love about those local gatherings, people go hand in hand to get the festival going, they really feel a community, at this type of events people met, people break up, they laugh, they cry, they make some money, some don’t but in the end they got each other not even realising it.
She was nervous in the morning but she never admit it, i encourage her during the day and when the night came and we closed the store she just collapsed.
– Thank you, Mark!
– You’re welcome …
Outside, fireworks were lighting up the night sky, she turned to the window and said.
– Would you hold me in your arms?
I wrapped her with my hands and she wrapped my hands with her’s.
– Carla … i’m falling in love with you at an alarming pace …
She squeezed my hands harder.
– Take it slow …
I slowly turned her around, took her by her waist and lifted her on the table. Little clouds of flower started to dance in the light of the fireworks … we melted in each other’s arms, we became one.