26 May 2009

La Dolce Vita: Part II

By the time Giovanni returned from the school with Nikos, the sun was setting and Amelia had stayed opened far too long. She had put the unsold bread away in containers but the shop remained open and she had somehow made quite a bit of money. Giovanni was holding a sleeping Nikos in his arms, whilst his wife Roberta opened the door to their apartment and took Nikos from her husband's arms.

Giovanni came over to Amelia, "Graci Piccola, graci."

"How is Nikos?" Amelia asked.

Giovanni nodded and explained that there was a bit of an accident at his school and that he would be okay, that he had injured himself and he needed to rest up but that everything was okay and that all he needed was his rest. Amelia nodded in sympathy and offered her help but Giovanni simply declined, handed over some money whereby Amelia declined. She was happy to help in the situation. She said her goodbye and went upstairs to her apartment.

When she walked to the window to close the curtains, she heard the faint strumming of an acoustic guitar and a faint humming. She paused, unaware that she was taking in the delights of the song. She shook out of her trance and went to draw the curtains and get ready for bed. It was still early but she found herself quite tired by the days events. She showered quickly and went to bed, tomorrow was another day and yet another early morning where she had to pick up a few bits and pieces.

When Rob woke up, it was ten to eleven. He loved sleep and realised how much he had missed the hours of it. He could truly sleep forever but he knew there were things to do today, things to explore and things to uncover. He was looking forward to catching up with some old friends and being still somehow made him restless, he was always on the move. He showered and dressed quickly and made his way out. He loved morning walks on the promenade leading to the hustle and bustle of the busy street and seeing the town's folk congregating to set up their stalls and sells the many trinkets, food varieties and other Italian delicacies. There was something about this place that he loved, that he somehow couldn't get anywhere else.

He came to a stall selling a variety of cheap rip off sunglasses. He smiled ruefully at the extent of which some people went to make some money. Cheap plastic and probably not catered against UV sunlight but what tourist would care, they would walk away with a cheap pair of fake designer sunglasses. The next stall sold copyrighted music CDs, as he walked forwards to the next stall and the next, his eyes concentrating on the wide variety of merchandise, the stalls quickly became hampered with tourists and this was what he wanted to avoid, large groups of foreigners, in case he got recognised. He turned left into a quiet shopping centre. The cool air of the air conditioning chillers, sent goose bumps to the surface of his skin. He looked up to a music shop up ahead and made a beeline towards it, before he approached it, something caught his eye. He stopped and saw the bread girl emerging out of the paint shop. She was struggling with a heap of blank canvas's. Her face etched with struggle. He walked into the shop.

Amelia didn't think that far ahead, she was excited to purchase more blank canvas's for more painting. Her exhibition deadline was little over a month away and she had a couple of more to paint before it's completion. She dragged the canvas's away from the counter but hadn't realised how heavy they were. Arthur, the paint shop owner was busy with another artist and she didn't want to bother him with her inability to shift a couple of canvas's. She dragged it out, unaware that she'd come to a wall. She turned around and came face to face with a pair of familiar green eyes. She stepped back and the canvas's fell to the floor in a heap. She dropped her satchel and went to the floor to pick it up, as the stranger with the green eyes did too.
"I'm sorry to trouble you, I saw you through the window. You seemed to be having trouble with these," Rob grabbed the canvas's to stand on their sides.
"Thank you, I was thinking of a way to get 'em to my flat but somehow I get so excited, I sometimes forget... anyway, thanks..." Amelia smiled.
"How are you planning to get these back? Taxi?" Rob offered, I can give you hand. I only live across the road from you."
"You're ciabatta boy," Amelia laughed.
The sound of her laughter rang in his ears and it was the sweetest sound he had heard in a while. He found himself smiling and he replied, "You must be the bread girl then."
"Yes," Amelia said and with one hand holding her canvas's and the other drawn out to shake his hand, "I'm Amelia."
He took her hand and he smiled, "I'm Rob, nice to make your acquaintance."

La Dolce Vita: Part I

Amelia looked beyond the bricked roof tops and the potted plants that seemed to line every window sill, she was familiar with the sight of the houses by now, the whiff of freshly baked bread and the cyclists below. This was her life for the next few months and she was going to make it worth her while, she had always dreamed of living in Italy and at last she got her wish. It was everything she had wanted and even more then she had imagined. The locals were friendly and welcoming and she had, had dinner with Giovanni and his family in the apartment below. They also owned the bread shop at the bottom. Amelia closed the windows quietly and strode across her room, grabbed her satchel of her materials, a canvas and a jumper and headed out.
Amelia strode onto the cobblestone road and collided with one of Giovanni's little ones, Nikos. He had a black blunt cut and he was being ushered by Giovanni's wife Roberta, towards school presumably.

"Ciao Amelia," she smiled, "I hoppa you sleep well the night."

"Fine thank you and you?" Amelia answered.

"Buon, buon... good good," Roberta smiled and she waved frantically away as she ushered little Nikos away.

Amelia walked slowly up the cobbled street, towards the beach. The town was still waking up but she could see the first hoards of tourists climbing out of their coaches and into their hotels in the far distance and some of the locals opening shop. She found her usual spot, near the beach and set up her materials. There was something calming about painting in a sleepy town, she didn't feel pressured to finish and she could work accordingly. She wetted her palette and began to paint slowly, capturing the glow of the sun all around her. It was well into lunch time when she finished her first canvas. She stowed it away with Alessandro in his cafe. She smiled and went back to her apartment to retrieve yet another canvas.

He clutched his holdall to him and got out from the coach. He had vacationed here when he was a child and never forgot the sleepy town. He only came here to escape the craziness of fame. Fame. All he ever wanted to do was act but he just couldn't deal with price of fame. People wanted to know his whereabouts, who he was dating and whether it was evident that he could be gay? He usually laughed these rumours off but it got to a point where it had left him claustrophobic and in need of a change of scenery. He didn't check into a hotel because that would draw too much attention to him, he opted to stay in a small apartment across from a bakery. It was away from the touristic parts of the town and at this time of year, there weren't many tourists anyway, so he was yearning for the peace and quiet.
He still wore his black leather jacket, complete with black beany and black shades. He was the epitome of undercover-esque and he was dying to fall back and sleep for a hundred years. He walked about a hundred feet and could smell the tantalising smell of fresh bread lingering in the air, his stomach growled. Great! He was famished. He continued walking realising where the smell was coming from and it came from a bakery right outside his apartment. He smiled in acknowledgement, he would drop his stuff off, grab a shower, slide into a pair of slacks and a linen shirt and make his way over to the bakery, first he had to find his keys.
Amelia walked down back towards the apartment, it was a beautiful day and as she approached the entrance to her apartment, Giovanni came out with panic written on his face.
"Are you okay Giovanni?" Amelia asked.
"No, it is Nikos he had an accident at school, I must go and see him but I can't leave the shop..." he muttered.
"I can take of things while you go, my Italian is pretty basic but I think I can get by," Amelia offered and with that Giovanni kissed both her cheeks, grabbed his wallet and flew out of the shop.
Amelia locked the gate between her and the pavement. She looked around at the bread stall and at the bread baking in the oven. It was pretty quiet for this time of the day, so she took out her sketch pad and a pencil and started to sketch out the street before her. She loved the simplicity of life here and she really respected and loved Giovanni's family. They had taken to her too, whilst at dinner they kept referring to her as their little piccola whilst they urged her to eat up and then eat more, even when she said she was full.
A shadow crept onto her sketch pad and she looked up into solid green eyes, "Posso aiutarlo?" Amelia said and the stranger before her winced, she said it again and he said in articulate English, "I'm sorry, I am still to improve my Italian, do you speak English at all?"
"As a matter of fact I do, can I help you at all?" she smiled.
"Yes, could I have some ciabatta bread please," he smiled back.
"Yes of course, how many would you like?" she asked back.
"Two please, for the moment," he replied back. She hadn't noticed who he was which was a relief. He watched as she put two ciabetta loaves into a bag and handed it to him. She smiled and took the money and registered it in the till.
"Thank you for coming, please come again." She smiled and he smiled back. She watched him move away slowly and disappear in the apartment block opposite the bakery. Oh, she'd never seen him there before, she knew that the apartment before her was empty but suddenly was occupied. She shook her head and continued sketching into her pad.
Rob got to the stairway of his apartment and peered out onto the street, he couldn't help but look at the woman sitting in the bread shop sketching away and he noted, she was a good artist too. When he was approaching her, he noticed the gleam of her brown chocolate hair and how it spiralled down her shoulders and rested just below her breasts. She was wearing a dark aquamarine top that tranquilised and captured the colour of her hair and the redness of her lips were full and red. He mustn't develop a crush on the bread shop girl, as he couldn't afford to right now. He was drawn to her, somehow and he didn't know quite what was drawing him... the bread or the woman behind it. He broke off the ciabatta and made a quick sandwich and distracted himself by putting on the television.