Photo: Cristina Oria
* Music during reading (to feel better the atmosphere of this chapter I recommend this song in the background)
A woman in her 60s walked into the kitchen, observing a puzzled girl amid the modern countertops and minimalist-style cabinets.
‘‘Don’t be scared. Alejandrito, I mean, Mr. Suarez told me that you would be home,’’ she said, leaving a paper bag with the logo that said Cristina Oria and a takeaway cup of coffee, ‘‘I assumed that you would be hungry because you could never find food here,’’ she laughed.
The blonde kept looking at her, but before she could answer anything, the lady continued.
‘‘I’m Petra, I’ve come to tidy up the house a bit. And you are?’’
‘‘Ava,’’ the young one introduced herself, without fully understanding what it was happening, and approaching the door to leave.
‘‘Well, Ava. Sit down and eat, please.’’
‘‘No, no, thank you very much. I have to go. I have an exhibition.’’
‘‘I am working in an art gallery, and they will be waiting for me.’’
‘‘About what time?’’
‘‘At 4 PM.’’
‘‘You had already scared me, it gives you plenty of time to have breakfast and even lunch. From a house that I take care of, no one has left hungry yet,’’ continued the lady, taking out a delicious lemon pound cake, perhaps the tastiest of Madrid, the star dish of Cristina Oria and pouring, still hot, latte, from a paper cup to a coffee mug. ‘‘The true awakening comes with a good breakfast and real coffee.’’
‘‘The true awakening comes with a good breakfast and real coffee.’’
Ava couldn’t say no, she knew that this would be all an offence to Petra, and her stomach had been asking for food for a long time. When you are hungry, thinking becomes much more complicated. The young woman knew the place where this logo came from, it was one of the best catering in the city, she had seen its peculiar vintage van going around Madrid, and recently has visited one of its Victorian-style restaurant to taste the delicious dishes and acquire several gourmet groceries from the shop. The location of the Cristina Oria’s coffee shops made her deduce that she was somewhere in the Salamanca neighbourhood or maybe in Las Rozas Village, the town famous for its outlet boutiques.
The woman with a strange accent, which the girl could not locate, began to tidy up an already gleaming kitchen while the young blonde felt like the fluffy lemon cake practically melted in her mouth. Good food is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest pleasures in life, which multiplies the joy of some moments and, sometimes, it even takes on the role of tranquillizer; Like candy for a child, it saves us from emotional emptiness, but like any ‘‘medicine’’ it has to be consumed in appropriate doses to not become poison.
‘‘Good food is, without a doubt, one of the greatest pleasures in life, which multiplies the joy of some moments and, sometimes, it even takes on the role of tranquillizer; Like candy for a child, it saves us from emotional emptiness, but like any ‘‘medicine’’ it has to be consumed in appropriate doses to not become poison.’’
‘‘So you are the girlfriend of my Alejandrito?’’ Asked the lady, finishing wiping the counter.
‘‘No, I am not…,’’ Ava alluded, coughing, almost choking with the just brought breakfast, not expecting such a direct question. ‘‘...we are just friends.’’
‘‘Well, girl,’’ continued the woman, with a bossy intonation in which affectionate notes could be perceived, a similar tone to when a mother wants her child to wrap up in winter. ‘‘I have known this boy since he was wearing nappies and no women in his life have been just a friend. So, you can tell me how you ended up here,’’ she said, sitting in the chair with an intrigued face as if she were going to watch another episode of her favourite soap-opera.
‘‘Good question. I don’t know,’’ answered Ava with a nervous smile, taking another sip of the coffee, ‘‘we went out for dinner, and then the champagne did its effect, so I woke up at this place and couldn’t get out of here.’’
‘‘So do you like him?’’
‘‘Of course! You can tell me the truth between us, the girls.’’
Those questions made her feel uncomfortable. She couldn’t even answer herself to what the lady was asking her. She did not understand what feeling the owner of that house awake in her the last night. On the one hand, she still couldn’t get rid of the idea of the stranger with the magnetic gaze, but on the other, she couldn’t deny the connection she had with his dark-haired friend either. She was living a quiet life, waiting for someone from her dreams to come wake her up, but now that dreams won’t let her sleep.
‘‘She was living a quiet life, waiting for someone from her dreams to come wake her up, but now that dreams won’t let her sleep.’
‘‘Honestly, I cannot tell you. I hardly know him,’’ said Ava, being afraid to admit to herself and to the lady that she did like the guy, but for a strange reason, she still was choosing the friend who did not appear that night. The fact is that the unattainable and unknown things always have a more attractive point than something that you have in your hands.
‘‘The fact is that the unattainable and unknown things always have a more attractive point than something that you have in your hands.’’
‘‘He has a difficult character, but also a big heart. Trust me, I’ve seen him grow up since he was a baby, and I know what I’m saying. I have worked in his family for almost 30 years and since he moved, I have also come to clean this house’’ she said with some nostalgia. ‘‘In fact, I’m a little sad. I thought that the boy had finally settled down. In his entire life, I have not met any girlfriend of his, although he has never lacked female attention.’’
Ava was listening and analysing in her head what the lady was telling her, while a sports car with the protagonist of that conversation entered the garage of the same building. Certain tension could be perceived in his lost gaze, which seemed to retain feelings of anger and sadness simultaneously. The business meetings and his plans with the young blonde who occupied his thoughts all the morning were erased from his mind and his schedule. A few of words said in a couple of seconds overturned all his priorities. The call he received from the Sommer’s sister with the news about what had happened near Heathrow Airport was the only thing on his mind. He had got the answer to why his friend who returned to London yesterday, the same one from whom he had ‘‘borrowed’’ the date, did not reply him the message.
The sound of the front door was heard in the modern house again, but this time it was its owner who was coming in. The two women got up and went to the hall to ask him for an explanation, but when they saw his face their question had completely changed.
Topics: online romantic novel – love story online – gourmet home breakfast Madrid – Cristina Oria Madrid – home-made food delivery Madrid – catering Madrid