THE SMELL OF FRESHLY BAKED BREAD
Early next morning, Kate took a walk across the square and when she was passing along an Italian restaurant a wonderful smell of freshly baked bread hit her nose.
She didn’t hesitate and went closer, but couldn’t see anyone. It was only 7.40 AM, so it was probably still closed.
After a while, an old woman came to ask her what was she looking for. Kate answered that she felt an inviting smell coming out of the restaurant and that she was wondering if she could buy some fresh bread. The old woman smiled and politely told her, that the smell she felt wasn’t the smell of freshly baked bread, but the smell of her pizza, because she has been eating it for breakfast every day since the time her and her boyfriend opened this pizzeria. Kate smiled back at her.
They kept on chatting for a while. Kate told her that she has just arrived in town and doesn’t know anyone. She also asked the pizzeria owner if she knew about some cheap accommodation. The woman smiled and said: “You have come to the right place, dear!”
“I can offer you a room right here in the restaurant, but only if you are not searching for something fancy. There is a little bathroom, a bed and I could bring you my old TV from my house if you wanted, because my son gave me a new one recently,” said the woman.
“I don’t know what to say! Thank you!” Kate told her, happily surprised.
“Of course it would not be for free, as you can imagine… There is going to be the equestrian competition soon and I expect many customers. I would need some help with the preparation of my pizzeria for the occasion. My son has promised to help, but he is not feeling well in these days,” continued the woman.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Of course I will help you! Just tell me what to do!” said enthusiastically Kate.
“And then you would contribute to the bills that come every now and then. It would not cost you much,” assured her the woman.
“I understand,” agreed Kate.
“Tell me again, dear, for how long would you like to stay here?” asked the woman.
“I haven’t thought of it yet, but I suppose a month or two, until I can get some job and earn some money…,” responded Kate. “Is that a problem for you?”
“No, dear, of course not. I was just asking. You can stay as long as you will need. I see a good person in you,” she said. “What was your name again, dear?”
“Oh, forgive me. My name is Kate. Kate Loewe.”
“Nice to meet you, Kate. I am Lia Rasi,” the pizzeria owner presented herself.
“Pleasure to meet you too, Mrs. Rasi,” said Kate with a big smile on her face.
“If you want, you can move in at once! The restaurant opens at 11 AM, so you have plenty of time to explore the place before the first customer arrives!”
“Thank you Mrs. Rasi, you are so kind!”
“Oh dear, I am happy that you came by. I was getting all nervous about the preparations, but then you stepped in… Very well, I will be having my breakfast now, so we will see later,” said Mrs. Rasi and sat at one of the tables.
“See you later, Mrs. Rasi and thank you again!” Kate waved her hand at Lia and left the restaurant.
…later that day
After Kate left the pizzeria, she went for a walk in the local park. She was still thinking about this morning. It seemed almost unbelievable to her. First, she discovered that poster yesterday and today she got lucky in finding a place where she could stay almost for free. Kate kept on thinking about it for all the day…
When she got back to the restaurant it was almost 11 AM. Mrs. Rasi was already behind the counter waiting for the first customer. Kate went to ask her if she could get some sleep since she didn’t sleep much last night and wanted to rest a bit. Mrs. Rasi smiled and said: “Of course, dear! Go upstairs. I have just made the bed for you. Sleep well, and when you feel hungry eat anything you want.”
Kate thanked her and went upstairs to get some sleep.
Kate woke up around 3 PM, well rested. Wooow, she thought to herself when she stepped outside on the balcony and couldn’t believe her eyes. She had a beautiful view on the town. I really must be lucky. I hope this town will keep on bringing me luck forever, she said to herself while she admired the view.
Kate went downstairs to have some meal. Mrs. Rasi wasn’t there so Kate thought that she has left… Kate was just finishing the salad when Mrs. Rasi appeared cheerfully greeting her.
“Hello dear, did you sleep well?”
“Yes, Mrs. Rasi, I did,” answered Kate and stood up from the table.
“I was wondering when you would wake up,” Mrs. Rasi smiled at Kate.
“I had a long trip yesterday and I really needed a good sleep.”
“I don’t remember if we spoke about it before, so please excuse me if I will ask you for the second time, dear. Where is it that you come from?” asked her Mrs. Rasi.
“Appaloosa Plains,” said Kate.
“Oh, I have never been there, but I believe it must be a lovely place if such a lovely young woman comes from there,” flattered her Mrs. Rasi.
Kate smiled and answered: “Yes, it is. I really loved it there… I miss the horses a lot.”
“The horses?” Mrs. Rasi kept asking.
“I used to ride a horse every day at sunset… It is such a wonderful feeling when you ride towards the setting sun… There is nothing more beautiful than that…”
“I believe you, dear. Oh, and speaking of horses… Have you considered entering the equestrian competition?”
“I would love to participate. I just don’t have a horse,” said sadly Kate.
“Oh I see. Don’t get all sad about it, dear. I know one person in town that has horses, maybe you could ask him,” cheered her up Mrs. Rasi.
“Really? Do you think that I could rent a horse for the competition from him?” asked her enthusiastically Kate.
“I don’t know. You can call and ask anyway, I will find the number for you. Just a moment… I had it somewhere here…,” responded Mrs. Rasi and went to search for her phone book.
“You know, Mrs. Rasi, I feel unbelievable… If I really get the chance to enter the competition, I will start believing in miracles. I arrived in this town only yesterday and already so many nice things happened to me. You happened to me, I will never forget this,” continued Kate.
“Here it is! I found it… Ahem, what was you saying, dear? I didn’t hear you well,” said Mrs. Rasi.
“I was just saying that I am really happy that I have met you, Mrs. Rasi.”
“Oh, dear, that is very nice of you to say. I am happy I met you, too. Here you go. Mr. O’Connor’s number,” said Mrs. Rasi and gave the number to Kate. “Call him right away,” she added. “I will be going now, my boyfriend will be here tonight. He jokes a lot, but he is a friendly man, I am sure you will get along… Well, good luck, dear. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Thank you, see you tomorrow then!”
After Lia left the pizzeria, Kate suddenly started feeling nervous. This was probably her only chance to get into the competition. She picked her phone and dialed the number…
“Hello?” said a deep voice.
“Oh, hi, Mr. O’Connor?”
“Yes. Who is calling?”
“Kate Loewe, Mrs. Rasi gave me your number.”
“Ah, Lia... How can I help you, Kate?” asked Mr. O’Connor.
“Mrs. Rasi told me that you have horses. I wanted to ask you if you rent them by any chance,” Kate asked politely.
“Yes, I really do have horses, but I will disappoint you, Kate. They are not for rent, I am sorry.”
“I understand… Well then… I guess…”
“Why would you need a horse?” Mr. O’Connor asked her abruptly.
“I really wanted to enter the equestrian competition this Saturday, but I have just moved in the town… I met Mrs. Rasi and she was very kind to me, she gave me your num-” Kate didn’t finish the sentence, because Mr. O’Connor interrupted her.
“So tell me, Kate, how good are you at horse riding?”
“I am good, I really am,” Kate answered in a very convincing way.
“Ha ha! That is an honest answer!” laughed Mr. O’Connor and continued, “Listen Kate, I don’t have much time at the moment, but if you have nothing to do I will be back home in an hour so you could come over and we could discuss it, okay?”
“Okay, I will be there! Thank you!” said happily Kate.
“Settled then, see you later, bye!” said Mr. O’Connor and hung up.
“Wait! Mr. O’Connor, where do you live?” asked urgently Kate.
“Are you there?” Kate asked again, but nobody responded.
Kate hung up. “Perfect. Now I know that maybe I can get a horse, but where does this Mr. O’Connor live?” she said to herself without realizing she actually said it out loud.