Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Carnival: Part Three

This is Part Three of Carnival.
For Part One of Carnival, click here.
For Part Two of Carnival, click here.



He parked his bike a few shops down the street, not wanting Laura to notice him coming—he'd heard Mr. Marlon saying she'd come back yesterday, so she would still be in the store.  In the back of the store, he hoped, so he wouldn't have to face her.

He opened the door slowly, staring at the floor.

“Hello, good morn—oh, it's you,” Laura said, blushing, “Haven't seen you in a while.”  
He looked up.

“Yeah, me neither.  You, I mean.” 

He groaned inwardly at his foolishness; Laura chuckled.

“What brings you here this late in the afternoon?  Weren't you painting, or anything?”

“No, I—I was, but then I wanted to—I discovered one of my paintings was missing,” Robin mumbled, wondering if he should have said that.

“I—er—I should probably tell you something.”

“Yes?”

“The....painting?  The one with all the snow in it? I....I'd stolen it.”

What? Why?” He asked, even though he already knew the answer.

“I'm sorry, Robin, but it was just there, and—I, er, really liked it,” her voice became smaller and smaller as she said the last few words.

He inhaled deeply, thinking about how he should respond.  He knew he should tell her he had her diary, but she probably knew that anyway.  Even so—

“Oh, well, it's not a problem, really.  You can keep it if you want,” her face lit up in a smile.
“But on one condition.” Her smile faltered.

“What's that?”

“You write a story for me like the ones in your diary.”

“You read it!  Did you....did you like the stories?”

“I did, I loved all of them.  Especially the last one.” Robin answered, clearing his throat a little, hoping she would get the hint.  His palms were sweating.  He wiped them on the front of his jeans, took the note out of his pocket and gave it to her.  

“I need you to read this—not now—after I leave; and if you...” he phrased his sentence carefully in his head, “if you....like it, you...can come meet me near the park fountain at eight?” He raised his eyebrows tentatively.

“Okay.” she said, smoothing out the crumpled paper, careful not to tear it into tiny shreds.

“Alright, see you later then.  Nice seeing you after so many days.”

Laura laughed; the sound was beautiful, and it reminded him of the creek where Rita and Jason met in Carnival.  “You make it sound like we've met each other after a year!”

“Hey Laura, you wanna commack and help me sort the Fizzlies in this box instead of talking to that boyfriend of yours, eh?” Robin jumped at least a foot into the air, out of pure shock alone—he hadn't known Mr. Marlon was there in the back.  His face felt hot; he looked up and saw that Laura's face was pink, too.

“Er—I guess I should go, then--” he began.

“Oh, well.  Here,” Laura tossed him a green apple flavoured lollipop from a carton.

“He won't mind?”

She laughed.  “Of course not, Robin!”  She lowered her voice to a whisper.  “I've nicked a whole lot of them myself, and he hasn't noticed—yet.”  And with that, she turned on her heel and marched to the storage room.

Robin smirked, then ducked out of the door into the sunned, crisp air outside.  He'd never known this side of Laura, sure, she was funny, but she had always been about thoughts and ideas, not people and, well—mischief.  Mischief.  It was a rather absurd way to think of her.


*



In the storage room, Laura waited anxiously for Mr. Marlon to go get his tea, or at least go to the bathroom, so she could read the note Robin had given her.  The opportunity presented itself five minutes after the old man had called her back inside—an important client had called, and Mr. Marlon was not one to leave important clients waiting, even if they were particularly nasty and called him a “blasted ol' slagger” (whatever that meant) in full view of his subordinates in the store.

Laura pulled the note out of her pocket, unfolded it and began reading.


Dear Laura,

I've wanted to say this to you for a very long time, but I couldn't find the words to tell you.  I wish I'd told you sooner.  


First off, I left the painting in plain view because I wanted you to take it—I'll tell you why.

You told me once that you like snow, and that you think winter to be very beautiful.  It is.  The trees are draped in soft white and you said you would rather not lean against them, because your clothes would wipe some of the snow off, and you don't like wiping snow off anything except maybe your driveway, but that's only because you have to.

You said you like a warm mug of cocoa when you get home from the store in December.  And then you watch a detective show on television.  Then after, you write two sentences in your notebook for the stories, and then you purposely drop it onto the counter of the candy store and hope that I will pick it up, and that I will take it home and read it.

You take the painting of snow and children ice skating (you like that, too) from near my window, and you realize, hopefully, that I have hidden your name in the trees.  If you haven't seen that yet, you have plenty of time after this to admire it anyway.

Laura, you and I both know why we did the things we did.  
I told you about my paintings, about my thoughts of you and the things you love, because I love you.

Things will not be the same after you've read this, but then again, I probably wouldn't want them to.

Do you want to go out to dinner tonight at Piazzo's?

Yours,
Robin.



Laura smiled.  “I love you too,” she whispered, “and yes, I would love to go to Piazzo's tonight.”



*

It was seven in the evening.  Laura stood in front of her open wardrobe.  She never seemed to have just the right dress to wear to a fancy place like Piazzo's.  She cocked her head to one side.  Maybe Robin doesn't need me to wear anything fancy, she thought, maybe he's alright with me wearing that velvet navy blue dress with the silver and gold butterfly sequins and lace.  That is fancy.  She giggled.

She put on the navy blue dress made of velvet with the lace and the sequins and looked at herself in the mirror.  She did look very beautiful.  The dress brought out the brown in her eyes.
She fixed her hair into place with a navy-blue-gold barrette and decided that was probably enough for Robin to like her even more.

Laura took her car keys from the table and waltzed out the door.



Robin was already waiting for her near the park fountain.  He wore a black suit with a tie, and a coat on top.  

“I brought your diary,” he said, and gave it to her. “Do you mind if we walk to Piazzo's?”

“Of course not, I'd love to.”

And then it started snowing.  Robin's golden-brown hair looked good with snow in it, too.  She put her hand in his.  He looked at her.  

They smiled at each other.

It couldn't be more perfect a day, Laura thought, and they walked slowly, together, leaving all their worries behind.





THE END



I really enjoyed writing this story!  Please share/ favourite/ comment if you liked it; thank you!


Inspiration.

Days pass by My pen has dried up My papers are crumpled My mind is caged Words no longer flow freely My thoughts battle with themselves...