فصل 10

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 10

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER TEN

In love with two people

The next morning Max got up before Stephany. She awoke to hear him moving, across the room.

‘I feel much better,’ he said, looking at her. ‘I’ve already been for a walk and bought us some things for breakfast. I’ll make some more coffee.’

She lay and smelt the coffee and tell the warm sun on her face as it came through the window.

If yesterday hadn’t happened, this could almost be the holiday she had wanted. But yesterday had happened. She didn’t know what to think.

Carlo loved Ruth, he had told her that, and he would never leave her or the children. But he had always liked Stephany, too.

She looked up at Max as he gave her a cup of coffee. He looked extremely handsome this morning, and now he was better he seemed stronger. He was more like the Max she first knew and liked. Perhaps it was perfectly normal to be in love with two people at once?

‘Here’s a coffee for you,’ he said, kissing her on the cheek ‘How was last night? Did you have a good time?’

‘It was OK,’ said Suphany. She had decided she would not tell Max that Ruth wasn’t there, unless he asked. It was best to keep things simple.

‘Did I miss anything?’ Max asked.

‘No,’ said Stephany putting her arms around him. ‘Nothing. But I missed you.’

Max smiled.

He really felt he was going to enjoy the rest of the holiday.

‘How about taking the train to town? There’s a market on today,’ said Max, who had been talking to some tourists in the bar that morning. ‘I could buy some fresh food and cook us a good meal this evening. There are also some interesting churches I’d like to look at.’

Stephany, who had been planning a day swimming and lying on the beach, did not want to go to town.

‘Why don’t you go alone?’ she said. ‘It’d be good for your Italian. I feel like lying in the sun with my book. Let’s meet later on the beach.

‘Oh, OK,’ said Max, ‘I hope I’ll be able to understand without you there to help me.’

‘Of course you will,’ said Stephany. ‘Take the dictionary and use your hands a lot.’

So Stephany went to the beach and Max went to town on the train. He was pleased that he knew the Italian word for ticket - biglietto, but at the vegetable stall at the market he forgot the word for courgettes. He tried to find some courgettes to point to, but there weren’t any. Then he tried to describe them but the man selling the vegetables couldn’t understand him. Some people waiting became more and more angry.

‘They are called zucchini,’ said a voice behind him. Max turned round to find Ruth standing there. Thomas was holding her hand and the baby was in a pram.

‘Oh, thank goodness you were there just then,’ said Max. Then he told Ruth the vegetables he wanted and Ruth asked for them in perfect Italian.

‘How was last night?’ Max asked her as they left the vegetable stall.

‘Last night?’ Ruth didn’t understand.

‘The festival you and Carlo and Stephany went to while I was in bed.’

Ruth looked at Max. Didn’t he know she hadn’t gone? She thought quickly. If Stephany hadn’t told Max, then site was trying to hide something. Ruth felt herself go red with anger. But she decided it was best not to tell Max now. She wanted to talk to Carlo first.

‘It was fun,’ said Ruth. ‘Ask Stephany about it, I expect she would like to tell you.’

Max looked at Ruth, but she was now busy with Thomas. I decided Ruth didn’t want to talk about last night. ‘I’d like to buy some cheese. Would you help me?’ he asked.

‘Sure,’ said Ruth, ‘follow me. I know the best cheese stall here. Max followed her to a stall with a lot of beautiful cheeses.

‘We never get cheeses as big as this in England,’ said Max. ‘At the supermarkets everything is cut into tiny pieces and comes in plastic’

‘Oh yes,’ said Ruth ‘It’s one of the things I love about Italy. Food is real food here.’

They bought some Dolce Latte and some Pecorino.

And now for fruit,’ said Max.

Ruth helped him choose some peaches and grapes, and then they walked around together for a while.

‘Look at that church!’ said Max. ‘I must look inside. Would you like to?’

‘Yes,’ said Ruth. ‘There are some pictures in there you might be interested in.’ They went inside the church together, but it was a bit difficult to look at the pictures carefully with Thomas and the baby.

‘It’s nice to look at architecture and art with someone else,’ said Max. ‘Stephany isn’t interested. We are very different. She likes sports while I like art. But I like the fact that we’re different. How about you and Carlo?’

Ruth was quiet. She didn’t want to talk about herself and Carlo right now. She was thinking about Stephany and didn’t want to tell Max what she was thinking. She couldn’t be sure that her thoughts about Stephany and Carlo were right. If she said anything to Max, he would think she was jealous of Stephany. After all, Stephany was far more attractive than she was.

‘Would you like to go for a coffee?’ asked Max, feeling sorry for Ruth again. She looked so tired.

‘That’d be lovely,’ she said, then turned to Thomas and said, ‘Would you like an ice cream?’

‘Si, si,’ he shouted, running round them in circles. They found a cafe in the sun and sat outside. Max enjoyed playing with the little boy.

‘He likes you,’ laughed Ruth as Max made Thomas laugh. ‘Have you and Stephany thought of having children yourselves?’

‘We haven’t been together very long,’ he said. ‘We haven’t talked about it. But I don’t think Stephany is very interested in having children yet. She enjoys her work, and she likes being free so much.’

‘How about you?’ Ruth asked.

‘Well, I do like children. I’ve enjoyed playing with Thomas. But it’s a big decision. I’m not sure I’m ready for it either.’

‘I understand,’ said Ruth. ‘We’ve found it harder than we thought it would be. We don’t get any time alone now’

‘How did you and Carlo meet? Were you already in Italy?’ asked Max.

‘Yes, I was working in a restaurant here. Carlo was one of my regular customers. He loves everything English, you know. He’s an Anglophile! He was one of the few people I met who could speak English. Stephany taught him.’

‘They never went out together?’ Max asked.

‘No,’ said Ruth. She stopped for a moment.

‘Stephany says they were just good friends,’ said Max.

‘They were,’ said Ruth. ‘When I met Carlo he told me all about how Stephany had taught him English and helped him in London. In return, he said she could use the flat whenever she wanted to. He’s very kind.’

Max nodded. ‘It’s very kind of him. After all, he could make a lot of money from tourists out of it.’

‘Carlo isn’t like that,’ said Ruth, smiling as she spoke of him. ‘He doesn’t do things to make money. He does things if they feel the right thing to do. That’s what I love about him.’

Max looked at her as she smiled. She really loves Carlo, he thought. ‘So Stephany and Carlo were never boyfriend and girlfriend?’ Max asked again. He thought if anyone knew, Ruth would.

‘No,’ said Ruth. She kept her eyes down. She was speaking the truth, but she thought that perhaps it wasn’t so simple. She couldn’t tell Max that she didn’t trust Stephany.

‘Thanks for the coffee, Max. I must go now. I need to get home.’

Ruth called Thomas, moved the baby to her pram and took Thomas’s hand. She turned and waved as she went to get her bus and Max noticed a sad look on her face.

‘Poor woman,’ he thought, ‘she seems very tired all the time. She is not very happy living here. Even though it is so beautiful.’

Now he had heard from Ruth that Carlo and Stephany were just good friends and always had been, he felt much happier. He would really enjoy the rest of the holiday, and he would start right now. On the train back he thought of the nice meal he would cook tonight, with a bottle of good wine, and of being alone with his new woman at last.

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