فصل 06

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 06

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CHAPTER SIX

The two couples meet

The next day, Stephany and Max ate breakfast in the bar. It was only a short walk from their flat. They are cakes and drank coffee. Then they went to swim at the beach at the bottom of the village.

‘This certainly is an ideal place for our holiday,’ said Max.

‘I told you!’ said Stephany.

‘And if we had paid for a place like this it would have cost a lot of money,’ Max said. But Stephany was changing into her bikini and didn’t answer.

‘Let’s swim!’ she called to Max. Before he knew it, she had run into the water and was swimming out to sea.

The blue water was clear and deep. However, Max chose to swim close to the beach. He didn’t feel safe in deep water he didn’t know.

Some local boys were diving off the rocks. They looked very healthy, as if they spent every day sitting in the sun, diving and swimming. Max thought of his white English skin and felt shy.

Stephany swam like a fish. Before long, she too had climbed the high rocks.

‘Come up here!’ she called down to Max. Max looked up at her. She had a lovely healthy body.

I’ll just stay here,’ he called up. He thought he heard one of the boys laugh.

He watched as Stephany dived smoothly into the water. She swam up to him and took his hand.

‘You’re frightened to dive!’ she laughed. ‘Come on, I want to see you dive.’

‘No,’ said Max. ‘I’m hungry. Let’s go and get some lunch. I noticed one of those bars did large plates of pasta!’

‘That’s the trattoria - the restaurant,’ said Stephany. ‘Yes, that’s a good idea. I’m really hungry after all this swimming!’

Soon they were dressed and sitting in the trattoria. People were ordering big meals, even though it was only one o’clock.

‘People eat a lot at lunchtime here!’ Max said.

‘We’ve forgotten how to eat well in England,’ said Stephany. ‘Italians love their food. Just think, at home we would just be eating a sandwich!’

‘But here, it’s spaghetti alle vongole, and wine, and steak, said Max, smiling. ‘This is a great place,’ he continued. ‘Sun, clean sea, good restaurants. You were very clever to think of it. I’m looking forward to meeting Carlo and Ruth so I can thank them properly.’

But Max was also a little worried that Carlo might look like one of the boys on the beach, a handsome Italian with brown skin and strong muscles!

They returned to the flat much later, after their big lunch and a good coffee. There was a message from Carlo’s mother, saying Carlo had telephoned. He wanted all of them to go out for a pizza together.

‘He’ll come to your flat at seven o’clock,’ the old woman told Stephany.

‘Hmm,’ said Max, coming up behind Stephany and putting his arms round her. ‘It’ll be good to meet your Italian friends at last.’

‘Yes,’ said Stephany. But her face, which he saw in the mirror, looked worried.

‘What’s the matter?’ Max asked. ‘Aren’t you looking forward to seeing them?’

Of course I am,’ said Stephany. ‘At least, I’m looking forward to seeing Carlo. He’s like my brother, but I’m not so sure about Ruth. I don’t know her very well.’

‘Are you frightened of her?’ asked Max. ‘Frightened? No!’ said Stephany quickly. ‘I just don’t know her, that’s all. And you know women with children can be very boring.’

‘Boring?’ Max said, surprised. ‘Surely, some are boring, and some aren’t, just like people without children?’

But Stephany pushed away from his arms and went into the bathroom to have a shower.

I need to start getting ready if we are eating with them tonight’ she said from the bathroom. And the door shut.

Max went out onto the balcony and sat on a chair. He felt the warm sun on his face, and heard the soft sounds of the village around him. He closed his eyes.

He was woken from a deep sleep by the sound of someone knocking on the door of the flat. He looked up, wondering where Stephany was. He couldn’t see her, so he went and opened the door.

A medium height, well-dressed Italian man with a friendly face and glasses stood at the door. He wore a clean white shirt and trousers, and had a pullover around his shoulders. With him was a small, red-haired woman with a white face and a baby in her arms. Holding onto her legs was a small child.

‘Ciao!’ said the man. ‘I’m Carlo. This is my wife Ruth, and you must be Max.’

Max smiled and shook Carlo’s hand.

‘Well,’ thought Max, ‘I don’t have to worry that Carlo is better-looking than me. I think I’m more handsome than he is!’

Carlo looked nice, but he was nothing like the boys on the beach. He looked like a simple family man. He probably ate too much pasta and didn’t exercise much!

As the family came into the flat, the bathroom door opened and Stephany came out, looking more attractive than Max had ever seen her. She wore a short black dress which made her look very slim and high black shoes. Her skin was brown from their morning in the sea and sun and her hair shone like glass. And with the make-up she had put on her face she looked beautiful. Max watched her as she walked across the room and took Carlo’s hand, kissing him on each cheek. Max wondered how Ruth felt.

Just then, the baby in Ruth’s arms began to cry. She went to the bedroom to feed it.

‘Shall we go to the bar?’ said Stephany, looking from one man to the other, enjoying the fact they were both looking at her.

‘Wait a minute,’ said Max. ‘Ruth is feeding the baby, remember?’

‘Oh, she can find us there later,’ said Stephany. ‘She could be a long time feeding.’

‘Why don’t we have a drink here while we wait?’ said Max.

He didn’t know much about having children, but he thought it must be hard to be left out of things just because you had a baby.

‘OK,’ Carlo said. ‘I hope you like it here. While you are in my flat it is your home.’

‘Yes,’ said Max. ‘It’s very kind of you. Thank you very much.

Carlo looked at Stephany as he said, ‘I always said Stephany can stay in my flat whenever she likes. And, of course, since you are her friend, you are also welcome.’ Stephany smiled at Catlo.

Soon after, Ruth came out of the bedroom. She looked white and tired next to Stephany, and there were lines on her clothes, a cotton skirt and a yellow T-shirt, from sitting on the bed.

‘Would you like a drink?’ Max asked her, and she smiled.

‘Come on,’ said Carlo. ‘Let’s go! We can have a drink in the bar.’ And he led them all to the door.

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