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Monday, August 9, 2010

Lonely Lenore - Part Two

It was noon and Lenore was exhausted from touring.  She felt like she had been walking all day.  Not only that, but she was famished.  She remembered the little sidewalk cafe where she had eaten dinner the first day of her arrival.  It was close, the food was good and so she decided to have lunch there.

As she sat down, she remembered a man had bumped into her as she was leaving.  He was a nice looking man.  She had hoped this trip would help her overcome her loneliness, but it only seemed to accentuate it.  She had no business dreaming of some Italian stranger that bumped into her by chance.  Certainly he wouldn't be thinking of her the way she was thinking of him just now.

A waiter came to her side.  "Are you ready to order, Madame?" the waiter asked, with pencil in hand at the ready.  Lenore blushed.  She was holding the menu, but hadn't really given it much thought.

"Could I have just a few more minutes, please?" she asked the waiter, trying not to blush.

"Of course," he replied.  "I'll be back shortly."  With that, he turned and walked over to a table nearby.

Lenore looked the menu over and decided on the pasta dish of the day.  It came with a salad, beverage and a little gelato all for one price.  She looked up and her eyes met the waiter's.  He came over and took her order. 

As she handed him her menu, her eyes met with another pair of eyes.  It was him - the strange man that had bumped into her the last time she was here.  He was smiling at her and gave her a nod with his head.  Nervously, she smiled back.  And then, then he got up and came over to her table.  She hardly knew what to do as she saw him move towards her.

Standing over her, the handsome man said, "Would you mind terribly if I joined you while we have lunch?  I hate to eat alone."  He pointed to a corner off behind her left shoulder.

"Of course.  Please sit down.  I hate eating alone, as well."  Lenore's words seemed to fumble out of her mouth as she spoke.  She wondered if her hair looked windblown or if she needed more lipstick.  Her hand brushed a sprig of hair away from her face.

"Allow me to introduce myself," he said with his deep brown eyes gazing deeply into hers.  "My name is Stephano.  I own a little clock shop just around the corner.  I come here most days for my lunch, as do a lot of tourists.  I don't usually talk with the tourists, but I could not resist meeting you."

Lenore and Stephano sat and talked over lunch for about an hour.  She told him about Minnesota and the small shipping company for which she worked.  She told him she was a secretary and that when she returned she would be working for a new boss.  She told him all sorts of things and Stephano greedily took in every word she spoke.  He thought she was beautiful.

As they were finishing the last of their gelato, Stephano asked, "Would you like to come and look at my shop?  I have a lot of different clocks there and some of them are quite interesting.  It's not far - just around that corner."

Lenore agreed and as they both walked side by side on that small sidewalk in Venice, Lenore wondered what she was doing going off with a stranger so far from home.

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