As the theme from the movie A Love Story opens, I also asked, “Where do I begin to the tell the story …”
I was a new kid in town so I needed a job to make both ends meet. Finding a restaurant job was not easy but I was lucky to secure one with less of the salary of a regular employee. To compensate for the low pay, I was enticed to live with the proprietress’ family where I was given free board and lodging.
I was satisfied: living in a foreign land was not as difficult as it would seem. I also liked the cold climate, most welcomed than the oppressive heat back home.
Months passed by uneventfully; nothing of significance happened. Until the day she arrived.
Who was she?
My command of the local language was passable though I was more proficient in reading and writing than speaking. All the added letters absent from the English alphabet twisted my tongue, my pronunciation worse when I was nervous. And I was terribly nervous when I saw her the first time.
She was introduced to us as a part-time cook, having experience in local dishes. Honestly, I was just interested to see her everyday, cooking or not. She was the magnet as I was the metal, cold and unemotional, until that moment at least.
She smiled a lot. Her red hair was very much noticeable on top of her creamy white face. I could not think of a movie star to compare to her. Not that it mattered actually. I liked her simplicity.
I stood silently as she and the female owner engaged in small talk. All I needed to know was that she would be working with us in the kitchen, my haven.
Suddenly, everything changed. I had someone to think about, an inspiration to make everyday more memorable.
When she left, I remembered an old song my father used to listen to. Only then I realized how appropriate the mellow music was to describe what I had just felt.
I knew right away that my life would turn rosy from then on.