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Friday, September 29, 2006

Lunch Threesome

B applies the foot brake hard, as she comes to a shaking stop at the parking place. With a look of chagrin, she hands me my khaki army T-shirt from the back seat.

"What's that look for?" I ask as I put the shirt on, and resume drying my hair with the damp towel.

"I wanted to discuss something private with you at lunch."

"Ah - so that was it? Well, why didn't you say so before? How was I to know?"

"Well, I couldn't say anything in front of her now could I? Just be a bit obvious that something was going on."

I fold the towel neatly and place it on the dashboard, over the purple envelope. "And just what is going on?"

B looks at me. "I w-"

Before she can tell me, there is a knock at the car window. It is Mr. X's daughter.

"Wouldn't you just fucking guess?" B mutters, and flicks a switch to open the car door window.

The young girl smiles at B. "Why don't you get a table? I'm just off to the little girl's room."

As I prepare to get out, B slides over to me, and whispers in my ear with a smile, "Little girl's room? She is so kickable now."

Stepping out, I close the car door, wondering about B's sudden irritation at the young girl. "Stop it. Lock the car up and let's get something to eat. You're always irritable when you're hungry."

"You're the food monster, kiddo."

I start to walk. "Come on."

B flippantly gets out and slams her car door shut. She presses a button on her ignition key. The car's doorlocks beep shut, indicating the alarm activation. "Yes master, anything you say."

"That'll be the day," I say, as I continue to walk up the path to the café.

The Dükkan is a stylish café-cum-shop selling authentic Cypriot handcrafts. B and I often frequent it for lunch because of the light batter they use for their crêpes and the good quality Italian red wine. It was the brainchild of a Turkish Cypriot woman who decided to convert the front of her large house into a business. Now it's a place where local artists can showcase their works and sell them, and where you can get a good lunch.

As we sit at an empty table on the wooden terrace, the owner comes up smiling and hands B a menu. B waves it away, smiling, "Two of the usual."

"Three," I remind her. "Three."

"Maybe she'll want something different."

"Then let's wait shall we?"

"Oh, ok then. Make that three." As the woman moves away, B asks, "so how was last night?"

"Last night? What happened last night?" Mr. X's daughter materialises behind me, and sits down, her smile from the car still intact. "What are you having?"

"We ordered for you," I say, hoping it will change the subject. "You don't mind, I hope?"

"Of course not. Even better. So, what were you up to last night?"

"A night out with the boys." B grins, "My brother told me all about it. They went to a taverna to listen to fasil music. Men and meze. Raki galore."

I look at B meaningfully. "It must run in the family."

The young girl asks, "What must?"

B laughs, replying for me, "Having a big mouth."

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