Cielo rose up early to go to the market. She wanted her mother to rest after yesterday’s big commotion at the shop. The week end market is livelier in weekdays because it was the rest day of most peasants who work for their masters.
The street market is full of goods from food to paintings, all are sold in the streets. It wasn’t just the merchandise that makes the market lively, it was the people. They happily chat on what happened throughout their week while children play tag or hopscotch.
She went to the fruit section first and bought peaches and grapes. Peaches will be her cause of death because she loves eating it so much. She then went to the meat section and ordered a beef belly, her father’s favorite. She decided to cook it later this afternoon after her father comes home from work.
Her father, Carmichael, is a vanisher too. He was the one who trained Cielo to use her gifts at the tender age of five. He works as a coachman to a wealthy family six days a week. His rest day was only on Sundays so Cielo wanted to make sure he’ll have enough rest from all week’s work.
“E’re you go pretty lassie.” The vendor, who has missing front teeth, handed her the paper bag.
“Thank you sir.” She gave him the payment.
“You’re fiancé must be very lucky to have a lady so full of smiles.”
Cielo blushed. “I am not engaged, let alone seeing any man at the moment.”
It was true, she still haven’t found the man that can make her happy at her twenty years of age. She’s still living under the roof of her parents. Most of her playmates have been married by now and have children.
The only man nearest to her heart was her best friend, Greyson. Grey works as a blacksmith and lives beside their home. They’ve been best friends for almost all their lives, but lately since she was alone of not being engaged, she began developing feelings for him.
She wasn’t sure if her love is more than best friends, but her feelings towards him definitely changed. It escalated to feelings of the unknown.
Grey had a lot of admirers although he too wasn’t engage. Cielo tried talking to him about what he thinks about marriage and the reply she got was, “I’ll marry her as soon as I earn enough.”
“Someone you know.”
“Who is the fortunate lady who stole your heart?”
“I can't tell, but soon you’ll know.”
After that marriage conversation, she never asked him anymore because she might not like the truth.
“Someone will come along at the time you least expect it.” The vendor winked.
“Yes, I hope so too. Thank you again.”
Just as about to turn around the corner, a boy bumped into her hard. Her newly bought meat fell on the floor, “Oh my!”
But the boy scampered away not even bothering to apologize, making Cielo furious.
Several men rushed to the direction of where the boy went, all looking mad. “Oi!” they cried in unison.
“What’s happening?” the women exclaimed, confused at the sudden commotion.
Cielo didn’t waste any time staring, she leapt into action and followed the boy. She wanted the boy to learn the lesson of being polite especially to women. Though she’s wearing a dress, it didn’t stop her from springing into action.
She clutched the hem of her dress and dashed after them.
Through the narrow path of the street market where the vendors and their trade are scattered, it was hard to catch up with the men. The men following after the boy were screaming after him, “Stop!”
Whatever that boy did was sure to be a big fault to cause fury over five men and a lady chasing after him.
Fruits and vegetables flew out of the stalls as the boy tried to hinder them from catching up. The men accidentally stepped on the dropped fruits and all fell. The boy laughed, “You can't catch me!”
“I will catch you!” Cielo yelled, gracefully ditching the fruits on the path. The boy seemed tiresome as he turn left towards the pub. “Stop right there!” she yelled, catching her breath and she ran slower.
The boy was stopped when a man caught him by his dirty collar, "Here you are."
“Hey,” she breathed deeply coming nearer to the two.
The boy was surprised by Cielo, “Why are you after me?”
“What now?” the man asked.
After she caught her breath, she looked at the gentleman that caught the boy. “He pushed me and my meat fell on the floor. So you must repay me.” She demanded.
“How much?” he opened his slip from his back slacks.
“One piece of silver.” She replies.
The man looked young to be a father so she thought he was the elder brother of the boy.
“Here,” he handed to her a two silver coins.
“I only need one.” She grumped. The man must thought she’s a lady who takes advantage of her misfortune.
“The one is for the meat and the other is a gift because your stockings has a hole in it.”
Cielo looked at her legs, and lo and behold, there was a big hole on her black stockings. Embarrassed, “Thank you for your concern on my stockings but I only intend you to repay my meat and that is all. I am not a lady of advantage as many are in this town.”
The man smirked, “You are very judgmental towards my little act of kindness. Very well then, here is the payment for your meat.”
Cielo took the silver then curtsied. “Young man, do not waste your time being unruly, it will not do you any good.”
“You are not my mother!” the child scoffed.
The man tightened the grip on the boy’s collar, “Be polite.”
It will be a matter of the family to discipline the lad so she curtsied and left them.
I will see you in next month –Grey
She repeatedly read the simple note her best friend left in her mother, thinking there was a hidden message.
She lazily lay on her bed and waited for restlessness invades her. She was tired of waiting for Greyson. He left two weeks ago for a work to some place he didn’t specifically say. She thought it was only weeks then she receive a note that he’s gone again. He didn’t even wait for a few hours for her to come back from the market, he just left.
How uncaring, she thought. She missed her only friend. And the feelings for him was growing deeper to the unknown and she wants to sort it out at once. Of course she cannot because she has to wait for a month.
Waiting kills, she muttered. She closed her eyes and wondered, will I ever know what my feelings truly mean?