This was how he envisioned their meeting, their two worlds colliding and entwining, and his imagination took him to a more perfect beginning.
A smooth, unruffled shower of words issued from Claudio’s mouth. His voice rose and fell like a song, and Bett followed the rhythm of sound as Claudio elaborated with gestures like a bird caught in a storm, arms whirling and frantic. Surrounded by the din of a café full of afternoon patrons with school satchels and brief cases, Bett beamed an enthusiastic smile, and Claudio continued his one-sided conversation. Bett failed to understand what Claudio said. She only understood a few of the words he spoke, and his anger and urgency confused her. He wanted her to do something, but what she could only guess.
Claudio’s hand slammed down on the café table rattling the small spoons nestled against tiny cups and saucers like dollhouse china. Bett startled then quickly folded her hands in prayer and bowed her head in confusion. Claudio drew in a long breath, clearly exhausted from his exertions and reached for Bett’s folded hands. Resting his hand upon hers in a show of goodwill, Bett understood he had reach an ending to a tirade she could not comprehend. But the silence eroded good will, and Claudio withdrew his hand and began anew in a low monotone voice, pedantic, deliberate and drained of passion. But Bett still did not understand, and she shook her head back and forth, shrugging her shoulders. Claudio sighed and fell silent once more.
With resignation, Claudio gathered his brief case and overcoat. He stood looking down at Bett when she reached out for Claudio’s with both her hands and pulled him toward her. Bett stood close enough for Claudio to hear say, “Yes.” Bett did not know what she said yes to, but it made Claudio happy.