From The Sky - Part VI

The Three Sisters...

Two days passed, and when her sisters returned, Sal told them what had happened. All that day, the sisters waited for the woman to arrive. Every time the door opened, Ernesto and Gio would emerge from their office or rush up from the back of the bakery, elbowing each other as they jockeyed for position, hoping that this time the woman had arrived.

She did not come that day, nor the next, or the next.

Each brother blamed the other, and with each passing day their anger simmered more hotly, coming closer to the boiling point.

Five days with no sign of the woman's return found the three sisters leaning across the counter late in the afternoon, each with their elbows on the glass and their heads resting in their open hands.

"Perhaps I imagined her," Sal sighed. "Maybe she's some kind of phantom. Maybe Papa and Uncle are in love with a ghost."

"No ghost. She's just a woman. And she will never come back here. Never," said Rae. "Not with two grown men acting this way."

"They didn't behave this badly at first," Sal said. "They were fairly civil. But I suppose they did sort of act like drooling, horny schoolboys."

"Sal!" cried Rae. "That's Papa and Uncle you're talking about!"

"But they're men," interrupted Zia. "A pair of jackasses warring over a woman. It's wrong-headed thinking. They need to use the one above their shoulders, not the one under their baker's aprons."

"Oh, Zia," cried Rae. "Enough vulgarity. Now, what is it Aunt Carmella always says? 'Chi troppo vuole, nulla stringe.' They both want this woman so badly neither will win her. They'll frighten her away."

"You didn't see her," said Sal. "I don't think she rattles easily. In fact, she barely seemed to notice them. All she cared about was finding her painter."

The phone rang. Zia, the closest, walked off to answer.

"Their little feud has to stop, Sal," Rae said. "It's going to hurt the business."

"Maybe it's not so bad. They fight all the time anyway," Sal replied.

"Not like this. This is different. It's not about what icing to use, or whether to bake vanilla, chocolate or marble cake. This is about a woman. A woman with no name! There is danger here, Sal. Reason has gone out the window. There is no room for compromise. They way they see it, one will win her and one will not. And the loser will never forget and never, never forgive."

"What if she rejects them both?"

"Then…" sighed Rae, "Well, then they blame each other. Maybe forever."

"And what if she simply never comes back? What if they never see her again?"

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