From the Sky - Part XVII

The sound of someone clearing their throat ended the conversation.

"Oh, Mrs. Clancy!" cried Rae. "I'm so sorry!"

"I'd just like my rolls before they go stale. I've been standing here forever."

"I'm so sorry," Rae apologized again. Hoping to improve Mrs. Clancy's mood, she said: "The wedding is Sunday! Bitsy must be so excited!" Mrs. Clancy rolled her eyes, snorted, frowned and reached into her purse for money.

Rae went to the shelf for the order and glanced over at Sal. Her younger sister remained red-faced at the counter, wringing her hands. Rae wanted to ask if something else was wrong, but then Ernesto came from the back of the bakery with Carlo in tow, looking for Paulie. At the same time Paulie walked through the front door. He was blushing and had a huge smear of lipstick on his cheek. Zia and her sketchbook were forgotten. The family surrounded Paulie, Rae pointing at the lipstick and asking a thousand questions, Papa yelling at the boy for loafing, Gio rushing from the office to scream at everyone (…I'm trying to concentrate! Shut up, everyone! Shut up! It sounds like the Boston bread riot out here!). Sal, still in full blush, said nothing. Her eyes were on Carlo, whose eyes were on her and only her. Mrs. Clancy squeezed past everyone, muttering about crazy Italians as she escaped out the door with her order of hard rolls.

Zia's sketchbook...

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