Leopold walked to Harold’s sweet shop playing ‘She Came to Stay’ on the trombone, a song he had written himself in d major. Mariella sat on the curb opposite the café crushing and eating monkey nuts, she crushed the shells beneath her turquoise pixie boots. Just as Leopold was about to pass Mariella by, she started to choke on a monkey nut. He blew harder, playing louder, thinking it would send the nut shooting out her mouth. It didn’t. Instead she got redder and redder, tears streamed down her face. Then Leopold pulled a kiwi out his pocket. Mariella took it and something remarkable happened, she stopped coughing and started laughing. She hadn’t laughed for 3 years. Her tears streamed in joyful relief, Leopold carried on playing, Mariella followed skipping to the beat. Harold came outside to greet Leopold, he saw Mariella, gave her a hearty smile and placed a bag of goodies in her hand. He winked at Leopold. The sun created a spotlight on the promenade. Mariella sat opposite eating all Leopold’s favourites, parma violets, swizzles, cherry lips and flumps. After a while Leopold stepped out of the spotlight and bent down to take Mariella’s hand. They walked home together. There was love in Mariella’s heart, it was bursting pink luminosity.
By Nikki Kilburn