Saturday, 30 August 2014

Going Home - Tornando a casa - part five

Vladimir was the first one to leave the service station on Sunday evening. All the holiday traffic had cleared and he was at the Serbian border in good time. As soon as he had parked he caught sight of Salvatore's stocky figure,he was talking on the phone, wildly gesticulating and trying to placate the high pitched female tirade that was coming from the earpiece. Vladimir punched him lightly on the arm and with a stream of Ti amo , fidati di me, Salvatore put the phone away. 'Le donne, le donne,' he shook his head and opened his arms. 'Come to my cab Vladi and I 'll give you the best Sicilian food in the world.'
As the two men feasted on salami, olives,sausage, Arancini, cannoli, and almond pastries, Salvatore explained his mission. He was on his way to a new hotel on the Black sea in Bulgaria with a lorry load of terracotta vases from Tuscany. The hotel needed local staff and he wondered if Vladimir would be interested. 'You know Vladi you've got a gift for communication, you can get by in Italian, English,German, you'd be great and I know how much you miss your kids.What do you think?'
Vladimir had been holding his breath, entranced by a vision of waking up beside Inga every day, teaching Aline to ride her bike and watching little Viktor take his first steps. 'Salvo thanks, I could definitely give it a try.'
They agreed to set off together after their sleep. Salvatore jumped out,then after a few minutes rapped on the window'Vladi your tarpaulin's loose.better check it.'
Vladimir walked to the back of his lorry and lifted the flaps, he caught his breath as he saw a pair of frightened eyes and the handbag that he'd bought at the autogrill. 
 He knelt down and smiled reassuringly. 'Hello there, it's ok , where do you think you're going.'
Encouraged by his tone, the girl slowly sat up.In Bulgarian she told him that she'd seen the name of the town on his lorry and hoped she'd be able to get there without him noticing. Vladimir silently handed her one of Salvatore's almond pastries and listened to her story . It was one he had heard many times . 

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