“Humph,” she muttered to herself, peering out the window and down the lane, “here she comes again!”
“Again, Again!” Squawked the raven, who rested upon the old timber rafters, every carved detail exposed.
“Almost as silly as you, Replay!” She said pointedly at the bird. The little old woman bustled about her tidy little house, the one nestled at the end of Maple Lane, amongst the wild Lupines that grew in every shade of purple, pink and blue. White hair framed her wrinkled face; her frown could be quite frightening, but on those rare (and I mean very rare) occasions that a smile graced her lined face, she looked what one could call ‘grandmotherly’.
There was a sorrowful knocking on the door, and the woman swung the door open to face Maria, for the fourth time in her life. And that’s enough for me, thank you, thought the woman to herself.
Maria’s auburn waves danced around her delicate, pale face. Sad, lonely hazel eyes looked to the old woman pleadingly.
“Oh, I am nearly drowning in my sorrow; woe is me who cannot have the man I love!” Wailed the girl; the old woman rolled her eyes.
“Yes yes, I’m sure.”
“I plead with you old woman, give me another chance! I shall be forever indebted to you!”
“Skip the drama, and the fancy words! You’ll drive me utterly bonkers! And besides, it makes you sound like some Shakespearian Juliet or other”
Maria took a step back and shut her mouth.
“If you’d have half the sense in that noggin of yours, you’d realize he isn’t the man for you!”
The old woman frowned at the girl, letting a little of her rage seep out. She made it a rule not to interfere with her customers, otherwise it becomes her mess as well; and if that wasn’t enough, once the old woman got involved she couldn’t help but care a little. Maybe it was just her grandmotherly side shining through.
Maria looked to be on the verge of tears.
“What do I do?” she sobbed.
The old woman led Maria into the house, patting her back.
“There, there. Why don’t you walk out this door, and start living.”
“But I’ve already lived three times!” the red head looked baffled.
“That wasn’t living!” the old woman cried “that just… I don’t know what that was.”
“What should I do?” Maria asked for the second time.
“Like I said, go out there, forget about this boy, and start a real life. Got it?”
Maria nodded her head.
“Shoo,” the old woman said, making a fleeting gesture with her hands, “I have to finish mixing my potion for Ginny.”
“What for?” asked Maria curiously.
The old woman cocked an eyebrow at her.
“For her perpetual goose-bumps,”
“Now go, you’re distracting me,” said the old woman irritably.
Maria trudged out the door.
“Children,” the old woman muttered.
Then, for one of those rare moments, she smiled.