Read Chapter 10 here.
Chapter 11: Talise at The Farmer’s Market
Nina was delighted to have John take her to the farmer’s market. She enjoyed the atmosphere of the popular market which provided farm-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods, as well as handmade speciality goods. A modest-sized warehouse with murals of oceanic scenes, was home for the market during the Winter months in Adare. In the late spring, the market moved outdoors so people could bask in the sunshine as they shopped.
The quick drive downtown, however, was silent. Nina was busy worrying about Rianne and her broken arm as well as her confrontation with Talise. John was distant and brooding as he drove his Mercedes and parked a few blocks away from the market.
The aroma of fresh produce, sweet and inviting, met Nina as she walked into the crowded warehouse. The smell of fresh bread made both Nina and John inhale and smile at each other. Nina shoved her worries to the back of her mind. She immediately began talking to some of the merchants she knew, tugging John’s hands. Nina went to a few different tables she knew would be promising to find the best price for some vegetables. At different tables Nina bought an array of lush organic vegetables.
She was drawn to a table which sold spice blends called Cumin and See. The company had spice mixtures, seasonings, and recipes for food. Nina purchased their special Caesar salad spice, a sweet cinnamony spice for apple cider, and a mixture of spices for a warm cheesy dip which would taste superb with crackers or chips. Nina wasn’t only buying for supper, she was thinking some down time would be a good idea soon.
Nina browsed along the tables where handcrafted jewelry was displayed. She gently held a fine 14k gold chain with a lustrous pearl and a tiny charm that read ‘beloved.’ John noticed Nina eyeing the necklace before she reached out and ran her finger over the pearl pendant and charm. John smiled at the cheerful merchant selling homemade jewelry at her booth and asked the lady how much for the necklace Nina was admiring.
” Oh don’t, it’s fine John. It’s $229.00 for this little chain. It’s not worth it.” Nina whispered to John.
“But you love it, right?” John said.”You’re worth it to me.”
Nina blushed at John’s praise and nodded her head. She did love the necklace, it was classic. John ran his hand through Nina’s soft hair playfully before paying for the necklace with a swipe of his Visa. John carefully opened the fine necklace and clasped it around Nina’s neck. She loved the necklace and John’s gesture of buying her something. Nina adored that gesture a great deal.
“Thank you John,” Nina said sincerely, leaning up to kiss John on the lips.”Pay you back with some dessert sometime.” The kiss deepened and some people were openly gawking.
John smirked at Nina, aware he’d put on a show and held Nina’s hand as she went to a table that offered baked goods and bought an aromatic delicious apple pie for dinner. ” I love apple pie” John murmured to Nina, “Apple pie is more then enough in exchange for the necklace. Not that you had to get me anything.”They shared a warm companionable and heated gaze before Nina was distracted by more goods being sold.
Nina let go of John’s hand and went to browse among the tables of items. She wasn’t often able to make it to the market in the winter time; work often meant overtime. Nina browsed aware John was worried some awful event might happen if they remained at the market long.
John had been looking at some homemade red wine, drinking a coffee when Nina last saw him. But when she turned around, John had disappeared into the crowd. Nina wasn’t too worried. John had his Samsung on him and she had her Iphone. The market wasn’t huge and it wouldn’t be impossible for Nina to find John in ten minutes or so while she shopped. Nina’s eyes immediately admired a baby pink scarf made of silk and light as air, hanging on rack of scarves beside a table.
A carefully manicured hand with sea green nail polish touched the delicate pink scarf and held it up so Nina could see how delicate and pretty the scarf was. Nina didn’t look up at the vendor because she was memorized by the way light hit the scarf. John could have bought her this scarf she thought, but she truly loved the gold necklace. She would purchase the scarf herself, Nina decided.
” Do you like it?” a girly voice asked Nina. Nina was to busy admiring the scarf, but then the voice said: “This would look wonderful on you Nina. It is exactly the right color of pink for your skin.” Nina knew the woman’s voice. She looked up to see Talise in a floaty silk blue blouse and leggings, behind the table.
“Oh” Nina said, “Talise, I didn’t know you had a booth here. Your scarves are gorgeous.” Talise smiled.
“It’s my friends booth. She’s the artist. I’m only filling in for her today. But she did tell me I could have any scarf of my choice. I would like for you to have my scarf. Take the light pink scarf Nina it suits you.” Nina was surprised, touched, and a suspicious of Talise’s gift. But she didn’t want to appear ungracious, even though she loved the pink scarf. She wrapped the silk perfection around her neck.
” That’s nice of you Talise. I didn’t think we were off to a friendly start at the fundraiser. You were judgemental of John and his past. How’s Malcolm?”
“Oh, he’s fine. He’s watching the Broncos play football, while I do this. He loves sports. As for John, I’m only concerned about your safety with John, Nina. I don’t think he’s a reputable guy from my own experiences. For some reason, I always felt accidents and bad things occurred around John. Maybe, I’m only imagining these events, but I think you can do better than John.”
“It wasn’t your friend who John and his brothers laughed at when you said your friend loved John, was it? It was you?” Nina asked Talise in a flash of realization. Talise’s jewel green eyes shed a tear and then went blank.
“Yes, it was me,” she said. “I loved him and he talked about me behind my back. I wasn’t valuable to him. It was onto the next girl with John.”
Nina let her breath out nervously stroking the soft silk scarf Talise had given her. She felt wrong accepting the scarf now. Nina felt as if by wearing it she somehow agreed with Talise’s opinion of John now, that he was still a womanizer and a selfish man.
Nina felt she couldn’t give the scarf back to Talise, because she didn’t want to have a confrontation with her. She clutched the necklace John had bought her, hidden under the scarf. The necklace gave her hope and courage to defend John once again.
Please Read Chapter 12 here.
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