She and Lily were chatting on the phone on a daily basis and they spent weekends just hanging out. Maddie discovered that Lily did not live in Magnolia for as long as her husband had passed. Apparently, her property that Lily acquired from her husband, was only given to her after his family offered it.Something in his will, did not give him the authority to give Lily all of the property ‘free and clear’. Lily mentioned her surprise when her husbands family asked her if she wanted them to relinquish their rights to the property. She was grateful, as they apparently did not like her much. One of his sisters told her that her brother only married her because her name was Lily, and that went well with the name â€œflowers.â€ It was of course not true, but seemed a way for his family to hurt her feelings. Ms Flowers, did love the fact that her name was Lily and requested a â€œflower name for their daughter â€œhence Cameliaâ€ Lily called her â€œLeeâ€ for short. The two women talked a lot about everything and then Maddie asked her about the darkness and the quiet. She was surprised at Lily not really giving her a response, but then Lily wasnâ€™t living alone.Â The noise of 3 other people in her house made up for the silence, but she did not mention the darkness. She sort of changed the subject when Maddie brought it up. But Maddie blew it off, figuring it didnâ€™t seem strange to Lily. Maybe Maddie should light-en up. â€œliterarllyâ€ She thought to herself. Her diet was doing Ok,she thought. She started to take walks, and she almost broke into a trot when she passed Alâ€™s Hardware.
â€œStop feeling sorry for yourself,â€ she said to herself repeatedly. â€œThatâ€™s It!â€ She thought. â€œI am buying a scale and going on a diet today.â€ She drove to the nearby hardware store â€œAlâ€™s Hardwareâ€ simple enough. She needed other items as well and Maddie liked hardware stress. All the gadgets and everything around.
Well, this was different. All of Alâ€™s Hardware was it appeared to Maddie to be a littleÂ Wacko.Â â€œHi, could you tell me where I could find a bathroom scale?â€ She inferred quietly.Â
â€œWhat? A Scale!? For what would you need a scale miss? Your bathroom?â€Â Said the Clerk
â€œYes, Sirâ€ She replied embarrassed. â€œYou really wanna know how much you weigh, huh? Well none of my business , over at Aisle 3 youâ€™ll find a few.â€
Thank-god there was no one there she thought to herself knowing the customers would be giggling over his remarks. What in the hell was wrong with that man, she thought. She bought the scale and high tailed it out of there. â€œCome back soon, now!â€ AlÂ shouted. She shocked Al and herself when she firmly replied, â€œNot if I can help it.â€ All in all it was a good day, she found a small general store and bought some groceries and such.Â
But they have great experience and knowledge and I know they will succeed. I gave them the discipline and the courage. â€œ I will continue here until I die and the customers show-up. The townspeople like it because there is no other place in town except the Deli and donut shop. The older people donâ€™t want to drive to the next big town for a good meal. Lily had been a native Delawarean, growing up in South Wilmington, aka â€œItalian section.â€ This is when she learned to cook. Culinary school had nothing on Lilyâ€™s grandmother, who taught her most of what she knows.
The ladies made plans to meet on the weekend and Lily promised to show Maddie the town and the surrounding area. They would take a ride to Rehoboth and check out the resort town if â€œfreeâ€. Maddie thought â€œ I wonder if I can lose 100 Pounds by Saturday?â€ If not the buff and gorgeous lifeguards might blow their whistle and shout at the beach goers over their megaphone, â€œWhale on the Beach, everyone out of the water! Donâ€™t go near the Whale! Everybody, STAY AWAY from the Whale!â€ Oh wait its just a big fat woman, go back in the water, but stay away from the fat lady!â€ Maddie had to laugh. She laughed so hard she cried, but then she realized that she really was crying.Â
Sure, Maddie thought, that tiny Camilia would not be able to eat sausage and peppers and home made ravioli at 1 In the afternoon. But, truthfully Maddie could probably have eaten two helpings, and even order dessert, but not in public. She must be the overweight waif with no appetite. Yeah, the one fat person that gets full on the roll and salad given with your meal: barely forcing down the entrÃ©e. Ha! If they only knew.
The eggplant was delicious and very satisfying. â€œMy compliments to your chef.â€ Maddie told Lily in her small, but charming, office. â€œPlease come in and tell me more about yourself.â€ Lily chided. The two women talked and laughed for about an hour, they had so much in common, Maddie thought. Both business Women both single, and both Â½ Italian.Â Their better Â½ they laughed. But, Lily had been married with 3 children when her husband had an aneurism and died. He left her the property that was his fathers. Lily used the insurance money to create the restaurant. It was a dream of hers since she graduated from Culinary school Twenty years prior. When her children grew up, she taught them how to run the kitchen and the front of the house, and made it a family business. â€œThey may or may not stay here.â€ Lily laughed.Â
She had certain exuberance and exuded a true warmth around her.
Camilia Flowers, a young lady of about 28 came to take her order. The menu consisted of all American fare, plus a few Italian dishes. Maddie thought she was probably right about Lily being part Italian and her daughter had beautiful olive skin. She was quite striking in other ways as well. Camilia was very sweet and Maddie felt as though neither one of these two new acquaintances ever noticed her weight! Wonderful she thought to have someone judge you on your personality and not your appearance; For a change.
Maddie noticed that the place was merely empty except for a few tables with well dressed older coupleâ€™s chatting and eating. â€œhowâ€™s the veal scaloppini and the eggplant parmesan? Is it made here?â€ Maddie asked. â€œOh Yeaâ€ Camilia smiled, â€œMy mom and my brothers are the cooks, and most of the time we have traditional Italian dish as a special. Today we have home made cheese ravioli with sausage and peppers.â€ â€œWow! That sounds great! I am famished, but I think Iâ€™ll go with the eggplant. Its only 1pm and thatâ€™s a bit much for me to eat raviolis that early.â€ Maddie replied. Camilia smiled as if she totally understood.Â
She was seated by, of all the names,Â Lily Flowers.Â Perhaps, she was the owner or one of them. She was probably around Maddies age mid to late 50â€™s. A little pudgy, but she was short. Very pretty, Maddie thought and maybe at least part Italian. Dark hair and dark eyes, although her hair was peppered with grey, you could see that it was jet black at one time. She smiled big and easy to Maddie and she liked her immediately. As lily remarked â€“ â€œright this way maamâ€ Maddie quickly responded â€œPlease call me Maddie, Iâ€™m Madonna Difeo,Â and I am really your neighbor. I just moved into Dr Seltzerâ€™s old home.â€ Maddie politely extended her hand, but Lily had her hands full with menu and silverware. She looks up at Maddie and the women both shared a laugh. â€œcome into my office before you leave, and we can chat. â€œ Lily pointed to a room beyond the tables with the name plate on the door â€œreadâ€ Lily Flowersâ€ owner/manager. â€œI certainly will take you up on that. I havenâ€™t spoken to any townâ€™s people since my arrival on Monday evening. I may just talk your head right off! Maddie said. â€œGood, I havenâ€™t talked to anything but towns people, so welcome some change in the conversation. Enjoy your meal, Iâ€™ll send the waitress which is also my daughter over to take your order.â€Â
Maddie thanked the waitress, and was immediately drawn to Lily.Â
â€œPerfect, she thought. She would do whatever it took to avoid those contemptuous stares. Thank-you for cheese crackers and diet coke!
It was a beautiful day, not too humid. Of course, she was always hot.Â The notion that fat people are hot all the time is really not true, but they donâ€™t wear the right out fits on a hot day. Her wardrobe consisted of six pairs of stretch pants all black. Her tops were short sleeve tunic style and big sweaters. Black makes you look skinny; well thatâ€™s what sheâ€™s been told. But no one ever said, â€œYou look 10 pounds lighter!â€ or â€œThat shirt makes you looks fatter.â€ But she wore the black anyway, mainly because it was expected of her. She noticed lately that the younger generation of fat women were getting very bold with their clothes choices. â€œGood for themâ€ she thought. But at her age, the clothes would look inappropriate, at best.
As it turned out, Queen St. where she resided was also Main Street. All of the little shops looked similar to her future â€œshopâ€. All of them were older homes, with 1stÂ floor storefronts.
The small restaurant was no exception. It looked classy inside, with flowers and folded cloth napkins on the table. Of course, the furnishing looked early American, but it was well suited. The name La Petit FlorasÂ or in English â€œthe Little flowers,â€ was a little unusual.Â
People have a disgusted look on their face when they see fat people eating.Â Itâ€™s almost as if they are saying, â€œarenâ€™t you fat enough? Howare you even hungry? Or, you should look in the mirror before you eat all that!â€Â She never got used to the looks, the stares, the insulting glares.Â Some people even have the nerve to comment.Â â€œYou know, you should diet, you would feel better.Â You are too smart and too pretty to be that big.â€Â What did they think that they were telling me something I didnâ€™t know!?!Â Or, what an epiphany!Â My god, I am Fat!Â Fat people canâ€™t win, if they eat they are pigs, if they sit, they are lazy.Â Always better to eat something before you eat in public, so you can eat less, Maddie felt.Â Hell you may even leave some morsels on your plate. Â That always freaks out the waitress.Â â€œMaâ€™am, are you finished? May I take your plate? As if afraid to ask, or afraid I might bite off their hand.Â â€œOh, yes, Iâ€™m full, that was very good, but I just canâ€™t finish it.Â Please take my plateâ€ I said.Â â€œDessert?â€ the waitress inquirers.Â â€œOh No, I dislike anything sweet, but thank you. Just the check.â€Â The look on their faces is priceless, now the waitress is thinking, â€œI wonder how she got so fat, must be a thyroid problem.â€
It would be good exercise and she might make a few friends.Â (Her thoughts were all that she could hear.)Â Well, if she strained she could have heard some crickets.Â Now she realized why she felt lonely.Â In her apt in Philly, Maddie would fall asleep to the sounds of the Big City.Â Sirens off into the distance, happy patrons walking home from the nearby avenue. Streetlights lit up the sky, people with dogs barking while they walked them.Â No wonder she was never lonely, she felt as though she was a part of that.Â Â Now she was alone, so very alone.Â The sound of her labored breathing was hardly comforting, but it at least confused the sounds of silence. Yes, tomorrow she would get out and see the town.Â She needed to find things that she liked about Magnolia Delaware.Â She fell asleep thinking about it.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Maddie woke up starving, it was 11:00 A.M. after she raided the cabinets for her last diet coke. Â Iâ€™m sure this town has a small cafÃ© or somethingâ€ she thought aloud, breaking the silence in the room. She was glad for the crackers, they took the edge off her hunger.Â That way when she went out in a public eatery, she wouldnâ€™t have to order a huge meal.Â Â