You do not stay long at the house of Katy, as luxurious as it looks from the inside, and the two of you make your way through her town again, Katy still clutching her gift of oranges, as if she does not know what more she should do with them. Pointing out town sites, those similar to your own, such as the old museum and the sandy beaches, her pace suddenly increases with the light in her dark eyes.
You have entered the main complex of this town, so it seems. Katy tosses her hair with determination and strides onwards- for her steps are indeed long to match her figure. With an orange in each hand, she begins to narrate a tale of the inhabitants, but breaks off when she notices that you are barely listening; your interest is in the surroundings alone.
Three short houses are hidden in the shadow of two bigger plots, their doors unfolding a patio-space of granite-like rock that could almost be blue in its colour, radiant to reflect the pale-toned sky above.
You feel a grin pour onto your face, along with the thoughts:
This is more like it. This is how my town should be.
Once both sets of feet have touched that neat, blue-hue paving, however, Katy stops short and turns to you, seriousness harrowing her face a little.
“What’s wrong?” you ask her, worried that you might have made some faux par somehow.
“Look, I don’t want it to seem offensive, but I’m going to sell your oranges to Mr. Cooke, the man who owns the supermarket here. He has a taste for foreign fruit. He’ll pay anything for the delicacy. I guess he hoards it, or something. Sorry, I am rambling.”
“Fruit?” you first mutter. And then-
“Are they…cousins?” you wonder aloud.
“Who are?” Katy asks.
“Your Cooke and my Mr. Cooke. The owners of the chains of work and food here and in my own town. They bear the same name. Has yours ever mentioned any family?”
Katy’s laugh mimics the river that you notice flowing alongside the patio, almost a moat.
“Yes, actually, a cousin. That’s right. I didn’t realise.”
“Of course, neither did I. Let’s go and see him. He can tell me all about foreign fruit and the Cooke’s taste for them.”
“Oh, yes.” Katy peers at the mischievousness in your eyes.
Now Mr. Cooke’s shop nears- for his possesses the same fortunate architecture as your Mr. Cooke’s- and Katy gives you one of her neat-teeth winning smiles.
“Shall we test out your theory, then?”