The following day Laura took the bus down to the city centre. She wanted to go to one of the big book and music stores that she had spotted the other day. It was located in downtown Taipei where the highest sky scrapers were. The store itself was across three floors. It had a very calm and peaceful atmosphere and instantly filled Laura with a sense of tranquility when she entered the store.

Laura took the elevator to the 12th floor and walked past the beautiful marble entrance with a small fountain. She wanted to look through some sheet piano music. She just felt that she wanted to connect with music again at a deeper level and slowly set her mind into doing something professional with the art form again.

Laura was browsing a book of Chopin’s nocturnes when she felt someone watching her from the other side of the bookshelf. She looked up to see Darky smiling at her.

‘Well, well, well’, he said slowly. ‘Look who is here.‘

‘Well, well, well indeed’, Laura responded and they both laughed.

Suddenly Laura felt self-conscious. This peaceful atmosphere of the bookshop somehow made meeting Darky more intimate. Laura took a book of Chopin’s waltzes from the shelf.

‘I am just looking for some new music books’, she smiled nervously at Darky. ‘I decided to start teaching music when I get back to London.’

Darky laughed. ‘There are many professions in music in London, that’s for sure!’

‘I guess we have music in common then’, Laura said tentatively. How much should she or should she not give away on how much she now knew about Darky’s past?

Darky shrugged. ‘How about a refreshing coffee in the lovely cafe around the corner, music lady?’

Laura did feel like a coffee would energise her. And perhaps this was her opportunity to talk to Darky properly, find out what he was really up to in Taiwan.

‘That sound like a great idea’, Laura nodded. ‘Let me just pay for this book first.’

They walked the short distance to the lovely little cafe on the other side of the street. It had a small garden at the back and Laura sat there in the shade while Darky ordered them some iced coffees.

‘Ah, this is the life’, Darky said while they were both sipping their coffees.

‘So I haven’t seen you much at the retreat centre’, Laura said slowly. ‘What have you been up to?’

Darky gave her his typical shrug. ‘Nothing much, doing some things here and there.’ He looked a little sheepish. ‘You know, trying to clear my head and figure out what to do with my life next.’

‘No offense but I thought that people of your age would know what they wanted to do with their lives’, Laura smiled.

Darky laughed. ‘Yes, you would think so, wouldn’t you? But sadly it’s not always the case, like with me.’ Darky gazed out through the fence at the back of the garden.

‘You know, in Taiwan, they hold excellent classical music concert’, he said suddenly. ‘Why don’t we go and see one of those since we both enjoy music so much?’

‘That is an excellent idea!’ Laura clapped her hands. If she could get closer to Darky, she was sure that she could get more information out of him.

‘Brilliant’, Darky also clapped his hands. ‘Let me find out what is going on, maybe there is even a Chopin concert for you, music lady.’

They smiled at each other, and the smile seemed genuine from both parts. They were both looking forward to doing something together.


2 thoughts on “THE NEXT STEP (35)

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