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Most people who came through Llangryn on their way to Holyrood decided not to stay. It was the first village to turn up after Bangor, so people liked to have a little break there but rarely ever anything more while everyone was very friendly, the little town had something about it that no one could quite pin point. Most of the villagers told everyone travelling through to leave as fast as possible. Life in Llangryn happened at night. People who came to the city, rarely ever arrived before noon and if they did, they wouldn’t find any of the inhabitants out and about. Once the sun went down and the mass was over, Betty’s, the café with the amazing ice cream opened. The owner was a woman in her thirties, that wore a sun hat at all times of night and called everyone cariad. That was precisely, why Alessandro Macrì stopped in Llangryn. He had asked elsewhere he could get a decent coffee and people had told him to go to the Bett’s. Armed with a fake ID and all the money he had stolen before he left Milano he had finally found a small place that mainly existed at night. He stopped at the café where the beautiful woman served coffee to some people at 7 p.m. Those were the kind of opening times he wouldn’t mind getting used to. His parents would have disowned him for having coffee that late, if they hadn’t already done that before. When Alessandro got out of his car, he saw a white feather on the ground. It was gorgeous, like one of those feathers that you would use on an expensive fan. Alessandro put it in his pocket and walked into the café. The owner was even more beautiful than he had been told. She couldn’t have been older than thirty and had the greatest legs Alessandro had ever seen outside of Italy. Her blonde hair fell down her back in curls that looked almost unreal and she smiled at ever customer as if they had just given her the best compliment, she had ever received. He took one of the seats outside and waited for the beauty to come over.
’What can I get your, cariad?’ she asked.
Her voice was like honey. It made Alessandro want to stay in the café and order the entire menu. Was that the woman, that the people he had asked for directions had called old Betty? To Alessandro she didn’t look old at all.
’An espresso please,’ he said and prepared himself for the coffee to taste like the other garbage he had gotten since he came to Wales.
The beauty smiled at him and walked away. This café was indeed amazing. She came back about ten minutes later with a coffee and her phone in her hand. The device was probably the most modern thing about this village.
’Here you go. Would you mind taking a photo with me? I try to take one with every costumer who drives through,’ she said.
Alessandro nodded vigorously. The beauty walked around his table and put an arm on his shoulder as she raised the camera. Alessandro raised the coffee cup to his lips and the moment he took the first sip; the beauty took the picture. The coffee was amazing. More, than that, it was the best coffee he had ever had outside of Italy.
’This is the best coffee I’ve ever had while travelling,’ he said.
The beauty smiled at him. She was close enough that he could have touched her again, if he wanted too.
’What’s your name, cariad?’ she asked. ’
Alessandro. Who are you, bella?’
He wanted to stay at Betty’s café a bit longer. She was lovely to talk to, happy around every customer, always taking pictures with them. She was radiant in the night and there was a glimmer in her eyes that he couldn’t quite point out. Then there was the little girl that walked around the café, no not walked — she skipped. Alessandro truly hoped that she wasn’t Betty’s daughter. The people that passed by were happy. Alessandro saw some other tourists. They all looked happy to be at the café. As Betty came by again, he gently touched her arm to get her attention. When the café started getting less busy, Betty sat down at his table.
’What brings you to Llangryn?’ She asked.
He couldn’t look away from her smile. Alessandro wanted to make her smile more.
’Just on a road trip,’ he said. ’I’m driving around Europe. First over the Alpes and then wherever I felt like going. A few weeks ago, someone in an Alpes bar in Switzerland told me that Wales was a great place to visit. I’m glad I listened to him. It’s beautiful here.’ He looked directly at Betty. ’What is a beauty like you doing in such a small town?’ It wasn’t his best line, but he just had to try. She was lovely, funny and beautiful. Maybe, she would agree to let him take her for dinner at the Italian restaurant he had passed on his way into Llangryn.
’The people here adore me,’ Betty said. ’I came here years ago, and I decided not to leave. The town in the south of Angelsey that I came from, was nice enough, but I really didn’t want to stay there forever. Just like you left Italy behind, isn’t it?’
Alessandro had stopped listening after the years ago. She couldn’t be much older than him. Did she mean something like two years?
’The people who adore you, does that include your boyfriend?’ He asked, completely ignoring her question. Alessandro could have slapped himself for that. He was never so direct with any woman he had been interested in.
’I don’t have one.’ She grinned at him. ’What are your travelling plans? I get that Llangryn is beautiful, but this can’t be the end of your journey.’