The hand belonged to a tall, thin man with silver hair and black eyes, dressed in a dark suit and a white shirt; he wore a bolo tie with a clasp of hammered silver and turquoise.
“Who is it, Tomas?” asked a frail voice. The white-haired lady had put down her coffee cup and was peering toward the gates.
“Street rat,” mumbled Tomas. “With some stolen bread, it looks like.”
I was so surprised at being mistaken for something I wasn’t, that I couldn’t think of what to say! Finally, I wriggled from his grip and stepped back.
“I’m not a street rat, I’m Consuelo—and this bread is from our bakery!” I held it out for him to see. “I brought it in case….in case the señora wants to feed it to the birds.” I pushed the bag of bread toward him.
“Bring her in, Tomas,” said the lady.
“Si, Señora del Campo,” Tomas said, unlocking the gates with a large black key and swinging them wide. He gestured for me to walk through; Señora del Campo wheeled a little closer, pulling a black lace shawl around her shoulders from where it had fallen. She had bright eyes and held her head to one side, making her look a little like a bird herself.
“Here, señora, this is for you,” I said, handing her the bag. Tomas made a snorting sound, but the señora waved him off. He moved into the shade of the house through large glass doors.
“Qué amable ha sido, how kind of you,” she said, taking the bag onto her lap. “My birds will be very pleased.” She looked at me in silence for a moment. “I know you, don’t I?”
“Si, señora,” I replied. “You waved at me when I was going to school.”
“Yes, that’s it! I knew I’d seen you before. I am not so old as that, yet!” And she smiled suddenly; her teeth were white and even, and smiling made her look more like a girl than an old woman. “What brings you here, Consuelo?”
So I told her about my dream. She listened quietly then nodded.
“Would you like to see my house?” she asked.
Of course, I said yes.