‘Who are they?’ I hear you ask. Well I don’t, but I’m pretending you are actually interested.
They are really called something else, and it’s exactly ten years today since they first met. By happy coincidence it was my birthday that time, as well. The Retired Children’s Librarian had surprised us by flying in for the occasion, and to celebrate we decided to walk to the nearby pizzeria which was under new management.
I suppose I was my normal unpleasant self, trying to get slow child to speed up with the sitting down and not be a nuisance to others. That’s when Benny stepped in and told me to calm down and let Daughter (for it was she) take her time. He addressed her as Marie and I had to bite my tongue to prevent myself from saying that was not her name.
It was love at first sight I suppose. The poor harassed seven-year-old and the thirty-something Moroccan pizza baker both seemed to find something in the other. We had lovely and courteous service as well as some great Swedish pizzas and walked home happy.
For years we kept popping in for pizzas and to see Benny and Marie smile at each other. Or something. The Retired Children’s Librarian always phoned to ask if we’d seen him again. Benny’s uncle from New York turned up every summer and Offspring enjoyed buying ice cream from an English-speaker.
Then Benny moved on to another restaurant, and we thought we’d lost him. But one day we ran into his wife (yes, he has one of those) in town and then Benny himself. They told us about the new place, and we try to make it there once or twice every year. Benny Junior likes cars and talks a lot. His much younger sister has yet to do anything but the cute baby thing.
The fact that Benny speaks Swedish with a Västergötland accent (like Mother-of-witch) rather than the local one, just adds to the coincidences.
And Marie is now taller than he is.