The Cat hid in the empty cake box placed on the kitchen table – it was to be washed and filled with Xmas biscuits not yet baked. Its lid was inlaid with snowflakes. The Ave Maria performed by the Viennese choir was playing and the whole downstairs was filled with the aroma of her famous Linz recipe stars.
It was her husband´s voice, and he was now standing in the door holding a package in both hands, a smile half curious, half amused.
“Are you finished with the cellar?” she asked. The house had to be cleaned from the bottom to the roof before the Xmas. It was an ancient rule.
“Look, I have found this in the bottom drawer of that desk the previous owner left here. I mean, the one in the cellar.” He came nearer.
“Wait, my hands are sticky with the dough. I can´t pick it right now. Anything interesting?” The very moment the Linz biscuits required her attention and had to be taken out of the oven, they were golden brown rather quickly.
“Well, interesting, yes, you could say that. It is a letter but you must read it, because my French is not good enough. Plus, it is quite a shaky and faded handwriting.”
“Oh. All right.” She placed the baking dish on the counter, washed and dried her hands and took the paper he was handing her in with the tips of her fingers.
Les trois jours de Noël sans te voir sont incroyablement longs.
Je sais, on va se voir à Nouvel An…
“English, please.” Her husband interrupted.
“It´s an old love letter. Never delivered, apparently. What´s in that package?” She turned to him.
“A Viagra. Expired in 1997. May 1997 to be precise. So, I can´t make a use of it.” Now he was smiling a broad smile and she realised he was not joking.
“What was the owner´s wife´s name, do you remember?” He asked her knowing she was not only good with faces but names, too.”
“Charlotte.” It came to her mind out of the blue. “I am sure, Charlotte.”
“So Claudine is…” He made a pause the style of delivering the Oscar winner.
“Let it be. They are both over eighty now. And it´s Xmas.”
The Cat stuck its head out of the box. And the Ave Maria came to silence.