Anora looked after Sam’s wellbeing. She cleaned his house and cooked amazing meals.
Standing at about five foot three, she was slightly round with short wavy hair.
Sam had tried to help her son, Antonio. Tried, but not succeeded. He went to gaol but not for as long as he should have.
Anora showed her gratitude by becoming Sam’s housekeeper.
In those days three young men were living in Sam’s house in Preston. Anora cleaned for them, but she only cooked for Sam.
Three times a week, delicious smells assaulted Sam when he got home.
On this night it was penne with a Sicilian meat sauce, thick with Roma tomatoes, garlic, basil and oregano. Anora cooked as though there was likely to be another war. Her meals were meant to feed a small platoon.
Sam dished a portion into a bowl, heated it, before carefully moving it to the table that Anora had set before she left for the day.
Sam grated Romano cheese onto the dish, but not too much – mustn’t overwhelm the other flavours.
Moving the fork to his right hand — a habit he learned from his mentor, he lifted the first piece of pasta to his mouth. The aromas assailed his nostrils, giving his taste buds a preview of what was to come. Sam sighed and swallowed and repeated the process slowly until the plate was empty. A piece of crusty bread wiped the remainder of the sauce, and Sam sat in contemplative silence.
Red wine with a tomato-based pasta. The glass felt pleasant to the touch and the bite of the wine compliment the taste of the meal.
“Is it okay to speak to you now?” said Damien. Sam’s housemates knew that you never interrupt or speak to him when he is eating.
“If you must,” said Sam.
“Your crazy housekeeper lady left this for you. Said I was to give it to you, ‘personally in person’. I have to tell you she scares me, Sam. She caught me sniffing your meal, and she threatened to stick me with a fork.”
“She’d do it too. Don’t mess with Anora. Her name means ‘woman of honour’ in Latin. She believes that I helped her son, so her honour tells her to look after me. She won’t take any money for her work, so we play this little game where I put it directly into her bank account, and she pretends that she doesn’t notice. Be kind to her, she has some dangerous relatives.”
“Like I said, she scares me, and I work in finance with some of the most vicious motherfuckers on the planet,” said Damien. “Any chance I could have some of that. I’m starving, and I’ve been smelling the aroma all afternoon?”
“What if Anora found out?” I said with a smile.
“On second thoughts, I’ll have a toasted cheese sandwich. Forget I mentioned it.”