A Song Amongst the Orange Trees (The Greek Village Collection Book 13)

A Song Amongst the Orange Trees (The Greek Village Collection Book 13) by Sara Alexi

Book: A Song Amongst the Orange Trees (The Greek Village Collection Book 13) by Sara Alexi Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sara Alexi
He is never going to sing that crass little jingle again. He could sing some of his older songs, the ones about life in Pireaus but somehow, they no longer seem to fit who he is. They are too heavy for life here. He has nothing to sing!
    'Please, Sakis.' She is so earnest in her entreaties, her eyes now screwed up against the sun because she has lowered her arm to hold his hand, her wrinkled digits on his smooth, tanned musical fingers.
    Someone says 'yes' and she smiles. Sakis realises it is him. Again, he has agreed to something to please someone else. Does he really want to perform? The excitement he feels says 'yes' and Katerina releases her grip. The delight on her face mingles with the excitement now bubbling inside him and he is soaring. The optimism he felt from before Jules’ departure returns with gusto.
    'Yes, I would love to,' he repeats, and her smile becomes even wider.
    'Not a word to anyone.' She is up on her feet, little bird-like steps as she hops towards her home.
    Sakis spurts a half laugh out through his nose, his own smile turning into laughter. He chuckles to himself. Tonight, he will perform and take the world with him once again. But right now, he needs to practice. He must get some words together for his new tunes and hopefully words for that haunting tune. Surely they must come. Now is the time to let this most beautiful of melodies loose for other people to enjoy.
    Light on his feet, he takes his bouzouki into his bedroom and the hours fly by as the words to his newest tunes come, lyrics follow more lyrics, but still after many hours, there are no words to the one haunting melody. It does not even have a title. He is slightly disappointed not to have that one tune to offer, but his others are good. Really good. In fact, he confides to himself, they are better than anything he has written for some time.

He stands in the shadows. The sun has gone. The moon is full but the stars are unseen as the lighting next to humming generators floods the square. On stage is a really talented old school zither player. Sakis is taken aback to find such passion, such sensitivity, understanding so far from the glitter of the Athens music clubs.
    'He's good, isn't he?' Katerina whispers in his ear. 'He's got the farm down by the river.' Sakis turns to look at her to see if she is joking. Her face is shining as she watches the old man play.
    Before the old man, there was another man who was very capable on the bouzouki. Not technically brilliant, but he created such a mood, such an intensity. And there was a woman with a voice like grinding stone and toffee who, when she sang, reached deep inside him, making her performance feel personal, exposing. He had blushed. She was mesmerising to watch. Maybe, all these years, he has been facing the wrong direction. Maybe he should have headed towards the fields, not the bright lights of Athens to find the most sincere performers.
    'You’re on.' Katerina takes to the stage first to introduce him.
    'Ladies and gentlemen, I have a surprise. He is one of our own. He is here to play for you tonight. Sakis!'
    A group of young girls at one table clap enthusiastically. Maybe they are fans of the song contest, or perhaps they have just drunk too much wine. As he steps onto the stage, there is a polite clapping from everyone, but he can also hear whispers of, 'Isn't that the son of Costas?' and a few giggles and references to the crocodile killer. He has to push himself to keep going onto the stage, the tremor in his chest now a sickness in his belly. Like every other time at this point, it would take very little to make him turn and run. Run and run until he is far away from the brutal exposure of singing his songs on stage.
    He strums his fingers across his bouzouki strings to make sure he is in tune and settles himself comfortably. He strums once more and tzing , his D string snaps and curls up on itself. He has spares in his instrument case, but this could be his excuse to take his

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