“Little tiny specks of light. Shining fiercely, shining bright. Open up the darkest night and guide the wayward home.” Lizzy sang the tune under her breath as she scowered the bottom of the copper bowl. Splashes of grey, sudsy water speckled her drawn up sleeves and left little rings where others had dried.
She dunked the bowl in fresh water and held it up in front of her, staring at the center of it to make sure that it shone as clear as a looking glass. Mr. Beezly would have it no other way. Any particle left in the pot could ruin his next batch of sweets, and there was no having that.
“Looks clean to me,” Carl Beezly’s face smiled in the reflective bottom of the pot, startling Lizzy so that she nearly dropped the bowl to the ground. It would have fallen to the ground had Carl not caught it.
“Easy there,” He said with a chuckle, sliding the bowl away from Lizzy’s searching hands.
Lizzy let out a breath, trying to calm her heart from the scare and if she was honest with herself, which she certainly had no intention of being, she needed to calm her heart from the way Carl’s smile had kicked up a fit in her belly.
Oh he was handsome. Hands akimbo, and all evidence of her silly crush tucked away she said, “Carl Beezly, what in the world are you doing down here?”
She opened her eyes to see him leaning back against the counter, rubbing the back of his thumb nail against his full bottom lip, a habit of his. Lizzy looked away as he began to smile. “What was that you were singing?”
“Huh?” Again she looked at him, this time with shock in her eyes.
“That song, about tiny specks of light, what’s it called?”
Lizzy felt heat rise in her cheeks and it wasn’t from the steamy water. That song was hers, meant only for her ears and her heart to hear. It was her hope, something she dared not share with anyone, least of all Mr. Beezly’s precious son, no matter how wonderful she thought he was.
She shrugged her shoulders and dunked another copper bowl into the water. “Oh its nothing, just something to pass the time.” She lied.
It was far more than that. It was a promise, not just one made of faith but one made of a present future. Home was somewhere beyond those tiny stars above and one day, one day she would get there.
No, she didn’t mean beyond the heavens. That was for another day, but in those days, while her skin was still warm and breath filled her lungs, she would believe for an earthly home where love and friendship was sweeter than any caramel candy that Mr. Beezly could make. Or any smile Carl could give unless he was the one who made a home with her.
Such foolish wishing.
Carl stepped closer to her. “It doesn’t sound like nothing.” He said looking over her shoulder as if to make her meet his gaze again. “You sing it all the time-”
“How do you know that?!”
He smiled again as if he had gotten his way when her eyes met his. He pointed his finger upward after rapping his knuckles against the pipes on the wall. “Your voice carries clear into the upper kitchen and sometimes into the store. Everybody can hear you.”
She felt herself blanch. How many colors would she turn in front of him?
Carl touched her shoulder and shook his head as if he too was as worried as she. “Oh, its nothing to be ashamed of, Lizzy! Your voice is prettier than a birds.” His face was the one to flush this time.
He stepped back and cleared his throat, rubbing the back of his neck, face turned away from her. “I-I mean, everybody says so. We have the most customers in when you sing. It’s why Papa has you do the dishes and no one else. That, and you are the only one who knows how to wash them like he does.”
Lizzy touched her belly. All this time she thought the old particular man just didn’t care for the likes of her and was giving her a hard time, putting her away in the dark little kitchen. It felt surprisingly good to be wrong. “Oh?”
Carl smiled again, this time more shyly. “Yeah, he says you are a real gem. Hopes you have no plans of finding your way beyond those stars you sing about. Who knows, maybe you could find a home here. Keep singing if you want.”
Lizzy blushed again. “Maybe, if I make a home was with the right person.” She smiled. “I’d like that.”
With the swiftness of a little boy of six and not a man of twenty, Carl kissed her cheek before leaping towards the stairs. “Me too!”