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All that I Can Be – Chapter 6

Welcome back, friends! I hope you’re enjoying my little serial so far <3

Since this is a continuous story, I recommend you read the chapters in order. You can catch up here:

Chapter 1

Chapter 5

All that I Can Be - Chapter 6

Elena struggled to keep her eyes open when she set up her mother’s stall in the market the next day. The book had taunted her all night, not letting her get two minutes of sleep. Visions of Ralu’s arms around Elena’s waist.

Visions of Ralu admitting she never really loved the boy—or any boy.

Elena wanted to blame the devil or the book, but she knew this was all her.

Ralu’s melodic laughter like wind chimes in summer made Elena look up. Ralu had her arms around the boy, soft lips so close to his Elena had to look away. Her daydream had turned into a nightmare.

If only she didn’t have to man the stall today. She could have sat by the lavender, inhaling its calming scent, and come up with a plan that didn’t involve trickery.



She blinked and blushed, turning her attention to the elderly woman at her stall.

“Are you all right, dear? You look flushed. Are you drinking enough?”

Elena cleared her throat. “I’m fine, Mrs Balan. What can I get you?”

“One loaf, dear.”

“Can I interest you in some cheese buns?”

“Not today. Just the loaf, please.”

Elena wrapped it up and hid her frown. Adding cheese to the dough was her mother’s current obsession and experiment. She wouldn’t be happy if Elena didn’t sell more.

“That’s good of you, thank you. Your grandmother would be so proud of you. My grandchildren, now they’re lazy. Not hardworking like yourself.”

“I try, Mrs Balan.”

Her mind drifted as her neighbour compared Elena to people she’d never met. Everyone in this town was so close and open with each other. Why couldn’t she be closer to Ralu? How open would her parents be if she told them she didn’t want the family business? That she liked girls?

Her mind bit into the idea of Ralu and her running away and living together in some faraway place. Forever together. Always in love. Never unhappy.

She sold bread and buns on autopilot, barely registering who she talked to and nodding when asked if she was okay. Sundown took her by surprise.

There were five loafs and twelve buns left. Three unwanted cheese buns, going stale in the basket.

She sighed and packed up. It couldn’t be helped now; perhaps the bad sales would inspire her mother to give her a week off.

Elena’s heart was beating hard when she parked her bike outside the kitchen. She wasn’t afraid of her parents, but she was afraid she’d disappoint them.

“Lena!” Her mother joined her outside with a hopeful smile on her face. “How did it go?”

Elena shrugged. Couldn’t her mother see what was left? Why did she have to say out loud how badly she’d done?

“Why didn’t you sell more?”

There it was—that disappointed tone. She’d let her mother down.

“I’m sorry.” She hated that tears threatened to spill. “I guess people didn’t fancy bread today.”

“Mrs Balan stopped by, she said you weren’t feeling well.”

“I’m fine.”

Her mother sighed. “What am I going to do with you? Get inside and freshen up. Dinner will be ready in half an hour.”

Elena couldn’t wait to get away from her mother’s accusing frown. She shut her door behind her, and slid down to the floor against it. Her eyes fell on the bed.

Drifted to the book hidden underneath its old blankets and dust.

Remember why you came to me. Use the gift I gave you.

She wanted to be strong, like the heroes in her favourite novels.

But she wasn’t a hero. She was Elena Baciu, and she certainly wasn’t strong.

End of Chapter Six

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For all other chapters, click here.

All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer

Photo by Olia Gozha on Unsplash

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