This is a heart-felt, heart-warming story of the ageing, shy Italian fruit grower chef-wannabe Karl, who always spots a disparaging smile - living in Sao Paulo; and the gorgeous Brazilian waitress Belle, whom he courts by sending her eccentric letters and, during his recuperation from a car accident, wins her heart through his sincerity and unique passion for life.
The Story Goes Like This…
Where? At a quaint old kitchen and bar at Sao Paulo, April 2009:-
At closing time in a restaurant at downtown Sao Paulo, gorgeous Belle finds an intrinsic-shaped paper clip holding together the folds of a letter written in broken yet laudable English. Signed 'Karl', it begs her to send a short mail to his family’s vineyard in Sherpa Valley. Ignoring the advice of her best mate Cleo, and longing for love, she decides to anonymously reply… (Singing “Somewhere, Someone… out there”).
Where? At the main street of Sherpa Valley, May 2009:-
At Sherpa Valley, the folks are delighted for Karl when the mail brings along with it a rare beautiful shot of Belle (Karl’s heart skips at his own rendition of “The Hip, Happiest Dude” where his buddy Leo who can only stand in a corner, watching the girls go by. Fearful of losing Belle whom he has not met in flesh, the ageing Karl in return, secretly sends her a photograph of his faithful follower, the handsome young Tony who were to leave the country, and despite objections from his sister Kylie, a bold proposal for marriage.
Where? At Karl’s vineyard, June 2009:-
As the welcoming party of his townfolks gets under way Karl soon finds out that Tony is staying back for his wedding. Panic-stricken and worried that his dishonesty is discovered, he crashes his vineyard loader truck on his way to meet Belle, who arrives at the valley with the postmaster - from the photograph, she meets Tony and assumes him to be her secret lover Karl. Feeling embarrassed upon discovering her misidentification of Karl, she is prevented from leaving when Karl is carried into the town, close to death by the bad accident. In a confused moment of compassion upon knowing the real Karl and anger against the innocent Tony, Belle agrees to an immediate ceremony but in a conflict of emotions, she falls for Tony's advances who quickly takes advantage in Karl’s absence.
Where? The vineyard of Sherpa Valley, July 2009:-
One month after, while Tony and Belle stare at each other across the vineyard, their love and passion turn cold and dead, unexplainable... Karl, on the other hand, on his way to recovery but still pretty confined to a wheelchair, flares his temper out on the village doctor, who prescribes the ageing Karl with the loving-kindness of a good-looking, young lady nurse. The doctor quickly instructed Belle into steering Karl's wheels around the small little garden and they start getting to know each other (again) (And they sing along, “Happy To Be Your Acquaintance”). Belle, at the same time, is thrilled by her best mate Cleo's arrival, whom she misses dearly, and she is simultaneously touched by Karl's kindness in arranging for the surprise meeting. Cleo soon finds a soulmate in Leo when they both discover their roots - both come from Rio Grande do Sul (Sao Leopoldo).
Where? The barn at Karl’s residence, August 2009:-
Soon enough, with sheer grit and determination, Karl is learning to walk again with the help of Belle who grows and learn to love him, but, painfully aware of their age difference, he treats her as an adored young child. Oh… :) When Belle finally gathers enough courage and declares her feelings and longing for love, Karl's broken world suddenly pieces up and completes again (He sings “My Heart Is Made of You”…). He proclaims the good news upon the townfolks again and Belle is swept into a vigorous hip, happiest dance ever. She dances gleefully, at times going faint; while Karl readily convinces the doctor that she is just dizzy, very very dizzy from a sudden sense of excitement - but as he sings of his joy of the beauty of his bride, a disturbed and distraught Belle whispers to Cleo that she is to have a baby!
Where? At the barn and later… Napa Station, September 2009:-
As the people gather in Karl's barn to celebrate, Cleo has her own problems in getting Leo to declare his intentions. Karl and Belle are finally left alone; she tells him the awful truth and leaves with Cleo. The stunned Karl flies into a rage when he learns that Tony is also going, and, believing they are leaving together, takes his ranch cook’s pistol and limps to the station seeking revenge. Finding Tony gone and Belle waiting desolately for the bus, he relents. With some spirited assistance from Cleo and Leo in resisting Kylie's hysterical pleas to let Belle go, Karl finally persuades her to come home with him and make her his.
P.S. The story may not necessarily represent anyone or any issues in particular, but you may throw in some imagination and make them real! :)
Who are the characters:
Ageing Italian immigrant vineyard owner. Warm, exuberant personality, with an endearing little-boy streak and a strong Italian accent.
Small-town girl, lonely in her waitress job in the big city. Attractive, but not imposingly sexy, can be resolute and independent yet still vulnerable.
Karl's foreman; strong outdoor type, animal-handsome. Though young, he's been around. A loner, outwardly friendly but with a selfish, egotistical streak.
Karl's sister, younger than he but very maternal towards him in a possessive way. Still very old-world Italian, although her accent is less marked than Karl's.
Rotund, perennially happy young man who works for Karl and loves everyone. Has strong sense of comedy.
Belle's down-to-earth waitress friend. Has a big heart and a personality to match. Good sense of comedy.
Related "Love Song":
"In the Arms of the Angel" by Sarah McLachlan
Ending this "Love Story" with this picture (The Twin Rainbows) which has never failed to give me a sense of hope and belonging every time I view it.
Muchas gracias to all who have been here with me.
Thank you Lord for Your grace and mercy too for they strengthen me each new day! :)