Annabelle lives alone in an old house with an enormous berry garden. Some say, she’s lonely. In summer the village kids come after school and stuff themselves with berries. Some say, the kids steal from the weird lady’s garden. In winter, the mothers often visit for a cup of tea, and Annabelle always insists on giving them a jar of homemade jam. Some say, it is exploiding Annabelle’s generosity. People are fascinatingly different. Annabelle, for example, is a real sweetheart. And some; some are just cynics.
Bianca’s great-great grandfather was a hardworking man. He founded vanilla plantations, and had rich and lazy children. Her family has been rich and lazy ever since, but Bianca is industrious. She is only 23 and has 7 businesses. She owns a high-end clothing boutique called Bianca’s Closet (and that’s pretty much what it is). She also has a dog grooming salon and a sky bar. Bianca’s great with people and bad with numbers. Luckily, her accountant handles the latter. He calls her Vanilla Girl and says, she can do anything she sets her mind to.
Lloyd loves to talk about himself, but no one knows the first thing about him. He never tells the same story twice. He grew up poor. He grew up rich. An orphan. In a huge family. His father was a farmer. A financier. And growing up in the ghetto, he learned the life of a criminal. Or to be a virtuous man. He’s a man of pure mystery, so being a private eye is the most natural thing in the world for Lloyd. The only thing he doesn’t hide is his love of licorice. Everything else is in the dark.
Penny-Joan grew up with her mother. Her father was never mentioned, so she made him up. An unacknowledged painter. And as French as can be. She daydreamt of finding him. He would know, how much she loved caramel, because so did he. She moved to Paris to study arts, and maybe in search of her father. He wasn’t to be found, but she found a man just like him. An unsung artist who often went missing, and smooth-talked her when he returned. He never remembered where he had been, but he always remembered to bring back caramel.
Gabriel was 17 before he saw the ocean. It was love at first sight. Ever since he has worn flip-flops year-round and brought his board everywhere. Gabriel speaks English with a heavy accent and makes up his own slang like “Have a wig!” or “Frozen ape, dude!”. It rarely makes sense, but it works with the girls. He is a mediocre surfer, but sometimes he gets invited to events anyway. The after party is just not the same without him. “But don’t bring your guitar”, the organizer will say. “Intense banana, man”, Gabriel might answer.
Every single time a bad thing happened in Walter’s childhood, his father would ask “And what do you do, when life gives you lemons?”. This made Walter decide to become a professor and uncover bigger truths than annoying proverbs. He researched for 40 years, and finally concluded that proverbs held all the wisdom one would ever need.In his retirement Walther plays the lottery. Not for the money. He believes, he’ll win on the day of his death. “Because life’s unfair”, he reasons, “And life’s short. I just want to know exactly how short life is before I die”.