Light spilt through the windows into the old-fashioned kitchen of the house. There were the modern appliances: a steel kettle and toaster, a dishwasher, a refrigerator-freezer, mixed with the simplicity of orange wood decorations that gave the room a homely feel. In the summer sunlight the table was almost shining bronze, and every cupboard had a certain luminosity. Even the breading was basking in the warm summer day.
Chopping up tomatoes recently harvested from the garden, Aidelle gazed out the window at her fiancé. Phillip stood beside his easel, gazing into the medium-sized garden. A dab more of lime there, a dash of clay more here, and then he was done.
He gave one last glance around the garden, and noticed a weed out of place that he had not tended to earlier in the morning. Phillip pulled it out with his bare hands and chucked it into a bush nearby.
He wiped the back of a hand against the sweat forming on his forehead, before noticing Aidelle’s staring and waving in a jolly manner at her. He entered the kitchen, leaving his boots by the door. The house was starting to feel like home already.
She giggled, and waved a hand at the smear of dirt on his forehead. He laughed and regarded himself in the nearby mirror, and said, as he leaned over Aidelle to wash his hands and face:
“I’ll leave the picture out there to dry in the light breeze for a couple of minutes…”
“Mmmhmm. Do you like pepper with your soup, honey?”
“You keep me guessing sometimes, Aidelle. Yes, pepper would be delicious.”
There was no clock in the kitchen; no clocks in most of the rooms, so the partners (as was their living for the moment) judged what to do and when to do it. They were not the kind of people to follow rules.
Quickly, Phillip fetched his painting, and leant his easel up against the brick wall of the house. He admired his work, as Aidelle slipped the tomatoes into a pot of water on the stove. She glanced across and took a second to marvel at Phillip’s work. It was beautiful.
The image captured the garden perfectly; it took the beam of light that cut into the centre of the backyard and made it a golden shaft across the center of the picture. The trees and shrubs that bordered the garden were no longer just green, but they had hints of blue, and cyan, and amber across their leaves and they changed from olive to lime as the picture got lighter towards the west. The pale blue sky was dotted with silver clouds and there was the hint of wildlife at every edge of the painting.
“It’s…wonderful.” Aidelle beamed.
“I’ll put it above the little clock on the mantelpiece. That’s a perfect place for this centerpiece.”
“Don’t spend a long time trying to do that, dinner will not take long to cook.”
She stirred the tomatoes, which were steadily boiling in the pot of hot water.
As he placed a kiss on his love’s lips, Phillip glanced at a piece of paper he had placed onto a coffee table nearby…