“You look wonderful today!” said Marie as I walked in.
“You look as radiant as God’s light,” I remarked back at her. She did look beautiful. Her four diamond earrings were as sparkling as ever.
“Oh, you keep flattering me with your words!”
“Interested in being my partner?” I smiled. A rose painted her face, and she laughed silently.
“Well I am sure most men would disapprove! I am sorry, and although I truly appreciate your offer, I simply cannot accept it.”
“Rejection line taken,” I said, smiling. “Any plans for breakfast?”
“I already had mine, thank you.”
“What did you eat?” I said as I sat opposite of her. She lay down her book, which she seemed to have a special bond with.
“I always have a raw egg and honey in the morning,” she replied.
“Is that true? I have a small jar of honey that my grandmother gave to me…. I am sure you would love it!”
“Oh that it so thoughtful of you!”
“Yes, I am quite thoughtful,” I smiled to myself, “and the small deli on the end of the road sells a great assortment of foodstuff, especially the turkey sandwiches and their tomatoes. He told me they are rain-irrigated and grow on the mountains westwards.”
“I would believe him; no tomato is another’s sibling… I promise I will try them the next time I pass by.”
“That is settled then! Oh, I almost forgot! I drew for you something!”
“Do show me!” she almost jumped over. I gave her a brown carton cylinder from which she pulled out a rolled canvas.
“The picture is absolutely fantastic!” exclaimed Marie in pure shock, as she held what I drew a few hours before. “The lady in the picture looks rather odd but beautiful!”
“I drew an illusion of someone,” I said, almost sad.
“I am sure she looks even more gorgeous in reality.”
“Yes, very true. Her beauty is quite – ” I did not really know.
“I am sure she would be pleased to see herself,” said Marie to break the pause. “Oh, you have ‘April’ written below. Is that her name?”
“I certainly do hold a certain affection to this picture…as I do towards spring. Beauty does not change its name, but it hides in different people.” I felt no inclination to indicate any frames of reference.
“You are a sweet young man. Have you had breakfast?” she switched back to our initial conversation.
“I have been feeding on a different flavor of late.”
“Yes, your chin is wearing thin. Are you sure you are alright?”
“I will be.”
I looked into her eyes and smiled. She turned her back to me to study the space on the wall, assessing the best location to frame the painting. I only hoped she would place it in a way such that I have enough room to paint her the window and the garden.
But I did not tell her anything, and spent the next half an hour instead watching her struggle with positioning the painting, until she found the perfect spot for it, and, satisfied, she brought her attention back to me.
“So, what do you think?” she asked, seeking affirmation.
“I think we should discuss what we should have for lunch.”