ALLOW ME TO READ IT TO YOU!
“Have you seen my scarf darling, the blue one?” called Jonathon as he searched under the coats and jackets that hung by the door.
Julia sighed, and with a half smile said: “You’d lose your head if it wasn’t screwed on!”
Just lately one thing after another had vanished. Nothing of particular importance. A pen, only a cheap one, but he liked to use it. He’d also mislaid a photograph of himself receiving an award at his firm’s dinner, and another of him reclining on a sunbed. And what happened to last year’s diary? He needed to look up a detail about a meeting, but it was nowhere to be seen.
“Good morning Julia”. Cheryl, their home help breezed into the kitchen with her usual cheery smile. “Jonathon left for work already? I’ll start my cleaning with his study today” she said as she tied the strings on her apron.
Cheryl was a stickler for tidiness. Trouble was she was so tidy that Jonathan often couldn’t lay his hands on things which he had known the exact position of before Cheryl sorted them out.
“I found these in the rubbish bin,” she said. Julia looked into the plastic bag and saw a pile of old greetings cards, from birthdays and Christmases past.
“Mind if I take them,” she said. “I can put them to good use”
Julia saw no reason why she shouldn’t. Jonathon was a bit of a hoarder, so she was delighted to see the back of them.
One afternoon just as Cheryl was about to leave, Julia asked if her if she would like to take a bag of Jonathan’s old clothes with her – they were almost new but not often worn. Maybe she could sell them at the church jumble sale. She took them willingly.
Cheryl liked to be alone in Jonathon’s study. Behind the closed door, she could go through his things and imagine what it must be like for Julia, having him all to herself. What made her do it, she didn’t really know, but one day she picked up the picture of Julia which sat on the desk and unscrewed the back of the photo frame. It was as if she knew what she would find inside. And there under Julia’s portrait was a faded picture of a young girl with the fairest hair and the palest blue eyes. And by her side a youthful Jonathan, his arm draped over her shoulder.
She took the photo over to the mirror and held it alongside her face. Her smile melted away.
Time had not been kind to her. She took off her spectacles and stared into the glass. Gone the smooth skin and alabaster complexion. Her furrowed brow and tired eyes were a testament to twenty years of sadness and longing. That cropped back hair never really suited her, but it was necessary.
Nothing remained of the girl she was except for her pale blue eyes.