This vast room, with its circular windows and arched doorways, had both of its double fireplaces consumed in a roar and heaving fire; there within, sat a solitary figure. I felt the warmth of it nearly knock me back into the hallway, though I entered softly as not to disturb her so immediately. She was sitting in her long sofa; crossed about it as if in a half-sit and laying position. Her head was dropped and steady as if she were in full concentration. I could see an uneasy stare in her eyes and her face nearly crumbled from its own weight. The fires glowed upon her profile and cast the odd dances of a thousand shadows across her. A tear trickled from each eye like two slightly-dripping faucets that would never really shut off. The atmosphere was heavy and very stern. The silence pierced my hearing into a deaf pause; but for the occasional cracks and sparks of warm fire breathing from the fireplaces.
I sensed the dread of some shadow illuminating within which cut the room off from every other room in the home. A promiscuous ghost seemed to be present; some wreathing specter that was ready to intercede on us both, and it having knowledge on what was to occur and pass between us. I was hesitant and so reluctant to go any further. She made no motion to me or to recognize my presence, though she knew very well I was near her.
My heart pulsed into a steady and loud beat, and it nearly felt as though she could hear its’ every pulse. I couldn’t see directly what captivated her attention so. The back of this sofa obstructed my view. But whatever it was, nothing would have moved her to pause from it then. The moments in time were hard-stacked, and were crushing those before it; and it felt so heavy and weighted to the occasion that nothing before or in the future mattered, but for this single moment. The hard woods creaked as I moved slowly forward.
She did not come to a stir.
Still she made no further motion but to stare downward and drop her occasional tears to where she was looking on.
The heat from those fires made me perspire less than what the occasion seemed to carry in our lives. I could see the paintings on every wall appear to come into life with us. I stared about them and I saw the life of those shadows play in their frames. The rugs below grew into bright embers from the varying colors. And it seemed as though that this full spectrum made a rainbow in the room.
Still, she kept to her silence.
There was a presence there unlike any I had ever known before. It had its eyes peering upon our every move. The hands in the grandfather clock’s face looked to halt on its time; etching out the moment from its normal process. All was not well with sanity and nature there. There was a curb in the straight and narrow line of reality; a single bump in the road; a flash of lightening in the very midst of a clear day. I could feel the thunder of something build with uncertainty. Something was groping my sensibility; those laws of predictable nature somehow overturned into an uneasy, reckless sense.
I could not pardon the scenery for what it mistook. Nature had somehow bent itself into an angle; and an unwelcome eye was now observing us through that invisible camouflage. I felt it; sensed its every blink. There was a mind behind it; a thought. A lantern to ideas that now was watching the ‘playing-out’ on our scene.
Shelly remained as she was; still, silent; probing that unknown article embedded deep within this sofa. Not moving with even a flinch; a pause; a stutter.
She was motionless; placid; iced by some internal, frozen spell which kept her in its trance.
I moved closer; one step to a pause.
There was a pin in that silence.
Her heart beat out in her expression.
I watched; still, silent in my own momentary grave.
She moved; a page turned. She was reading her book. Surely she was finishing up Great Expectations. But her eyes; they told something different. Something real; something unearthed; something more raw than a drama placed in the boundaries of two covers. This was emotional; intimate; all too revealing.
Her eyes told me the tale of her thoughts.
I moved closer even still.
I felt like a ghost intruding; fearing that I had no influence, but only to observe and watch the diadems in her expressions evolve and change with every cursing moment which passed.
Still, she did not move to recognize me.
I stepped almost within the smell of her fragrance.
Something was here; as I, watching and waiting.
Shelly was much more to the observant than I; and by far, more sensitive to what spirit within had a cause with us. I, even in my dullest and youthful senses, could feel the very marrow in its ancient soul.
I finally moved to front her; coming around the sofa, and so feeling the hot, melting warmth cross over the right side of my face.
“Shelly?” I inquired…
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.