Walls the colour of melted vanilla ice cream stretch three and a half metres upward around me; four sides four metres by five metres apart and long. The 1950’s ceiling is the white of a young brides wedding dress, cobwebs are a smattering in the North West corner; thankfully well passed their used by date.
Once loved, now in need of polish, the jarrah floor boards beneath my feet are uniform in size, but under closer inspection, not in colour. My room, this room, a Beale upright piano cowers in a corner; banjos, mandolins, and guitars are scattered around all four sides. Practically, not aesthetically arrayed.
Skin the colour of cream and a quizzical gaze cover her thirty something year old face. She is dressed appropriate to the evening; again, more in line with the practical than to impress. An ankle length heavy chocolate coloured cotton skirt ends where it is meant to, and the toes of a well loved pair of ‘Mary Jane’ shoes escape the skirts shadow. Her off white blouse sets off the red of her hair and the green of her eyes, eyes of both mischief and intellect. She seats herself in the fold of a laughing throng; wine glass magically fills her hand.
Outside now, and the shaggy green lawn is picked out with a riot of colour, even by night under the light of the veranda; the flower seeds deliberately randomly cast among the grass when planted.
Such a sky looms above us. Moonless and black, stars bright and high; the chill of a late southerly teases all within it, and purple children play amongst the leaves and branches of a mulberry tree near enough for us to hear, yet distant enough to remain unseen. Bats sweep and swoop beneath the heavens; moths their prey, the feature on this nights celestial menu. The scent of frangipani and rose assail the olfactory, and her body sways against my own, Madeleine Peyroux proving music to be the sound of emotion.
Seated close, her green eyes enthrall me; they are laughter personified those eyes. I make some light-hearted quip, and with her wine glass at her lip, she inhales whatever white had been filling her glass as she laughs.
Struggling to regain composure, she has the attention of all others seated at this, my, table. She attempts to regain and compose herself, yet still laughing at my wit and her folly, she places the guilty glass before herself, the damask soaks up a stray drop, and she reaches for a dainty handkerchief within her bra. In a single move she is on her feet, coughing still, suppressing a snort, eyes blaze still with the humour of it. Portraying Galahad, I offer her a glass of water. She accepts, and in an unlikely manner, her coughing subsides. The inhabitants at my table cheer, and she and I, we, move to the veranda again, for air. Unseen by the majesty of her that is my heart’s desire, the knife I slide from the sleeve of my shirt is my nightmare gift to her.
A gift I press through her heart.
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