Her stare challenged everything in sight: late twenties and a practised controller of events, the answer to many situations lodged in her experience, she feared little but some aspects of emotion, and looked on those she knew as reference points. Unmarried and unattached, six years spent with a school-time love now an untapped memory, she had determined, if nothing else, that life was a matter of furnishings and coats
Her friends were now her family, and home a concept more than place. Safe within her talents and new owner of a property, she could see the sky outside the window was full of colour, glimpsed between the building tops. Below was a patch of garden although not her own: she had not met the owners yet, and there was no reason she would do so.
The knock on her door was not solicited, and she opened it more from habit than intent to reveal a boy of six looking up at her with enquiring face, “Do you play the piano miss” he asked as if she knew his name and before she could control herself, she said “Yes” because that was a dormant passion in her life. “We’ve just got one from my gran, she’s dead” he told her by way of explanation, and added “Come and see”
Why she did we cannot say but there was an openness about him she could not bear to bruise and she so walked down with him to the flat below where , sure enough, a battered upright stood against the wall, lid raised and keyboard in full view. His mother poked her head round the kitchen door, a bit older than herself but not by much, and clearly on a different path and warm.
Both looked at her expectantly, uneasily it must be said, as she sat down and played one of her own compositions, composed before her father lost his way and her old home became a mausoleum. The boy started dancing by her stool and his mother said, “That’s really good” and so it may have been, but written in another time, when flowers bloomed and angels still wore white.
“What do you do?” the mother asked, and she replied, “I am a retail analyst for a large department store.” The mother was impressed, though in a baffled way. “What about the music?” she asked and the young boy said, “Play some more,” but she replied, “I must get on, I’m sure you understand” and the mother said “Of course” and the boy just shook his head, for he still lived in that gentle place where flowers bloomed and angels still wore white.