Wasn’t that long ago she was feted for her looks. Men fawned. She knew what she had. Especially now it was gone. Reflecting on a life well lived she chastised herself. She could have done better.
Her demeanor was comfortably square with the rigid bun, nary a strand loose, roomy slacks covering long slim legs while revealing nothing. The top something floaty in a block of color; demure, elegant, feminine.
Until you see the inside of her house and then you learn who she is. An artist with no outlet, a lady with no love. She was a drinker and a painter and though she claimed she was not interested in selling her work she was probably lacking confidence. Her house was perfectly aplomb with demonstrations of her taste for lace on windows, hand painted finials and curious objects placed on every surface; rabbit holes down which to wander in fascination.
When the young man moved in next door she judged him, in a word, poor. She gave him chores, for money, and accepted his arm to escort her to parties. Faux attention is better than no attention.
She was highly controlled, even her smiles were tight. Her exterior severe except for the scoliotic hump near her neck, the rounded shoulder revealed pale skin and the onset of age she could no longer conceal.
A sunny morning and a turn of events.The news delivered to him by an aunt. His grandmother had died and left him a chunk of dough and property. Dawdling on the sidewalk, tears barely under control he blurted this update to the lady with the bun as she pruned her petunias. Dropping the clippers she confronted him.
‘How much did you get?’
Thoughts rushed him as words abandoned him.
‘Money is everything,’ she continued, smiling, prettily as she could.
He walked away.