A new piece of writing from CW study. This one involves the painting below.
A woman sits alone in a diner on a dark North American night. Exactly how much warmth she is receiving from the radiator to her left is open to conjecture. The window behind her is so large and wide that it would most likely be letting in more coldness than the small yellow heating unit can effectively fend off. She remains woollen coated and cloche hatted. This will keep some warmth circulating around her body. On her left hand is a black leather glove. Her right hand is bare and holding a small coffee cup. She appears lost in her own thoughts. Her head tilts slightly downwards. Her eyes seem to be looking nowhere in particular. The notion is that they are looking downwards at the coffee cup she’s holding but the detail in the painting is obscure enough to not know for certain exactly where her eyes are fixed, so they seem to be fixed on nothing at all.
Heather knows this feeling all too well. She looks towards the painting again and feels as though it is reflecting back at her as if looking into a mirror. She is not in the exact same position as the lady in the painting, for the radiator in the room is to her left and thankfully larger than the one in the image seems to be. Is it providing her with any more warmth than what the young woman is receiving in the painting? She feels warm enough, for now. She’s not wearing a hat and her coat is not as long as the painted lonely diner’s, nor is it woollen or trimmed with fur. It’s one of those short puffer jackets that makes you look like a Michelin Man, and it’s cream coloured to boot, so even more the Michelin Man. She wishes she had chosen a different colour, but it was the only one in her size and it was on sale, so she decided that beggars can’t be choosers, even if it makes it seem as if she is advertising tyres.
Where is he? We haven’t got much time left. The train leaves in 45 minutes. He was meant to leave work at 10 O’Clock. What’s holding him up? Heather’s furrowing preoccupation means she misses Tom’s arrival to the coffee shop. He’s already at the counter ordering himself a double espresso when Heather shakes herself from her reverie, looks over to the counter and sees him there being served. The expression of her face smoothed. “At bloody last!”, she thought to herself.
“Hey, babe. Sorry I’m late. Keith wanted me to stay behind for a few minutes to chat about next week’s meeting, forgetting entirely that I would be around for it. That made me miss the bus, ya da ya da.” Tom bends towards Heather’s face and kisses her right cheek before seating himself opposite her.
“Pain in the arse. You’re here now and still on time, at least. I was getting worried though. Why didn’t you message me?”, she asks.
“I thought I’d be here soon enough anyway.”
“Yeah, well we all know what Thought did, don’t we?”
“Yeah, sorry. My bad. Can I get you anything? Would you like a top-up?,” gesturing to Heather’s empty cup.
“No, I’m fine. Don’t want to be too filled with liquid, you know.”
“Yeah, of course. Don’t fancy a bite to eat before we head off?”
“No. We better make tracks in a minute. The train will be leaving in just over 30 minutes and I want to get a decent seat.”
Is Heather nervous? A little. Apprehensive might be the better word for it. It’s the first time she and Tom are going away together. It’s still so new and she really doesn’t want to stuff things up by trying not to place too much emphasis on what this first trip away means and what may eventuate from it. She really likes Tom. He’s sweet, gentle and he makes her feel wanted. Needed. That said, he also knows not to make her feel overwhelmed and he understands that she needs her space and needs time on her own. It has taken nearly a year to get to this point. Does she love him? Maybe. She wants to be sure.
Tom stands up and places the cups on the side of the serving counter. As Heather stands, he holds the door open for her. The train station is a few hundred yards down the road. Although it’s cold outside, the night is dry and the air still. Tom places his right arm around Heather’s shoulder and pulls her in closer to him. They exchange smiles and head towards the train station. Where will it all lead from here?