He awoke suddenly. He looked quickly around the dimly lit bedroom. Everything looked to be in place. A beam of light struck the wall above the low bookcase on which the TV set seemed to float. He realized then that the framed print was missing from the wall. He sat up, tossed off the covers, got out of bed. That’s when he saw a slight glint from the glass covering the print in its frame. The print lay between the bookcase and the shoe rack that was against the wall and behind the half-opened door.
As he reached for the picture, he remembered when his wife had bought it, a year before she died. She’d found it at a yard sale a few blocks from their home. In the faint light, he looked at the print, seeing it more in memory than with his eyes.
There were two teacups on a table, the farther one a yellow teacup, the nearer one more brown and tan. Both were full of tea. There were no persons in the picture. It was a painting in the impressionist style. The colors were all bright, especially the yellow of the one cup and the blue of one wall. There was a brown chair near the blue wall, and a painting on the adjoining wall. Between the painting and the chair, an oddly shaped string instrument, probably a cello, was propped against the mixed yellow, orange and beryl green of the wall with the painting.
He still stared at the print as the rising sun brightened the window, then the room. When he had asked his wife why she liked the unusual still life, she smiled and said, “Because it’s you and me, two teacups, the same except for the different colors, both brimming with strong tea, brewed with love and care and raw honey.”
He put the picture on the bed. Later he’d affix it again to the wall. But now he went into the bathroom to begin the day.
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(c) Gregory V Driscoll 2012