Sunrays sieving through her hat made her face light up like fragmented diamonds. As she sat under the tree in her garden, legs stretched on the warm grass tickling her legs carefully tucked under her floral summer dress. A few chickadees angrily bickered for a spot overhead. She smiled reading the book that she was holding in her hand. A picture-perfect vision of beauty, not a spec seemed imprecise. Beauteous and arresting in equal measure.
Lola retreated two steps and squinted her eyes to have a final look, “Looks perfect to me,” she considered. Taking a deep sigh, she sat on the wooden crate beside the canvas and placed the brush on her work table. Her hand involuntarily moved to her 8-month growling bulge. “I know, I know, I’m hungry too. Give me a minute of pause,” she spoke aloud to her restless baby inside of her womb. Distracted by a din in the kitchen she let out an unpleasant grunt. “Argh!” she picked herself, dragging her feet towards the noise.
“What now?” she called out to the two-year-old Rey and their Boston Terrier, Marley, covered in flour. Both looked up at her guiltily. “Oh, you were sleeping baby-boy, how did you manage to get out of the bassinet?” she gently helped Rey up and dusted him a bit. “Let’s give you a third shower today now…” she smiled as her glance moved to Marley, “…and you need to be more responsible, you’re the eldest one.” Marley looked away and trotted away, dusting himself.
A warm bath later, Rey sat behind the counter nibbling on watermelon, as Marley hogged on his bowlful. Lola passed a plate of fresh greens and minced chicken to Rey and grabbed another bowl for herself. She washed it down with juice and said, “now you two boys be nice. Daddy’s gonna be home any minute. While I would be gone out to drop my new painting at Mrs Dorsea’s, don’t trouble him and stay as quiet as possible. I’ll be back soon.” She looked at Marley, who listened attentively, as Rey happily chomped on his meal.
After the meal, Rey was back in his bassinet, while Marley was left to guard like a trained army dog. Lola replaced her work clothes with a dress after a wash. She packed the painting in bubble wrap and strung it carefully. Just then, she heard Norman storm inside. Grubby and stinking, he was back from his work, heavily drunk and stumbling at whatever came in his way. He approached the fridge, took out a fresh beer and plonked himself in front of the TV.
“What’s for food?” he roared without looking at Lola.
“It’s in the fridge,” pokerfaced Lola replied.
“Hand it over.”
“Freshen up and take it. I am on my way out for delivery. I’ll be back soon. The baby is fed so don’t bother. Marley’s gonna take care of him.” Lola picked up her painting and walked out calmly out of the door.
Connect with Penmancy: