Frank and Marka find unusual things to chat about, this time, it’s poems they had to memorize in school. He brings up Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
“One guy in my English class asked the teacher where he could get the stuff Coleridge was smokin’ when he came up with that poem. Cause it had to be good shit.”
“Nooooo. I knew to keep a low profile. My mom was a teacher at the same school. I had to be on my best behavior.”
“Ew. Never fun.”
“She eventually became assistant principal. Fortunately, that was after I graduated.”
“What does she do now?”
“Principal of the high school now. Bucking for superintendent. She’ll get it in the next election. The other one is retiring and has already endorsed her to replace him.”
“That’s so cool. Where’s home?”
“For the moment? Here.”
He pulled up in front of a cozy brick home with white shutters and trim. Nestled in the crook of two hills, the yard behind it dipped into a ravine. The entire property was ringed with trees, oak, maple and pine vied for attention. The maple, whose leaves were bright red, won hands down.
He led her to the front porch and unlocked the door. “Come see my view.”
She followed him to the back of the house, through a cheery living room and open, airy dining
room. Sliding glass doors led to a wooden deck that ran the length of the house. Below them, the ravine dropped to a rocky stream. The water pounded over the stones and she could hear the sound from where she stood.
“You should see it in the snow,” he said. Everything turns this ethereal white. And in the spring, there’s a layer of green gold everywhere as the plants get ready to bloom. I’ve taken dozens of pictures, every season is different.”
“It’s glorious,” she exclaimed. “I see why you chose it.”
“I walked in here and it spoke to me. I never felt so at home. It’s like I was meant to be here.” He looked embarrassed, shutting the door after they went back inside. “I sound kinda crazy, I know.”
“Not at all. I felt that way when I walked in too. It’s a perfect home to start a family….” Her turn to look embarrassed.
“Yeah,” he murmured. “I kinda thought the same.”
The urge to kiss her was unbearably strong. Forcing himself to breathe, he asked if she wanted anything to drink.
“I’m fine, thanks. Don’t you have packing?”
“Yeah. You can watch some TV if you want….”
“Or I can come talk to you while you pack.”
He led her down the short hall to his bedroom. The room’s furnishings were Spartan in comparison to the living and dining rooms. The bed, chifferobe and chest of drawers were all light wood. The walls were sage green, the curtains an olive, khaki and sage plaid. It was a very masculine room.
Marka sat in a comfortable recliner that had a place of honor in the room. A small pie crust table stood next to it with an amber and ruby glass Tiffany lamp. The TV was directly across from it and a fireplace to the right. Marka knew this was his special place, where he came to unwind.
“Great chair,” she said, shifting happily.
“First thing I bought when I moved out on my own. I slept in it for a few weeks until I could find the right bed.” He walked into his closet. His voice came to her, slightly muffled. “I’m thinking of
buying this house. The owner wants to get out from under the taxes and is willing to take the last three
years toward it as a down payment. Haven’t made up my mind.”
“Yes, you have. You just haven’t told him yet.”
© Dellani Oakes