Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Having Style

Part Eight

Casey paused before opening his eyes. He glanced around but Jeannette wasn’t there. Sadness overwhelmed him and his shoulders slumped. Emotionally exhausted, he slowly walked back to the cottage, every couple feet checking over his shoulder to see if she was there. At the doorway to the studio, he gave once last look, sighed and went into the house where he flopped down on the couch and fell asleep.
At some point during the night, Casey awoke and knew what he had to do. He made his way to the studio. A few minutes later, he had the painting of his original house on the easel. It was time to go home. He began putting in some bushes he had purposefully left out the first time because of not knowing what was going to work. It didn’t take long to make the changes and when he finished, he turned off the lights and went back into the house.
 In an attempt to relax and possibly think of something he might have missed doing, Casey lowered his head on his arms. Before long, he drifted off to sleep and didn’t wake up until the sunlight beaming through the kitchen window woke him up. He sat up and slowly worked the kinks out of his neck.
At daylight, with coffee cup in hand, Casey went into the studio. Waves of mixed emotions washed over him. On the one hand, he wanted to walk out into the yard and be home in his own place and time; while on the other hand, he knew that once he did, he would never see Jeannette again.
He drank some coffee, took a deep breath and walked into the yard to the fence.
There was no one on the street and he thought he had failed until he turned and saw his own house looking as it always had. He opened the gate and stepped outside the yard. He had succeeded. Casey glanced up and down the street, then turned and went back into the house feeling numb to all emotion. There were no feelings of jubilance or sadness. He was completely spent.
The next seven months kept Casey quite busy with creating more pieces and doing the art galleries. As expected, his paintings sold for a good price and he became semi famous and rich. Needing a break from the whirlwind activities, Casey decided to take a week off. The first two days he devoted to relaxing and lounging around the house and puttering around in his yard. On the third day, he went into the studio and began the arduous task of cleaning and organizing; a job he actually dreaded doing but one he knew had to be done.
About midway through his labors, he came across the paintings of his house and the one of the cottage. A flood of memories filled his thoughts, so much so, that he had to leave them and go into the house. He made another coffee and while looking at the paintings decided the best way to get rid of the memories was to sell them.
Determined on his course of action, he finished his coffee, went into the studio and set the paintings aside. As he was doing so, he noticed they weren’t signed. The one of his house was not worth anything so he only signed the one of the cottage.  Once signed, he felt a sense of relief ease its way into his mind and heart. He worked for a couple more hours and called it a day.
The next morning, as was usual, Casey stepped out into his yard with cup of coffee in hand. The sun was already shining bright and it looked to be another glorious day. He bent down to pull some weeds from his garden and heard a voice saying, “You’ve come back.”
Casey spun on his heels and looked up into Jeannette’s smiling face. He stood up and faced her. “How did you get here? I’ve waited for you all this time.”
Jeannette shook her head. “I don’t know what you mean. When you left, my Casey never returned. I’ve been waiting for you to come to me.”
Casey frowned. “So how did you get here?”
Jeannette touched his shoulders and turned him around and pointed. “I’ve been here. It’s you who has come to me.”
Casey’s mouth opened but no words escaped as he set his eyes on the cottage. Finally he said, “But how? I didn’t do anything but sign the painting.” He turned back to her. “I didn’t change anything.”
They remained silent for a few minutes before Jeannette said, “Maybe by signing it you finalized your being here.”
It was his turn to be puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“I don’t think you can go back. As long as the painting wasn’t signed you could change it and make it however you wanted. But now that you’ve signed it without any changes, it brought you here to finalize your desires. Did you desire to be here?”
“Yes. Yes, I did,” he said and his face lit up with happiness. Casey stepped closer to her, leaned down and kissed her. 
Tears of joy streamed down Jeannette’s cheeks as she squeezed him tightly.
“I don’t want to go back,” he whispered into her ear and held her close to his heart as a tear trickled down his own cheek.
  The End
  Chelle Munroe©
  April 9, 2015


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