Friday, May 4, 2012

Fiction Friday

Ellie parked her car in the driveway of the Mediterranean-style house.  She was already forming a mental picture of the interior – the foyer, the beautiful curved staircase, the sitting room, the kitchen… She was spending a lot of time on the kitchen.  The owner of the house had specific demands for how it was to look.  She had listed the perfect paint colors to set off the cherry cabinetry, and the perfect stone to cover the floor.  It seemed to some like a headache, but Ellie was glad to have a client with good taste. 

Ellie had wanted to work in this house since she first became an interior decorator seven years earlier.  She had passed it on the way to another client’s home.  That client, Mrs. Rosen, was her first “big” client; Ellie had done a small house that Mrs. Rosen’s daughter had bought when she graduated college, and was impressed enough to hire Ellie for her own house.  That was Ellie’s entry into the upper class homes, as Mrs. Rosen was well-known and respected in the waterfront community.  During that first job, Ellie had made subtle inquiries about the owners of the Mediterranean property, and patiently waited for the right time to approach the couple.

Now here she was, standing in the entrance with a work crew arriving any minute.  The furniture had been cleared out for painting, and she was already putting the drop cloth down on the hardwood floor of the living room.  She had already exposed the beautiful beams of the ceiling, and they were polished to a soft sheen.  She readied her sketches of how the room should look, so her crew foreman had a guide for the room, and set to work on the kitchen.  She and Carl had worked together for most of her career, and she knew she could trust him to do the job right. 

In the kitchen, Ellie peeled the painter’s tape off the now-dry walls, and set to work on the arched window over the sink.  It was so beautiful that she had decided to forgo window treatments, and instead to surround the glass with tiny, beautiful, multicolored tiles.  She wanted to do the tiling herself on this window, give it her own personal touch.  She was soon lost in her work, and jumped when Carl spoke behind her.

“We’re breaking for lunch, Ellie, do you want anything?”  Carl asked her.  Ellie looked at her watch and was shocked to see four hours had passed already.  She wasn’t even hungry; she had been too involved in the tiling. 

“No, thanks, Carl.  You all go ahead, and I’ll grab something when I am finished with this window.  I still have to clean off the extra grout and I want to add some color to the wall around it.”

“Suit yourself!  But I think you may be pushing yourself a bit too hard on this house,” Carl said.  “We’ll be back in an hour to clean up and move in the living room furniture.”

Ellie soon finished the window, and began cleaning the debris off the new marble countertops.  She was proud of the work she had done in this house, and thought of the meals that would be prepared in this newly transformed room.  Would the owner’s life be transformed as well?  She was reaching for a broom to start cleaning up the floor when Carl reappeared, taking the broom and handing Ellie a sandwich.  “We’ll do the cleanup; you go eat before you collapse.” 

Ellie gratefully handed another crew member the broom, and took her sandwich out to the patio.  She had big plans for this area, too, but they would come later.  For now she sat in a café chair and enjoyed the sunshine, the ocean waves breaking on the shore, and her turkey, provolone, and sprouts on whole wheat that Carl had brought her from the deli.  “It must be heavenly to have this every day,” she thought to herself.

When the kitchen cleanup was complete, they all carried the kitchen furnishings into the room.  Under Ellie’s guidance, the gleaming cabinets were restocked, the shiny new refrigerator was filled, and the wine rack was mounted and laden with full green bottles.  There was even room for the breakfast table she had found that suited the room perfectly.

Later that afternoon, after Carl and the rest of the crew had left for the day, Ellie made a final walkthrough o f the house.  Living room, sitting room, kitchen, dining room, foyer… all were beautiful.  She ascended the curving staircase, admiring the reclaimed hardwood treads she had refinished by hand.  Guest room, bathroom, office with floor to ceiling bookcases already filled, spacious master suite… picture-perfect. 

Ellie returned to the kitchen, poured a glass of wine from the wine rack, and took it back to the patio.  As she lay back in the lounge, sipping her wine, and watching the gulls dance over the ocean, she thought, “I bought this house and redecorated it with my own money.  I built my business and worked hard for every penny.  Now that is simply chic.”
© Copyright 2012 Christine (InspiredLife) (UN: christine918 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.


  1. Wonderful writing! Beautifully written :-)

  2. oh I remember this!! I loved it the first time I read it- and I really love it this time!!! What a great piece! BRAVO!

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