|John Singer Sargent. 'A Dinner Table at Night 1884'|
She’d hoped for more from this dinner party, the lovely, lonely widow. Making small talk with the animated gentleman her host had so thoughtfully seated to her left, whilst all the time she ached for a sympathetic companion to touch her artistic soul. She so wanted someone to re-discover the poet within her, to light again the spark of creativity. Instead the red glow of the lamps suffused the darkened room only adding to her desolation. She sighed and turned pointedly away, taking a sip of her port, and looked hopefully and longingly at the vacant chair beside her.
When she looked up he was standing, smiling back at her, deftly sketching in his pocket notebook. She didn’t know whether to speak or smile, or even turn away. In the end the prospect of having to nod politely, and make appropriate noises, whilst inhaling the cigar smoke wafting in her direction, decided her. She turned back and caught the artist’s eye. He snapped the notebook shut and tilted his head slightly, raising his eyebrows. questioningly. She felt the old familiar sensation as her cheeks began to burn, and was suddenly grateful for the dim lighting disguising the reddening glow. She clutched the stem of her glass more tightly and sensed the beginnings of an uncertain smile.
She felt that he had seen beyond her vulnerable beauty and caught something of the longing to just be alive again, to communicate and share, receive and give. She wanted to speak but found the words just wouldn’t form. She ran her tongue around her dry mouth and fixed her eyes on the silver tableware. There she saw, reflecting back at her, a newly confident woman. She allowed herself the full smile and, eyes sparkling in the now warm red lamplight, answered his question by raising the glass to her lips and draining the last few drops as she turned her gaze in his direction.
© Marilyn Brindley
© Marilyn Brindley
Taking part in The Mag courtesy of Tess Kincaid. See what others have made of this prompt.