Gwen opened the door and was overwhelmed by all the beautiful antiques in the quaint shop. From the outside, it seemed like a rather normal place, a few vintage items adorned the window, not letting passerby know of the secrets it held deep within. Gwen walked slowly around the items, careful not to knock anything over or break something priceless. She would never forgive herself if she didn’t leave the shop with a few treasures.
Something caught her eye and she moved towards it with lightning speed, careful still not to touch anything. It was exactly what she had been looking for. It was strangely in perfect condition, she couldn’t believe her luck. She checked the price tag. This is a joke, right? She made sure that she was alone in the shop, not wanting someone else to grab her treasure. She walked over to the counter and greeted the older woman. Her grey hair was secured loosely on top of her head, a few strands falling against her face and she had gentle grey eyes, which were probably the result of cataracts.
″Good morning dear, how may I help you?″
Gwen greeted her warmly and asked about the item she had spotted. The woman confirmed it was indeed the right price on the tag.
″But it’s in perfect condition, it should be triple that price!″
The woman smiled and went on to explain that she had gotten it as a gift from a friend who had passed on. She knew it was worth much more but also knew that the majority of people who stopped in her little shop could not afford it. Gwen thanked her and asked if it was possible to get someone to bring it to her home. She did not want to miss the chance to own such a piece, she handed the woman the exact amount. The woman laughed at her enthusiasm, took down her information and thanked her for her purchase.
″I’m happy it will go to a loving home.″
Andrew spun around to admire the work he and Gwen had done with the bathroom. It had been a hard two months of work to get everything done to their standards. He had paint specks in his hair, on his five o’clock shadow and almost on every inch of fabric he wore. He didn’t care, the finished product of their love was before his eyes, he couldn’t help but be happy. He heard Gwen’s footsteps coming closer and grabbed her in his strong arms when she appeared. She giggled like a schoolgirl and turned to see the completed room.
The walls were painted a soft blue, the crisp white curtains hung from the ceiling and pooled on the floor, a double marble sink stood to one side, two brass carved mirrors hung over each sink, the small floor tiles were black and white, but the pièce de résistance stood proudly under the window. The cast iron clawfoot tub took up almost half the space, with its impressive curves and intricately carved brass feet. It beckoned users to imagine lounging comfortably in its depths with a good book.
Gwen walked in and slowly passed a hand on its delicate lines, dreaming of her next bath. Andrew walked in behind her and asked her if she would be using it tonight. They had finally finished the bathroom but they had so many other things left to do until she could. She sighed and wrapped her arms around her husbands waist.
″Only if you join me.”
They worked side by side for the rest of the evening in the dilapidated kitchen. Gwen tackled the removal of the wallpaper as Andrew started on the cupboards that needed to be taken down, sanded and painted. It was a tough job, one he should have been doing with someone else but the budget simply didn’t allow for outside help. Gwen was strong but not enough to help with many of the things that needed to be done.
The days were long, but the nights were even longer for poor Gwen. She sighed when she thought of all the nightmares she had been having since they had moved into the cottage. She didn’t know what had triggered them, usually it was seeing something that reminded her of him. Nothing out of the ordinary had happened since they had arrived. She pulled savagely at the wallpaper and groaned. After a moment of staring at the piece in her hand, Andrew’s cough brought her out of her daze.
She nodded and continued ripping off the small dry pieces that wouldn’t budge.
″I’m just tired, I haven’t been getting much sleep with all the nightmares.″
Her husband was by her side as soon as the last word left her mouth, grabbing her in his warm embrace. She felt a tear trickle down her cheek and it tasted salty on her lips. Andrew kissed the top of her head lovingly and she pulled back to look at him.
“How about that bath?”