Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rekindling the Spark by Nicole Gestalt

“One moment, I’m coming.” Angela shouted as she fumbled through her handbag for the door key. It was a habit her husband hated and she didn’t quite understand it herself, but every time she opened the door rather than leaving the keys nearby they went into her handbag, resulting in endless searches when someone came to the door.

Finally, she found the key and opened the door. Stood behind it was a tall muscular lad, whom Angela guessed could be no older than twenty-five. He had on dark green trousers that seemed rather loose fitting and a t-shirt of the same colour. His dark black hair was shoulder length but swept back and his eyes seemed to glow with mischief and good humour. There was something about the way he smiled at her that made Angela go weak at the knees.

“Hi, I’m Richard, your husband called me earlier about your garden.” His voice was soft but held strength in it that caused Angela to be compelled to listen intently.

“Oh, yes. Matthew said someone would come.” Angela put out her hand and Richard took it, squeezing it gently but firmly and running a calloused thumb over her knuckles. Angela felt her face heat up in a blush, and blinking she looked down at her feet. Once she had regained her composure she looked back up into his hazel eyes.

“Now I bet Matthew forgot to let you know what needs doing. Hang on a moment, I’ll just get some shoes on and then I’ll show you around the garden.”

Leaving the door open Angela moved back down the hallway and slipped on a pair of shoes. She straightened up, and for the briefest moment she thought she saw Richard staring at her but when she turned to face him he was looking away.

Leading him out of the house she showed him their small front garden and then took him through the side gate into the garden that she spent most of her time in. Years of careful pruning and planting had created a small haven filled with a multitude of colours and scents. By the glass conservatory doors a small fountain trickled away and bird song twittered from the various trees. Angela smiled with pride when she saw admiration in Richard’s face. Matthew didn’t understand her love of the garden so she was happy at last to see someone enjoy all the hard work and love she had put into it.

“It’s the trees you see, they need cutting back badly but I’m not able to do that myself so I persuaded Matthew to call someone in. Do you think you’ll be able to manage them?” Angela pointed to three trees at the end of the garden that were badly overgrown and obviously in need of a trim.

Richard walked up to them and placed his hands on each trunk in turn. Angela stood transfixed, as he almost seemed to be talking to them, and after a short time he turned back to look at her.

“They all seem healthy enough so it shouldn’t be too much of a jolt to them. It will take a couple of days to get the job done completely though. Is that okay?”

“Yes, that’s fine thank you. Then there’s some pruning and mowing that I’ve not been able to get around to doing, would you be able to manage that?” Angela found herself almost looking forward to having Richard around for the extra time it would take.

“Yes, that’s not a problem, I’ll just go and get my tools from the car then I’ll get started.” With a smile Richard walked back to the front of the house where his car sat, leaving Angela alone in the garden.

* * * *

Pulling the equipment he’d need out from the car and slipping on his tool belt Richard thought about Angela. She obviously kept herself in shape; her body was toned yet had the maturity and life experience that he found so alluring. She had taken his breath away when she had opened the door, and he had found it extremely hard not to stare longingly at her, especially when she had bent down to slip on her shoes.

As he placed the gardening tools into his belt Richard considered the task ahead. The trees were healthy enough, and although he hated the thought of cutting them back he was glad it was him doing it and not someone who didn’t know what they were doing. He finished getting himself organised and locked the car. As he did so the hairs on the back of his neck rose and he got the distinct feeling that someone was watching him. He discreetly looked behind him and saw Angela looking at him out of a downstairs window. Smiling, he walked to the back garden, enjoying the fragrances of the flowers as he stepped through the gate. Richard loved the garden, and of all the gardens he had visited and worked in he was truly awed by Angela’s. He knew from the conversations he had with Angela’s husband that she was the gardener, and from the look of it she had spend a lot of time working in it.

Without hesitation Richard started work on the trees, aware that he was still being watched.