The room is quiet. The vacant room has a white window awaiting a girl who left one winter ago.
The first time the girl visited the room was the weekend of the start of winter, when the chilled streak of blue sky covered the city. The golden colored Marronnier trees line the streets like fireworks in the winter sky. Footsteps curl around the spiral staircase to the old apartment. The gray-painted door clicks, as the realtor unlocks it for her.
The door opens to a small north-facing room. It is not as chilly as the warm sun caresses the room. The flooring is embellished with black and white checkered patterns surrounded by cream-colored stucco. The realtor actively talks her into the property having great value for the money. The space has been vacant for some time so it’s a bit dusty, but in great condition despite its age, he says. She found a window rather high up on the wall. It steadily illuminates the room like silk. It seems like he quickly understood that the window was this room’s selling point.
Sitting in front of the window, she looked closely around the room and touched the wooden frame. Her touch was gentle. It was then when the window immediately fell in love with the girl. She is the one I was waiting for for a very long time. I wanted to convey my feelings by providing her with enough light and wind - pale sunlight and cold, northern wind.
As she left the room, she mumbled to herself, “It’s a nice room.” She welcomes me, the window smiles kindly. For a few hundred years I have not left this room, but I live for her from now on - my one and only muse.
First she chose the window coverings. A white organdy curtain covered delicately and did not block the light from entering the room. She placed a small table under the window and two chairs with backrest. She hung an old map poster she inherited from her grandfather on the wall. One by one, new things kept coming in and she welcomed them with open arms. Putting a lid on feeling jealous, we were delighted and cherished each furnishing and tool as if they were family.
She puts her white hood on and walks out in the lightly covered snow. She comes back home with a loaf of bread from Pain du Campaign, carrying it very gently as if she is holding a baby. “It just came out fresh from the oven,” she says with a smile and puts them in the basket on the table. The butter is melting in the red bronze pot. Bacon, onions and potatoes are simmered with milk. I feel content while the stew is being prepared.
She brought out her sewing kit, a treasure of her mom’s and starts sewing the button onto her shirt. She reminds herself to occasionally tune her classic guitar that she took up in her school days, even
though she has not played it recently. She prepares letters to friends who live far away with a fountain pen. Birthday messages aren’t the same with electronic mail, right? She frequently talks to herself these days. The window accepted them all in earnest but was not aware that her solidarity was taking over her as time passed.
The last day she spent in this room, she was sitting by the window with a blue turban that reminded me of a winter sky. She said to herself, “I must go.”
I wish I could stay here forever. My heart remains here, in this room.
As she left the room and turned off the lights, the window called her name. For a moment, she turned around. The restful lighting from the window fell upon her eyes, lips, and her pearl earrings. Her lips moved for a second. Did she say something? It did not reach me.
From that day on, the window is waiting to hear her footsteps again coming up the stairs. The window diffuses the winter light on the black and white checkered floor. Her remnant and its particle of light resonate in the tranquil room.