Mr. Cook had almost forgotten that Eveline and Clara were in the house. He was engrossed in his magazine looking at Nordhavn yachts and thinking about his days as a Merchant Marine.
Eveline approached him through the kitchen and startled him, Clara was still hanging onto her coat sleeve.
“You have a beautiful home Mr. Cook. Do you have a minute, I would really like to ask you a few questions?”
He really did not want to engage in much conversation with this woman. All he wanted was for her to leave so that he could take a nap and enjoy some peace and quiet. He looked up at Eveline and then back at Clara and once again was softened by Clara’s smile.
“Ok, but I don’t have a lot of time, I have an appointment this evening”
Eveline grabbed a chair and put little Clara in her lap and then began her questions about the house. She was very impressed about how much Mr. Cook remembered about his house and his past. As he spoke she grew curious about his wife since he still wore a ring and kept saying “we” when he talked about his past.
Mr. Cook was still finishing a story about the delivery guy that installed their new appliances- and how he had to go back and reinstall them all the correct way. Eveline glanced at the picture of Carol, and then pointed as she interrupted Mr. Cook.
“Is that your wife? She’s beautiful, what is her name?”
Shocked by her question and the abrupt change of subject Mr. Cook had to adjust himself and fought his urge to tell her to leave.
“Carol. She died eight years ago.”
Flashes came through his head clouding his vision. They were at the dinner table enjoying a nice meal together when suddenly, Carol’s expression changed and her face fell into her plate… she never woke up.
“The doctors said she had a stroke.”
Eveline turned white. She felt the blood rushing down her body and thought she couldn’t move or speak, just like she did in the doctor’s office with Christopher. She wrapped her arms around Clara, kissed her head and finally felt like she could speak.
“I am so sorry to hear that. I’m sure she was a lovely woman, I can tell by the way you talk about her that you loved her very much.”
With that said Eveline felt like she had taken too much of Mr. Cook’s time, so she stood up and thanked him. She hesitated at the threshold, she wanted to know more about him and his past. At first he seemed like a grumpy old man, but now they have something in common.
By the time they reached the car Eveline was struggling to hold back her tears. She strapped Clara in, put her sunglasses on and turned on the radio so she could weep.