The table stood dejected in the back of the garage. Its chairs were set against a far wall and had not been pressed against it for many years. The wood bowed slightly and the legs were tired and worn with indentations where people had hit it in passing with bikes, scooters and even in later years, the car bumper. It could just be seen beneath the old holey blanket that covered it with the piles of magazines and books on top.
Today was different however. Sunlight drifted in through a half open door and peoples voices were heard coming closer. The weight on top was slowly lifted as piles were removed and put into boxes to be placed outside the garage door. The blanket, smelly and way past its sell by date, was flung back and a squeal of delight shot from the young woman who stood over it, eyes wide with excitement.
She stepped back and then leaned down to look underneath. Seemingly very happy she looked at an older gentleman who looked decidedly disinterested in the whole proceedings. He nodded and she grabbed him and gave him a hug.
He shrugged and she clapped her hands together. Calling through the door as she stroked the old, weary surface, she waited for a young man to join her. He placed a hand on her shoulder and she flung herself into his arms, leaning up on tiptoes to kiss him. He smiled and took her outside
The table sat in the dark after all had gone. No cloth covered it and the wood breathed in the now fresh air from the garage. The resident mouse came out to investigate and ran across the surface, sliding on a still waxed area in the middle. It stopped, whiskers twitching, then ran off to find its supper.
The next morning the sun again found its way in to the room and the table was lifted almost reverently from its resting place and hoisted up by strong arms to be placed in the back of a van. The chairs that belonged with it were placed next to it and all were strapped in and covered with clean white sheets.
For a week the van contained a table and four chairs. From outside it could be heard chattering and bangs and crashes. A woman laughing and a man calling out with instructions. Then the van doors opened and the chairs and the table were gently placed on the floor of a large empty room.
The young woman again stroked the table but this time she had light sandpaper. The top, worn, veneer was tenderly sanded off, leaving the pure oak beneath. The chairs too were treated to this loving care and soon they were resplendent in new fabric seats. All the while the woman spoke to the furniture, softly and lovingly. Almost caressing the tables wood she smoothed out all traces of the past.
Two days later she ran back in the room with cloths and tins and started lacquering the now pristine surface.
Completed the woman smiled. She carefully placed the four chairs under the table, patted it lightly, and left the room.
More furniture joined the table and its four companions. An antique but lovingly restored dresser. A gorgeous old bookcase, once with a floppy back and broken shelves but now a magnificent example of Victoriana. Upon each new piece, the woman would drag in her male companion and show them off, giggling and clapping her hands together when she saw his face break into a smile.
Then one day she came in quietly. She carefully laid out table dressings. Each one placed to its best effect. Napkins rolled in carved wooden rings sat by each place mat. Dainty wine glasses settled near flowers drinking in a crystal vase in the centre.
The elderly gentleman from the garage walked in with a small lady. He gasped as he looked around the room and the little old lady’s eyes opened wide as she looked at the table so gracefully set out.
The young man entered and pulled out chairs for the older lady and for the restorer, his new wife.
The family sat down at the dining table and the table and chairs sighed happily and relaxed into their new home.
Written as part of the writing task ‘The family sat down at the dining table.’ http://ourartsmagazine.com/literature/writing-skills-task-271/2018
I’m an oil painter and photographer, who also makes time to paint with words through my short stories and published poetry. Seascapes and animals are the primary focus of my oil paintings
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