THE WEP CHALLENGE, JUNE 2019, CAGED BIRDS DON'T SING By Pat Garcia
Many Thanks! It Is Encouraging To Be Encouraged, by Pat Garcia

The WEP CHALLENGE, AUGUST, 2019, THE RED WHEELBARROW by Pat Garcia

 

Netta scrutinized the red wheelbarrow placed before the floor to ceiling window of the living room.

 

That wheelbarrow isn’t just attractive, but it’s a downright elixir for the soul.

 

She stood between the doorframe of the door, across the hall from the living room, admiring and examining the object of her curiosity. It stood so majestically before the window in its bright red color as if it was giving a queenly audience. She could have sworn the thing was smiling at her.  

 

Her husband, Jonathan, had turned it into a flower bed. He had chosen the living room stating that he could admire his handy work when he returned home every evening.   

 

Netta shook her head.  In the sunlight, the red wheelbarrow seemed to wink, but a wheelbarrow couldn’t wink or could it? 

 

Filled with red carnations, bright lilies, and purple and white orchids, the red wheelbarrow had changed Jonathan. He was no longer the man she’d married over a year ago.  

 

Netta laughed at her first reaction to Jonathan’s discovery. The normally depressive, surly and non-talkative man had come home and burst into her bedroom full of excitement.   He’d found something he said, that she just had to see. She’d been curious. Since she’d known him, she’d never seen him get excited over anything. She went out with him that day to see what had put a smile on his face.

 

She’d met Jonathan at her favorite Italian restaurant. She’d been sitting at a corner table with a big plate of spaghetti and a mozzarella and tomato salad. She’d just happened to look toward the entrance door of the restaurant and had gazed directly into the saddest but prettiest eyes she’d ever seen. He’d stared back at her and then had walked to her table and asked if she minded him sitting with her.   Her mouth had been full of spaghetti, and the only way she could answer him, without spilling the food out of her mouth had been to nod in acceptance.

 

Jonathan had ordered after introducing himself and then began asking her questions which made her hesitant. When he’d asked her about her marital status, her eyebrows had furrowed, and her heartbeat had quickened. She’d not been so sure that it had been a good idea to let him sit at her table. Then, Jonathan assured her that he was no danger to her but was looking for a person to share his home with. He’d said he wanted the comfort of knowing that a trustworthy person was living with him and needed a wife but not one to share his bed. Just a faithful wife to be there. In fact, he’d insisted on putting that clausal in their marriage agreement.  

 

At first, Netta didn’t believe nor trust him. She thought he was some kind of ax murder or a cannibal who wanted to kill and eat her. Her vivid imagination had her already packed away in plastic freezer bags in small portions in his freezer. With her chubby size thighs and big arms and breasts, she was quite sure, Jonathan would have had enough meat for a year.

 

Netta really didn’t know why a man from out of nowhere was asking her, a stranger, to marry him. What she did know was that she said yes.

 

No one gets an invitation to marry just for the sake of keeping someone company.

 

 

Four months ago, Jonathan began restoring the rusty, erosive wheelbarrow. She had watched him through the window every day astonished over his patience and how painstakingly he would grind away the rust. Day by day, he ground, and soon Netta could see a bit of metal on the front side of the wheelbarrow. The more Jonathan rubbed, the more she saw rusty erosive spots vanished, and metal appeared until there was no rust at all.

 

 

It was as he began to prime the wheelbarrow that Netta noticed a change in him personally. He was no longer, surly, and sad when he returned home. His eyes seemed brighter, and he became more attentive to her, bringing her chocolates, or earrings, or flowers.

 

Netta let out a deep breath. She’d never thought a red wheelbarrow would bring two people close to each other.

 

After two months of working on the wheelbarrow, Jonathan had finished priming it and then started painting it red. The first coat of red paint brought him into her bedroom.

 

“Can it be true that red awakes passion?” Netta asked, talking to herself.

 

Red surely did something to Jonathan, but the change started with the wheelbarrow.

 

Netta had no answers. She could only say that Jonathan no longer had sad eyes. They were still the prettiest she’d ever seen, but now they sparkled, and she saw joy, and her bedroom had become theirs.

 

                                                                                                       ***

 

 

Shalom aleichem,

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Pat Garcia

 

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