Congratulations to Dani on the winning post.
The pot was given to me by his mother. It was a wedding gift. Being a bright, bold red, I worried it wouldn't fit with my other kitchen pieces. Yet now I find I use it every day and usually keep it out on the table. Somehow it's become the best piece in the kitchen.
I sat that morning sipping tea from my crimson teapot and contemplating. I didn't want to look out the window today. I didn't want to keep waiting. I was done with the day-to-day silence and tears of waiting.
So that was it. I had decided. I would not shed a tear today. Today, my eyes will remain dry. I won't even turn to the window to look out. I'll just sit facing away from it and sip my tea.
I let my thoughts go roll forward, the way I habitually did these days. Today I would scrub out the kitchen cabinets and polish everything silver. I let my gaze follow my thoughts - the faucet and sink with their water spots, the pots and pans hanging above it, then perhaps I'd even polish every utensil I had. That should keep me busy.
I let my eyes fall back down to my teacup. Was I fooling myself? Somewhere inside me I still felt like he was coming home. I say I won't cry today, but then I'm not leaving the house today either and I know why I couldn't leave. Because I was still waiting. But if he wasn't coming back, wouldn't I feel it?
I felt a lump growing in the back of my throat and I knew I had messed up already. Strengthening my resolve again, I set my gaze at the red teapot and grabbed the cloth next to me. I would start now. I polished and polished until the skin on my fingers nearly matched in color. I set it in front of me again and admired its shine. It glowed brighter than ever: my bright spot in the kitchen.
Then a movement caught my eye. Reflected on the shiny surface was the window behind me. The one I had resolved not to gaze through today. But there was a shadow there and it moved again. The silhouette grew larger within the window frame and I didn't want to look away, fearing it would shatter a dream.
Then I heard it and my breathe caught.
Never before had my name sounded so beautiful to my ears and never again could it but for this moment, as my eyes lifted from the shiny red teapot and met with the most beautiful blue that my dreams for the last 20 months could never hold a candle to.
Then I cried.
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