Cloud Gate — part 1

A story of redemption.

Thomas and Eilene Bryson’s apartment; at night

The apartment belongs to a successful older couple — furnished tastefully and decorated with artworks that reflect the subtle but studied aesthetics of its owners.

Eilene Bryson is in her bedroom getting dressed in a muted evening gown that flatters her silhouette and has clearly never been stained or crumpled. Her feet are stockinged but she does not wear any shoes, those will be added later. She may be in her late forties although her flawless skin betrays nothing. Her hair is fair and immaculately maintained.

She walks over to a mirror and puts on a pair of earrings, and a matching necklace. Finally, she reaches for a hairbrush and brushes her hair one last time.

Eilene stands in front of the mirror staring at nothing in particular, then exhales and reaches for her cellular telephone that is lying on a table below the mirror. She selects a number from the speed dial list and puts the phone to her ear after distractedly flicking her hair away from her right ear.

“Thomas. It’s me. Please remember that tonight’s auction starts at eight. Let me know if you’ll be here before or if I should meet you there.”

She hangs up.

She pads over to a couch near the bed and sits down. Her right hand reflexively comes to her cheek as she leans her elbow on the armrest of the couch.

The camera pans across the room, absentmindedly taking in the various artworks on the walls.

She gets up from the couch and walks over to the table where her cellphone remains unmoved, picks it up and selects another number from the list.

“Hello, this is Eilene Bryson. Is Mark picking up my husband tonight?”

A pause

“Thank you.”

Now she keeps the phone in her hand as she walks through to the kitchen — stark and volumous in perfect white — where she opens a cabinet, removes a glass and decanter and pours a short, dark alcoholic drink.

She takes a sip from the glass, carefully so as to not wet her lips, and puts the glass down again. The telephone is in her left hand and she looks down at it.

She selects the same number again and puts the phone to her ear. This time it takes longer before she starts speaking.

“It’s Eilene Bryson again. If he’s available can Mark drive me tonight?”

A pause

“Thank you. Yes, now is fine.”

Read part 2

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