A story – part 81


Thomas and I went for a walk, leaving Theresa looking after Edmund.  She said she wanted some time to play with him alone. We walked quite a long way to where we were accustomed to having a break at a spot with a wonderful view and discovered two horses tethered to a tree there. Then we realised there were other people sitting in what we three had become accustomed to calling “our place”.

When we got closer we realised it was Anthea and King Leo, her fiancé. They turned and saw us, smiling when Anthea called out our names.

We went to be introduced to Leo who turned out to be most pleasant. I’d never met him, only seen him at the palace once when Philip took me there and abandoned me for Anthea.

Thomas took one look at the drawings they had with them, and exclaimed “That’s the house that David helped design at university. Was it really meant for this place?”

We discovered they had David the architect as a mutual friend. Thomas asked if he could look at the plans, then he said, “this is quite an ugly plan, can I help you make it better?”

Anthea seemed quite possessive over the plans and drawings, so Thomas invited them back to the house for some wine and to show them on clean paper what he thought should be done.

Leo insisted Anthea ride her horse while he walked with us as her foot was still not quite better.  The four of us progressed back to our home companionably, it was only about two kilometres.

Theresa was dozing in one big chair with Edmund fast asleep on her chest. Anthea and Leo looked at each other and you could see they were both thinking how they would like to be doing that with their own baby. Theresa woke and we indicated she should stay there as Edmund was so comfortable.

Leo came to help me get glasses and wine while Thomas and Anthea sat at the table and Thomas began to show her what he meant by making the plan better. The studio door was open, and Leo wandered across the courtyard to it and went in. He came back smiling and asked Thomas if he could buy the picture he fancied.

Without looking up, Thomas named a price, Leo said “Done”, and that was that. Leo went and fetched it, Anthea gasped, it was the portrait of her, she must have forgotten the afternoon she sat for Thomas to sketch.  Leo said, “this is the first thing for our new house, the picture I want for my study.”

Edmund woke up and Anthea decided she wanted to feed him. Leo took one look at the pair of them and said he was going to return the horses to the stables and bring back his car to fetch her.

By the time he returned we were all chatting happily while Thomas had started to prepare his famous “Thomas omelette” filling. We asked Leo and Anthea to stay and share supper with us. They looked at each other and smiled, they said in unison “Thank you; that would be great.”

We all had a cheerful evening, talking, laughing and sharing ideas. When they finally left it seemed as though we had all been friends for a long time.

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