She could feel the warmth of the sun on her back; Standing there in her new apartment, amid the layers of her new white curtains, wearing her Elie Saab midi dress — the only entity in that room which recalled the intricately woven life left behind — she finally understood what she had done.
“I’m going to be living here Madeliene, just me, by myself.”
She laughed a nervous laugh, while I sat on the edge of her sofa, watching her excitement turn into fear. Holding on to the curtains, she gazed aimlessly at the emptiness of the room, as her mind moved through the thousand and one miserable possibilities of living here by herself.
“Worse things have happened darling,” I said.
She had nothing during those first few days but those billowy white curtains, a grey leather sofa and a vase filled with flowers she had bought for herself. She repeated the fact that she had done so about six or seven times during the day, which made me realise this woman had always waited for someone else to buy flowers for her.
She had never done something like this, and during those early days, she eased her occasional anxiety attacks by frolicking in her couture. She would wear cat suits during the day and short dresses for tea. When she bought a dining table, she started wearing evening gowns to dine on her long table by herself, surrounded by the subtle moulding on her walls — quiet lines that marked their presence and brought a sense of history to her apartment.
She did not have that many pieces of furniture then, so she placed her handbags all over the apartment, as museums would fill an empty space with a show piece that would centre a room and determine the time of the world.
Story credit: Elie Saab.