• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 01
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All You Need

It didn’t take much to take her heart and make it mine. I can’t help myself; I’m a compulsive romantic. She asked about the gloves on the wall, a laugh hiding in her dimples. I rambled through a tumbling story of nonsense, aware she wasn’t listening too closely to me. She glanced over each pair, wondered out loud about the lack of organisation – marigolds sitting between gardening gloves and leather ones. She offered me the single glove she had stuffed in the bottom of her handbag; its partner had disappeared months ago, she said, and she hadn’t bothered to replace them. Under her teasing gaze, I tried to be gracious with my refusal, tried to keep the rules of collection out of my words, tried to be charming to divert her.

It was the self-portrait that dammed up the stream of words pouring from both our mouths. I stepped behind her to get by without blocking her view, turned to watch her face as she stared up at the portrait’s face. Her eyes darted up, down, taking in every broad swipe of the brush that I had used. I waited until she leaned in to examine the paint. I held my breath until the question showed in her eyes, until the refusal to believe creased her forehead, and she turned towards me, her mouth a circle surrounding the question she was about to ask.

By then, I had pulled on the azure woollen gloves I had chosen for her – in honour of her favourite colour. By then, she understood everything. By then, it was too late for her, and her heart was mine.

Another to add to the collection.