First coat of paint done. She stood back and looked at the wall. And laughed.
It actually seemed to highlight the spot instead of camouflage it. She could still clearly see the outline of the old china cabinet. Well a few more coats of paint should do it, after all that spot had a lot of catching up to do.
The cabinet had been so heavy and so big that they had decided it was easier to paint around it over the years. There was no where else it could go in their small, we'll just stay here until we have kids, until the kids are out of elementary school, middle school, high school, place. The plain beige wall that greeted her when the cabinet was finally gone was a surprise. She had forgotten what color it had originally been.
That section of wall had missed the first application of slate blue that it was now wearing. And the sage green. And the fiesta orange. And the mauve that she had loved so much in the mid 80s until the morning she woke up and hated it and they had to paint the whole house NOW...what was it that time? Seafoam? She couldn't even remember anymore. But all of those coats of paint were on the walls; one layer over another. And primer for those very bold choices. Except for the china cabinet shaped space she was now looking at.
She had sanded the edges of the painted area down before starting. There had been so much paint there had been a ridge. A clear line of before and now. She had thought that would take care of it. That a smooth transition from one to the other would be enough once a fresh coat of paint went up. But no such luck. Now she had a lighter colored blue patch of wall shaped just like a china cabinet.
For a second she thought about running to Home Depot and buying some drawer pulls and attaching them to the wall. Making it an art piece. She loved the idea for a little while, until like the mauve paint she hated it. A shadow of a former life. That's all it would be. A reminder of what was here but now is gone.
She would not get maudlin over this.
What a great word. Maudlin. Were women named Madeline more likely to get maudlin? She giggled to herself.
Okay, time to open a window. The paint fumes must be thicker than she thought.
She sat outside on the porch and drank a Coke. How long to wait between coats of paint? She checked her phone. Google says an hour. Wow. That's not too bad. Didn't it take longer before? It used to take a day at least, right? Longer before you could just move on. Pretend like the cabinet was never there.
When the movers had come to take that piece and the others away he had stood at the door to what used to be his house, waiting to be asked in. She had stood behind him. A younger version of what he already had. Hair still red without the dye assist. Face still smooth even in natural light. Directing the movers with what they were taking. Taking things that didn't belong to her.
When the cabinet was moved and the bare wall stood out one of the moving guys had whistled, "Look at that, it's like a shadow."
She had smiled sweetly, "Yes, like a shadow. But don't worry, nothing that a few coats of paint and a little time won't fix. Soon you'll never even see the difference."
She finished her Coke and walked back inside. Time for another round.
Looking at the room she noticed how much bigger it looked with that heavy old piece.