Morning Sun Edward Hopper (1952)
She sat on the bed, the morning sun a spotlight on her natural form. Accentuating the tone of her skin, the line of her curved legs as she lost herself in the cityscape framed in the window. She could spend hours watching the skyline, industry and nature intertwined as she watched the birds soaring on the wind above the buildings, negotiating the wires and aerials of modern society. She moved only to reach for a cigarette from the bedside table, her nightdress rising above her thighs almost translucent in the sunlight.
As he watched from the shadow of the doorway he contemplated her thoughts. She seemed so comfortable, so at peace, framed by the sunlight. At that moment his heart swelled full of love for her and yet he could hear that voice telling him it wouldn’t last. He was not enough for her. It is true she had been distracted recently; she had been working long hours and bringing it home with her. When he asked what was wrong work was the go to answer but he couldn’t help feeling it was more than that. She didn’t laugh like she used to, no topic of conversation could engage her fully and he could not get passed the fortress she had constructed. Whilst watching her, a mug of steaming coffee in his hand, all his concerns fell away and he let himself become immersed in her. For a moment she was how he remembered her; simple, elegant, beautiful in the morning sun and yet he couldn’t help thinking she looked sad.
She knew he was at the door, standing his post. She could feel his eyes upon her. Thinking about it she could not remember a time when she had turned around and he had not been there, looking over her shoulder, checking up on her, acting more like a concerned parent than a lover. Most of the time she enjoyed the comfort that came with his proximity, the security and protection but there could be such a thing as too much time together.
She knew she’d been distracted lately. She knew he didn’t deserve the way she was treating him and yet she could not find the words to make it right so instead she let him watch her knowing that it calmed him. This was her compromise she realised as the smoke of her cigarette passed out through the window enjoying the freedom she longed for.
“Where are you right now?” His voice cut through the silence, woke her from the nothingness and enveloped her in a warmth that she had forgotten she could feel. It surprised her that after so many years he could still have this affect on her and yet it took all her energy just to turn her head and give a twitch of her mouth in recognition to his voice. It was enough; he took it as an invitation and slowly made his way from the gloom moving into the light choosing to rest against the wall by the window, extending his cup of coffee as a silent truce. She accepted and as she sipped at the warming drink their eyes found each other, explored each other as strangers are wont to do in those first moments of attraction.
He could have stayed there for the rest of the day. As he stood gazing at her his thoughts moved to days spent in that room; the days when they hadn’t left the bed, the midnight conversations, the arguments, the making up. So many memories... a lifetime in just one room. In that moment he realised there could never be anyone else.
“Now you’ve disappeared too.” She said and for a brief second the sparkle in her eye returned.