In the book “In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper”, by Lawrence Block, he writes in the Introduction that there was supposed to be an additional story along with the ones published, but the Author couldn’t deliver his story on time, “and so, Gentle Reader, we’ve provided you with an eighteenth painting, and isn’t it a compelling one? Have a look at it, take it in. There’s a story in it, don’t you think? A story just waiting to be told . . . Feel free to tell it.”
This is the painting, “Cape Cod Morning”, by Edward Hopper:
And this is my story, “Cape Cod Morning – A Story”
“Do you think it might rain today?”, asked Alice looking outside the window. It seemed a wishful thinking. The sun was high and strong in the sky, making the grass that grew all around the house seem even more golden than it already appeared.
“Rain? Does it look like a rainy day to you?”, May answered, from the other side of the room. “Why, anyway? Do you want a storm so you won’t have to go out with me?”
“It’s not you that I don’t want to go out with”, replied Alice, still looking outside, as if searching for something, waiting for something.
She loved that part of the house, that window. She would sit there for hours, reading a book, or just staring outside at the infinite sea of golden grass, or at the nearby wood’s confines. She always found that wood fascinating. So close, yet so far away. You couldn’t see past the first line of trees, and beyond that, it was like the color black had absorbed everything.
“Hello? Are you still here?”, May asked. Once again, Alice went somewhere else.
“I’d rather stay here, just you and I, you know”, Alice’s tone was soft, almost a whisper.
“Come on, you need to see the outside world from time to time. You need to meet people. You know I love staying here with you, but how can a day out hurt?”. May smiled and took Alice’s hand, “and besides, at the end, we always come back here, just you and I.
Alice smiled. She wished it could always be just her and May. And the house. Their house. Protected by the wood and the golden sea.
“Just a few hours, do it for me?”. How could she say no to her most important person, to her world, her salvation? May was everything she had hoped for in life.
Sometimes, while sitting in front of her favorite window, Alice would think about how her life changed since she met May, and since they moved in the old house.
Before that, it was as if her life had been on hold, waiting to take a path, any path. She was stalling, she wasn’t living. She felt alone, she felt like she couldn’t tell what was in her heart, to anybody. Until she met May. In a bookstore, of all places. Alice’s favorite. May worked there since a few days when she helped Alice find a book. And as she would find out later, much, much more than a book. She helped her find herself again. From that day, their lives changed. It became just one life, their life.
Alice was jealous of every single second she could spend with May.
She was like their white house: strong, solid. She was everything Alice wasn’t; she felt she was more like that wood right beside their house. You never knew where her thoughts could end, you couldn’t see past her surface. She was inaccessible to everyone. Everyone but May.
Alice kept May’s hand in her hand and finally gave up: “Fine, you win… but you pay!”. May kissed her temple.
Alice gave one more look outside the window before following her out of the room. She’d be back here tonight, on her cozy sofa, watching the sun going to sleep with May at her side, a book in her hands, reading for her until they would both be too tired to keep their eyes open.
And the wood and the golden sea would always be there to guard them.