She was one of the most incredible tapestries I’d ever seen. She told the story of a group of men and women frolicking naked among the hydrangea in a sunny French garden. Three feet wide and half as tall, her colors had long ago faded, her edges were worn and her threads were bare in some places. An all but invisible stain had invaded her lower quadrant. Oh, she was so beautiful.
And so expensive! My breath caught in my throat momentarily as I glanced at her price tag. I hoped that just this once the antique dealer — known for his stubbornness — would see in my eyes the love I had for her, take pity on my limited budget and come down a bit on her price.
Oh well, it was a nice thought.
So I waited. I wasn’t concerned; I had plenty of time. To a collector, she wasn’t the greatest specimen; no one would want her but me. If she hung there on the wall long enough …
Each time I visited — anticipating her inevitable mark-down — I pondered. Where had she traveled and what adventures had she experienced before she arrived here? On what arguments had she eavesdropped? From what lovers had she averted her eyes? What secrets were her remaining threads aching to whisper in my ear?
And I waited. Surely after so many months with her taking up valuable space, the mule-headed shopkeeper would want to hang something more exciting and easily moved. And I would see a reduced price.
She was absolutely perfect for my foyer — in fact, I’d already cleared a space for her above the hall table who’d love her company. She would be the queen of my castle — greeting our guests graciously as they entered — smiling warmly to let them know how much we welcomed their presence.
Finally, I’d waited long enough. It became clear that the old man planted firmly between me and this tapestry I so loved would remain so. It was time I made a move. Yes, she was going to cost a little more than I was comfortable sacrificing. But I wanted in my life this beauty who so lightened my step and made me smile. It was a price I was now willing to pay.
So I swallowed hard, grabbed my checkbook and off to the little shop I went. My heart danced as I anticipated holding her in my arms and taking her home. The bell above the door laughed more enthusiastically than with its usual lighthearted tinkle as I burst through, racing to her wall …
… and she was gone.