Amara’s Room

The room was spacious and shaped like an L, with windows on the two long sides. From what he could see, the furniture was simple, well-made and well-used. A bed, a small table next to it with a lamp and a book, a larger table that seemed to serve as a desk under one of the windows and a tall wardrobe in the corner, trying not to loom. The walls, formed of thick desert stone, were bare, their natural swirls of honey and cream lovely without adornment

It was the colours that turned it into Amara’s space, the way she’d somehow managed to decorate the pristine white curtains all temple bedrooms had, with painted patterns in blues and greens. They danced and swirled in the late afternoon breeze the shutters had been opened to admit.

She’d found a rug for the floor in the same colours, or maybe it had been the other way around.

The bed linen remained plain white. He supposed it was changed every week by the temple’s laundry workers, so she had no chance, or reason, to decorate.

In the little alcove created by the space between the cupboard and the desk, she’d built a cosy nest of cushions and rugs, a gauzy drape of some kind floating down over it from the top of the wardrobe.

He sniffed the air, a hint of spice and sand from outside, blended with the softer scent of something floral. It was one he knew, he breathed it in every time she stood close to him.

A step inside and he could just start to see around the bend of the L, into the second half of the room.

There was a second door at the far end, and, as he moved around the corner and fully into the new area, the wall facing the window proved to be covered in shelves, most given over to books, although some held brightly coloured clay pots, again in blues and greens. When they travelled, as they would surely need to, he would show her the ocean.

At the centre of the shelves, a square was left open to display a carved design on the wall. It looked like a crest of some kind. Something belonging to an ancient and powerful family. Something that had no place in a temple bedroom.

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