Attic / Dusk

First part of an exercise contrasting the same place at different times of day, I didn’t pay much attention to be honest…

The light through the attic windows was fading, and Lana dusted her hands off on her jeans as she went to switch the overhead lamp on. The day might be nearly over, but she was nowhere near done with this sort-out, and she was on a deadline.

She was meant to be sorting into three piles: Keep, Sell, and Throw. She had plenty in each but the fourth pile, Unsure, was giving her a headache and she still had about half of the attic’s contents to go.

Returning to the unsorted section, she pulled down another box and opened the lid.

A noise at the trapdoor made her turn, Jason was climbing through it. The new owner of her great-uncle’s house, he’d contacted the real estate agent when he’d managed to get into the attic and found the hoar. Her parents had guilted her into going through the pile on their behalf.

It did make sense, she was the only one still in the same city, they were hours away, far too long to drive, and she had been closer to Great Uncle Mark (or Gum, as she’d called him) than anyone else.

Jason climbed fully into the room and looked around, taking in the piles, and the pile still to go, “You’ve been at this all day, wouldn’t it be better to give yourself a rest and start up again tomorrow?”

Lana grimaced, “Of course, I’m sorry, I’m banging about up here when you’re trying to wind down. I’ll just…”

Jason forestalled her, “That’s not what I meant at all. It’s just, well, I was shown the house pretty early, before it had been cleared and there were pictures of the two of you everywhere. You were clearly close, and this has to be hard. Don’t feel like you have to rush.”

“Oh but I’m intruding on your home, and you need space to get settled.”

“I’ve moved a lot in the past few years, I’m an old hand at getting settled.”

He crouched beside her and looked into the box she’d opened, “I tell you what, let’s make a deal.”

She looked at him curiously, “What did you have in mind?”

“I’m brand new to this city. I know no one and no where. I also really cannot be bothered cooking tonight. So, if you can recommend a good, easy restaurant or take out, and then join me for a meal, so I can grill you on places to go and things to do, I’ll loan you a key to the house, so you can come and go as you need and take as long as you like.”

She stuttered, taken aback by the offer. Jason continued, “And given tomorrow’s Saturday and I have nothing going on. I’m also going to volunteer my services to fetch and carry these various oddments, but only on the condition you tell me more about your great uncle. Everything I’m seeing here, and saw in the house the first time I came around, makes me wish I could have known him.”

She couldn’t help it, the tears welled up, “Yeah, he was quite a character.”

She wiped her face, then grimaced, she had SO just wiped dust all over. “You have a deal. There’s a great Italian place nearby that delivers and I don’t need the key, but I would love to be allowed to talk about him. My parents always get so uncomfortable whenever I try to talk about him and I need to share him with someone.”

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