“Mind if I open the shutters?” A faint sweaty waft as he edged past Louise: hard times for estate agents everywhere, especially here at the back of beyond. She suspected that he really needed this sale.
“Yes. Let there be light!” The words fell out of her mouth before she could stop them.
“What? What was that?” Louise met his bewildered gaze and gestured with her hand; a “silly me” flapping that seemed to satisfy him. The biblical stuff had got to stop; she’d left it behind, with all the rest.
He tugged at the latch and the light surged in through the wide windows, stencilling bright panels on the long cream wall. Behold, there was light. Outside yesterday’s greyness had bled into a watercolour, wet on wet; pale and luminous.
“It’s beautiful,” she whispered, smiling.
“It’s very light,” he said, smiling back. “This is a unique development, not many old warehouses left untouched. Most of them were pulled down so this is special.”
She looked away from him and down the long sunlit room and wanted to weep at the sense of homecoming. This place was her place, the light was her light. From the window she could see the café’s scarlet sunblind: a brilliant spot of brightness amid the grey stone buildings.
“This was the show flat, you know.” She could hear his worry that the deal might slip away. “Hence the furniture.” An uneasy laugh, followed by: “Of course, you could always rent this place while you make up your mind? Get to know Greyling Bay? In your own time?”
Two hours later she was in. A month’s deposit paid, bags moved in, car in the designated slot. As she turned the key in the door she hesitated; what if the shadows were back?
But no, the long room was flooded with light and she felt a tremulous happiness. Let Andrew look for her; let him find her, even. There was nothing he could do now. She leaned out of the window and snuffed the salt on the air and the words were banner-high in her head again before she could help herself.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.