Kettle

Moving to the rain drenched city with its endless sea of grey skies and perpetual dripping had not been her idea. Far from it. This was not how she imagined their first year of wedlock.
At first, she had hope that the rain would stop, the clouds would clear up and she would be dry again. The morning of the third month she realized that those hopes were all for naught. That was the day she began wandering from room to room in their small apartment. All day she walked, one foot in front of the other from bedroom to kitchen to living room and back. In seven months she made 2,968, 0013 steps around those three rooms. She knew because the fitness band he bought her as encouragement to do something besides stay in the apartment informed her of that fact. He often joked that she had worn ruts in the old wooden floorboards and one day she would fall through the thin planks into the apartment below. Though he joked, his concern was genuine. Not about the ruts, but about her refusal to do anything else. It had been 63 days since she last set foot outside, according to the tally he kept on the calendar. That was the day she decided she would no longer go grocery shopping. Shortly after that she stopped cooking. He tried prompting, encouraging, begging, bribing, insisting and even yelling, but she flat-out refused to go out in the rain. She got out of bed every morning, she told him, what else did he want?
One day in April, when dampness hung heavy throughout the house, she decided to make tea to ease the chill from her body. Most days she loathed tea or anything wet, for that matter. The frequency of her showers had diminished significantly to the point that he often had to ask her to take them. Even then it might be a few days before she acquiesced and went through the three-minute ordeal.
kettle rain She set the kettle on the stove and turned on the gas. The flames crackled to life, setting the pot to gurgling as it warmed. For a moment, she stood at the porch door to stare out at the clouds shifting over the city. Though her eyes saw, her brain hardly registered the movement. After a brief pause, she turned away, making several more circuits around the apartment. She was in the bedroom when the kettle began to whistle. The shrillness grated against her ears, by now completely accustomed to the subtle nuances of near silence. Her pace quickened, hastening her to the door between the bedroom and the kitchen.
kettle sunshinecroppedIn the doorway she stopped, unable to move as her eyes took in the faded wallpaper and the porch doors at the end. Sunlight, golden, warm sunlight spilled in through the doors, blanching the almost brown wallpaper white. It glimmered off the kettle, turning the tarnished silver gold.
When he returned home a while later, she was still mid-step in the doorway, the kettle still whistling and now spitting boiling water into the flames below.
What is going on?
Look, she whispered. Look.
What? He moved toward the stove.
No. Stop. Look.
I don’t see anything, he said.
Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? She nodded slightly at the stove.
It’s a teapot, he said gently.
It made the sun shine, she said. Sun. Shine. Sunshine. sun kettle

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