The house was mostly dark and outside it was approaching midnight; she could see their reflection in the kitchen window because of the lamps on behind them. Late-night jazz played on the radio at the right volume; it was there, but not overpowering. Not that there was any other sound to compete with the music. She didn’t think she or Adam had said more than a handful of words to each other in the past hour.
They were playing cards at the kitchen table, their half-empty wine glasses sitting next to a completely empty bottle. Dinner had been cleared away long since, the two of them going about the familiar, homey task of cleaning up as comfortably as if they’d been sharing chores for years. Tal took pleasure in this newfound sense of companionship even as she wondered when it had grown up between them. Now, though, she didn’t much care; the silence they shared was natural as breathing, and the darkness outside made the low yellow lamp light indoors feel that much more warm and welcoming.
It reminded her of being young, so young that she was still innocent and happy. She remembered lying awake at night waiting for the house to go to sleep around her, listening to the sounds of her parents talking and drinking, cherishing the adult sounds of clinking glasses and cards being shuffled, the occasional bit of laughter floating back to her where she lay warm and safe in her bed. The memories came to her softly, without their usual bitter aftertaste, and even though part of her mind was busy reliving the few happy moments of her childhood in the distant past, most of her was able to enjoy the present moment even more.
She sighed. It was perfect, and she was happy. She told Adam so, and he smiled at her. “So am I,” he said. She smiled back, and the card game went on.