Fabienne Schwartz

The Hours - Laura

Laura Brown, The Hours by Michael Cunningham


A young man approaches the front door of a building. He seems nervous and looks always over his shoulders. Undecided he walks to the door and rings the bell. No one is coming out. He rings it again. After another two minute waiting in front of the door he makes sure no one is around, takes a tool out of his backpack and breaks open the door. Within seconds he is in the building and closes the door after him.

He has been in this place many times when he was young. The woman living there, Mrs Aberdeen, used to make tea parties on which his mother was invited and he reluctantly had to go with her. The thought of this past afternoons made him feel unease and when looking around the lobby with the blue wardrobe full off very expansive coats he felt thrown back in the past. These parties were always very boring for a young boy as he was and he hated it. Mrs Aberdeen who was always dressed very nicely, would, after welcoming all the guest in the lobby, gather them together in the middle of the room before opening the door to the space where the tea was served. She would always make a spectacle out of it so everyone was gazing when she opened ceremonially the two doors and presents the nicely covered tables with tea and extravagant cookies and tarts and after a short pause of amazement and a lot of compliment to the host the guests would enter the room.

Now it was the young man opening the two doors very silently and enters the high octagonal space. He felt suddenly very small and shudders. Again he had to think back of these boring afternoon when the parents were drinking tea and talk about superficial stuff and he just sitting there and looking out the window waiting to go home.

With light steps he crosses the room and begins to search through all the wardrobes and would put things he find valuable in a bag. He reaches the last wardrobe and surprisingly finds a small room attached to it. There was a step going down and it looked like a small cellar. It was very dark and a little bit chaotic. There were just some domestic applicants leaning to its blue walls and cardboard boxes. No space to keep valuable stuff. He was just to leave this strange room, which did not fit to Mrs Aberdeen at all, when seeing a small light stripe on the very bottom left to him. He approaches it and finds a door handle. Gently he turns the round door knob and very slowly opens it without having any idea what could be behind. First it was just very bright but as soon as his eyes adapt to the light a very big and open space expects him. It is surrounded by windows, full of flowers and plants. But then he suddenly winced at a noise coming from the octagonal space. Panicky he closes the door and glances through the door cleavage into the bright octagonal space looking where the noise was coming from. His heart was beating so hard, he was afraid anyone could hear it. After a short time of searching he relieved breathes out. There was just a confused dove, carrying a letter around his leg, flittering at the very top of the room, trying to escape through one of the small windows on the top. He needed a moment to stomach the shock. He knows that it was time now to leave, he had already been too long inside the building, but the curiosity was too big. He again went to the door leading to the winter garden and stepped inside. Why would Mrs Aberdeen never show this room to her guest? He walked around the many pots and looked at the shelves full of old nice books and paintings on the wall and forgot about time and why he came to this place. The winter garden pointed towards a beautiful garden. He didn’t know of its existence, even though he lives nearby. But after some minutes of discovery all the nice things in the winter garden he got thrown back into present when hearing voices coming from the entrance. Panicky he swings his backpack on his shoulders and runs through the door right into the secret garden.