Theo takes his inspiration from his local environment and the painting Cafe At Night depicts the exterior of a popular and trendy restaurant and bar in Larnaca, the Art Cafe 1900. As with many of Theo's paintings it was the effect of light and shade that attracted him to this cafe style scene.
From time to time Theo's paintings have inspired short stories from his customers, and here is one by Neil Smith that he would like to share with you for his painting Cafe At Night:
Henry’s watch ticked, time was getting short. If this didn’t happen soon, it would all be over. All that time and it might all be in vain.
He dropped the top of his newspaper just enough to look over, the couple at the next table didn’t notice, just continued with their conversation. So far, they had discussed the weather, the wine and the whereabouts of her favourite handkerchief. He listened to them, hoping to hear something, that one thing that would justify his time, but he feared that it was not going to happen.
The waiter brought the couple a second bottle of wine. She laughed — a joke that he missed, maybe? Or just a passing thought? He may never know, but it made him refocus, listening carefully.
The lady took a large gulp of the wine, a deep breath. Could this be it? Could this be the moment? Henry tried not to lean forward but his body betrayed him. He covered it by reaching for his own glass, he needn’t have bothered as neither party even noticed him.
She steadied herself, then spoke. “Honey? I need to tell you something.”
The man looked at her, suddenly concerned. “What is it? Are you OK?”
“Yes, I’m fine. It’s just… Just that…”, she tailed off. Took another drink, her hands were shaking. “It’s just that I wanted to tell you that I had…”
“What is it? What’s going on?”, his voice cracked with fear.
She looked him in the eyes. At the next table, Henry leaned forward, all worry of being discovered, gone. The couple concerned only with each other. And then, she spoke. This was what he was waiting for.
“I wanted to tell you that I had some doubts. I even considered leaving but then I realised that you are the one person in my life that I truly love and I know that you are the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.” Tears rolled down her face as she said the words aloud.
The man smiled at her, warm and loving, “It’s OK, everyone has a wobble just before they get married.”
Unseen by both, Henry stood up, pulled a small, white square of fabric from his inside pocket, kissed it gently and walked past the couple as they kissed. He silently dropped the handkerchief in the woman’s open bag and walked off into the night.
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