Reflective Kintsugi


elaine3_icon.gif ella3_icon.gif

Scene Title Reflective Kintsugi
Synopsis Can splendor be returned to a thing once beautiful, now broken?
Date January 27, 2021

Cresting Wave Apartments: Elaine Darrow's Residence

The perk of having co-workers with teenage children is that when Elaine needs an extra hand in the kitchen, it's not hard to recruit someone down the hall with the promise of food. Particularly a wealth of cupcakes and the promise of being able to take a dozen home. That and it's likely that Elaine simply likes having company.

The smell of chocolate from the oven fills her kitchen, one of the ovens already filled with a tray of baking cupcakes while she adds cream cheese to the mixer as she prepares the frosting. "You know, bake sales are legitimately one of my favorite ways of contributing to schools and charities. I'm always baking in the first place to deal with stress and actually getting to make use of my ridiculous amount of baked goods actually feels like I'm doing this for more than just me."

“It does always smell good when I walk past your door,” ‘Ella Damaris admits with a small smile. “And I love the cookies you leave out for me when I’m watching ‘Inger for you.” She chuckles, shoulders hunching up as she admits a little guiltily, “I packaged up half ot the last batch and gave them to my girlfriend. She was super happy, so thanks for that.”

The teeanger licks batter off the end of the spatula she’s just used to scoop more batter into the trays. Immediately, she takes it to the sink to wash it. They need to use it again, after all. This is her third time doing it. “Mom and I have always done the bake sale thing. I mean, when she can. We did some for New Year’s, and she started trying new things with Mémé’s recipes. It’s not like her to go off script like that, but it’s kind of fun, actually!”

‘Ella grins and sets the newly washed kitchen instrument in the dish rack to dry. However, they’re going to need it sooner or later, so she starts opening drawers to find a dish towel. It’s not the first drawer. Not the second. Third time seems to be the charm, as she procures a folded piece of cloth.

Only it has heft to it. ‘Ella lays it out on the counter with a puzzled expression. “Hey, Ms Darrow? I’m not trying to snoop, but I thought this was the drying towel.” Her first clue that it was not that should have been that she found it in the utility drawer of all places. “What is it?” The wavy-haired girl hasn’t even touched a single edge to begin unwrapping it.

“If I had known your girlfriend was such a fan of the cookies, I’d have made more to send with you,” Elaine says with a grin, only half looking over her shoulder as she listens. “It’s good to see your mom getting a little adventurous. Sometimes it’s good to.”

It seems, though, that ‘Ella has found something and the redhead turns with a puzzled glance to see what it was that had been discovered. Her eyes move to the utility drawer, the mildly surprised look on her face indicating that she had forgotten that was where she had bundled up it.

“Oh, sorry about that… careful, there’s glass.” Elaine pauses as she stares at the cloth for a moment, then smiles wryly as she looks back to ‘Ella. “A strange thing to keep, I know, but there’s always a part of me that remains sentimental. I don’t have much of anything from when I was younger, so when I get emotionally attached to something it’s hard to let it go.”

She nods towards the towel. “You can have a peek if you’d like, just be mindful of the sharp edges. It’s what’s left of a mirror I had been looking into at work. It unfortunately shattered, old mirrors tend to easily, but I kept everything that was remotely solid. It meant a lot to me personally and I wish I could have done more to save it.”

Oh so carefully, ‘Ella begins to peel back the edges of the cloth so she can see the shards of mirrored glass. “This must’ve been beautiful,” she laments. “I don’t think it’s strange to want to keep it at all. I keep broken stuff sometimes. I had a Barbie where the head wouldn’t stay on for years.” She smiles a little sheepishly. Somehow, the teenager feels comfortable revealing this fact to Elaine.

“It was,” Elaine laments, taking a peek at the shards herself. “An old and special mirror, something I would have loved to see on display. It’s a bit hard to display now, though I’m sure the drawer admires it daily.”

There’s a hint of a smile at her words as Elaine looks at the pieces, a sliver of her reflection caught in it. “Did you ever try to glue the Barbie’s head back on? I know it wouldn’t be the same because you wouldn’t have been able to turn it, but at least there wouldn’t be any impromptu Headless Horseman re-enactments.”

“I had a bad habit of carrying her around by the hair,” ‘Ella admits of her doll. “Never took real well.” Leaning over, she examines her distorted reflection in the mirror’s shards curiously. “You know, if it was so special, like historically, I bet my mom would add it to her collection up in her office.”

Shrugging, she grants, “If you wanted someone other than the drawer to admire it, I mean.”

“It’s an old mirror, but not terribly historically significant,” Elaine says, carefully retrieving a piece to turn over in her hands, making sure not to cut herself in the process. She treats it as if she were afraid it might shatter further. “It probably means more to me at this point than it would to most anyone else.”

The redhead smiles in ‘Ella’s direction. “It’s a bit hard to explain, but it reminds me of my mother. I lost her a long time ago and I’ve never really had anything to keep of hers.. so this makes me a little sentimental. Which is why it’s sitting in my kitchen drawer instead of somewhere else. Not that it wouldn’t look lovely in your mother’s office. It would also be a bit hard to display while in pieces.”

“Even the Shards of Narsil look pretty in a case,” ‘Ella posits, nudging toward Elaine, but letting her elbow find only air just before the woman’s arm. She doesn’t want to risk a fumble and causing further damage to this mirror that means so much to her. “That’s, uh, that’s a sword from The Lord of the Rings,” she feels the need to explain. “My ex-boyfriend, Lane, we watched the extended edition one night. Like, actually watched it. All Netflix, no chill.” Who even does that?

The teenager, easily moving on from the topic as if she hadn’t just alluded to something Elaine should maybe express to her mother as a concern, frowns thoughtfully as the glass. “What if we put it back together? You’ve gotta be familiar with Kintsugi, right?”

There's an honest smile at 'Ella's admission. "The extended edition is incredibly long," Elaine notes. "It's pretty cool you managed to remember the name of a sword. That's a very specific detail." She glances at the mirror shards, then glances towards the teenager with a bit of a surprised look at the mention of Kintsugi.

"Of course, I've handled a lot of it over time, certainly had a few pieces come across my desk. But a mirror… I've never thought of trying to piece it back together like that. I know I'm incredibly lucky that a lot of it broke in larger pieces and not in tiny slivers of glass, so I imagine you could puzzle piece them all back together. But it's a big project."

“You’ve got that right.” Cheeks puffing out with an exhalation, ‘Ella nods in agreement regarding the length of the trilogy of movies. “I don’t know. I liked the bit about putting the sword back together. It stuck out to me. I thought the elves were cool.” She shrugs her shoulders. “They’re kind’a cute. I mean, have you looked at Arwen? Damn.

The young woman clears her throat quickly. Back to the matter at hand! “Sure, it’ll be a lot, but if it works, it’ll be great, right?” ‘Ella offers a big grin. “And besides, we can both benefit from it, if you’re the type who needs to feel like I’m getting something out of helping you.” She’s been around her mother long enough to know the type. “I can help you put your mirror back together and you can sign off on it as an extra credit project for my Japanese cultural studies. It’ll look amazing on my college applications.”

That brings her to dip her head a little, looking at Elaine from under the arch of her dark brows, her smile small and hopeful. “What do you say, Ms Darrow?”

Elaine laughs, giving 'Ella a big grin in return. "Elves are definitely an aesthetic I admire. Everything is so flowy and pretty and elegant. I think I'd be a good elf if I ever had reason to dress as one." Not that she's ever contemplated that more than once. Never. There are, however, more important matters at hand.

"Alright, I can get behind a little extra credit. It might be a little difficult to figure out how to actually keep the pieces all together, but I've still got the frame in my closet. It didn't break, so we've got the borders of our puzzle done there. We just need to somehow fill in all the gaps. I hope you're prepared for a lot of work and probably a lot of research to see what materials actually hold glass together well. I'm not entirely sure we want to actually use gold in this case."

‘Ella doesn’t respond to the notion of Elaine as an elf beyond unsuccessfully suppressing a smile. She happily segues into the next topic. “I’m not afraid of hard work. I come from good stock on that front,” she insists with a fuller smile this time. “I’ll do my research. If we need to, we can set out the frame in my apartment. I’ve got tons of space, and no ‘Inger to worry about getting hurt.”

As if on cue, the calico persian wanders into the room and lets out a soft mew sound before rubbing up against Elaine’s ankle affectionately.

Elaine grins. "You're correct about the good stock. Your mother has always been a hard worker. Too hard sometimes," she notes before looking down at the cat. "Moving the frame to your place does seem wise, though I'm more worried about 'Inger moving about pieces not yet secured rather than being hurt. Either situation, though, does make for a problem."

She bends down to pet the squish-faced cat. "The bonus of having it with you is that you can patch together pieces of it even when I'm swamped at work." There's a sly grin, though it's less likely a reflection of dumping work on 'Ella but the tired look after seems to be evidence of it being a relief having another pair of hands on the project.

“I always keep my room clean, so I’ve got plenty of space in there, even if Mom says I can’t have it out in the living room.” ‘Ella assures brightly. Then, she leans in conspiratorially, stage whispering, “Mom will definitely say I can have it out in the living room.”

A timer on the stove goes off to let them both know that the cupcakes in the oven are ready to come out. “Oh!” the teenager exclaims, a small smile on her face that manages to somehow look sheepish and impish at the same time. “One project at a time, ne?” With care, they set the pieces of the mirror aside where they can later be packaged up with the rest of it and moved to the Damaris home.

Grabbing mitts while Elaine handles the mixer, ‘Ella retrieves the batch of muffins from the oven and shifts the topic from art to gossip. “Did you hear? Mom actually went on a date last month…”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License