Margaret's husband, George, stayed in the garage for long periods, and it made no sense to her. She never encroached on his space, but this was getting odd. One day, she got her daughter to distract him and went to look. However, she never expected to find something so startling.
"I'm going to the garage, sweetheart," George told Margaret, who was in the kitchen cleaning up their dinner.
"You've been in there all day. What are you doing?" she asked, wiping her hands with a dishtowel and watching her husband in curiosity.
Margaret asked her husband what he was doing in the garage. | Source: Pexels
"Oh, I'm working on the car, and it takes some time to keep it in top shape. I'm also fixing some things up and thinking about building some new shelves for my tools. You know, man stuff." He played it off as nothing and again entered the garage.
Margaret put her hands on her waist and contemplated this situation. Their household was somewhat traditional. She cooked and cleaned while he did gardening, repairing, and maintenance on the house. It worked for them, and she never encroached on his space, believing that every man needs to have his own spot in the house.
However, George had been staying in the garage for days and came out only to eat. He never had grease on his hands or any proof that he was working on their cars. It seemed odd to her that he had found this new fixation for mechanics or shelf-building.
Perhaps, it was the fact that they didn't live near their family. Their only daughter, Cynthia, lived in California while they missed her back in Utah. But that was part of life. Cynthia had been gone for many years by then. She now had a husband and a baby daughter. It couldn't be empty-nest syndrome because their nest had been that way for many years.
Margaret got Cynthia to video chat with them. | Source: Pexels
What's going on? she asked herself but didn't know what to do. She let it go for the night and cleaned the rest of the kitchen.
A few days later, Margaret had had enough. She needed to sneak into the garage and discover the truth. But George was always around, so she devised a plan with her daughter. Cynthia was going to video chat with them and show them the baby. That should be enough distraction for her to peek into his manly sanctum and check things out quickly.
When Cynthia finally called, Margaret shouted for her husband to come to the kitchen. The laptop was on the table. "George! Cynthia is calling! Come here!"
George exited the garage immediately and sat down next to his wife to speak to their daughter. She told them all about the baby and her life.
"I have to go for a second. Excuse me," Margaret said, standing up from the table. "I'll be right back."
Everything was orderly, and it didn't make sense to her. | Source: Pexels
She walked away from George and checked to see if he was still distracted. Then she exited the house and went to the garage.
Surprisingly, everything was in perfect order. There was no evidence of shelf-building, and the car hood was in place. The tools were ideally stored, and there was no mess at all. It didn't make sense. If George had been working there all day, things would be lying around. Maybe some grease or oil. But there was nothing.
She walked around the garage and crossed her arms, trying to think deeply about this situation. She had to be quick.
Suddenly, she leaned back towards the wall and couldn't believe what happened next. A secret door opened up. What? Is this new? Was this always here? she asked herself as she entered.
It was utterly dark, but she searched for a light switch and found it quickly at the side. There was a stool inside and something surprising: an easel.
There was an easel with a canvas in the room. | Source: Unsplash
She saw a canvas poised on top, and there was work in progress. Off to the side, she saw several photographs of their family stuck to a corkscrew board on the wall. There were painting materials on the floor, including a mixing palette and several brushes.
"George can paint?" she muttered without thinking.
A voice suddenly startled her. "What are you doing here?"
She turned around, holding her chest from the fright, and breathed rapidly. "Jesus! You scared me!"
"Margaret…" he scolded gently, placing his hands on his waist. But there was a smile to his tone. "I wanted this to be a surprise!"
"What are doing in here? I didn't even know this room existed," she questioned, looking around. He gestured for her to come close to the canvas.
George explained why he was painting. | Source: Pexels
"It's been here since we moved in. Although I admit, it's hard to find the door if you don't know where to look. Anyway, I took a painting class when I was a little boy, but I forgot all about it. I've been thinking lately that we don't have a family portrait at all, especially with our granddaughter. So I was thinking of mixing this picture of us with this picture that Cynthia sent," he explained, gesturing towards the wall.
"Wow! That's such a sweet idea!" she gushed.
"Yeah, but it was supposed to be a gift," he retorted laughing.
"I'm so sorry, darling. I got worried that you were spending so much time in here."
"I've actually had to start over several times, but this time, it's coming along pretty nicely," he continued. "I was also careful to clean my hands with a cloth to avoid raising your suspicions, but I guess you got suspicious either way."
"Yes, I did. But this is heavenly. Carry on!"
He finished the painting and revealed it when Cynthia came to visit. | Source: Pexels
George completed the painting a few days later and revealed it during one of Cynthia's rare visits. They also took an actual picture of the family to keep for posterity. After a few years, the couple decided to move closer to Cynthia so they could be there for their granddaughter's every milestone.
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