“Penny for your thoughts, Darling?” April asked, softly.
“I was just thinking about my Mum,” Mark told her. “The trees reminded me of something, that’s all.”
“Care to share?”
“Sure, let’s grab a coffee.”
By pure chance, the pair had found themselves near to the world-famous Du Monde coffee stand, so had quickly procured themselves a café au lait apiece, and a table. On a tip she’d received from Illya, April also bought them a beignet each.
“So why did the trees remind you of your mother?” April prompted, as she took a sip of coffee.
“We were bombed out during the war,” Mark began, “And, like thousands of others, we ended up in a prefabricated house. There was obviously a massive housing shortage and they were cheap and quick to put up. Mum hated it and always referred to it ‘The Glorified Shed’. She lived in it up until five years ago, when she was able to finally have a brick-built house.”
“I’m guessing you helped a little with that.”
Mark nodded. His father had been killed in action, and from that moment, Mark had decided that it was his job to take care of his Mum. As a child, there had been little he could do, but things were different now. He was earning a decent wage with U.N.C.L.E. so was able to save enough to put down a deposit on a mortgage.
“As soon as Mum moved in she went on a mad decorating spree,” he continued, with a wide smile. “She wanted the very best, and insisted that the walls were to look clean and uncluttered. That way, she could use the soft furnishings to show off her colour choices. Every single wall in every single room was painted the same colour. It was a sort of off-white, which I was later told was called magnolia.”
“The colours of the flowers on the trees,” said April.
It didn’t surprise her at all that Mark had bought his Mum a house. He was that sort of man.