The Last Painting
“The day is getting darker by the second. Light a few more candles, shall we?”
“No! The colors are almost perfect at this time of the day.”
The colors weren’t perfect; she was!
“My husband must be furious with me.”
“Because I paint you? Doesn’t he know that I am a professional and my collection of art needs you?”
“Yes and yes! But, you’ve painted me as seven different goddesses! Soon, you’ll immortalize me.”
It wasn’t routine for him! He had to immortalize her for the forthcoming generations. She wasn’t a gift for his people to savor. She was a song, waiting to be echoed through ages.
“Tell me, which one is your favorite? Andromeda?”
Aphrodite, Artemis, Andromeda, Hera, Athena, Venus, and Gaia were the seven goddesses she had been painted as and yet he wasn’t done! For what is the worth of a goddess who is bound merely by the strokes of a brush?
“I want to paint you naked.”
“Yes, without a shred of a cover on your body.”
“I want to immortalize you in a way the gods want me to. You weren’t supposed to be painted as someone else. You don’t need a shadow to walk behind. You are the light without a shadow. Look at that hair flowing like the sweetest of red wines and that pale white beautiful skin. I want to paint you in just those two colors.”
Crown-less she was and still the queen.
“You have the audacity to say that to my face?”
“The anarchy running in my veins dares to say that. Your marriage bonds prevent you from doing such an act. Shameless, isn’t it what they would call you? I want to release you from these bonds. Imagine how it would be like to be free; to be a goddess.”
The idea seemed fascinating to her. It was getting darker by the second and she had to make a choice. A loyal woman with ethics or a goddess? The thought of being painted as a goddess brought a smile to her face. And then there was no more darkness.
“You’re like Leonardo Da Vinci, except the fact that you’re obsessed with just one woman. Do you know what his best piece of work was?”
“Mona Lisa.” “Exactly, a woman he had never seen. He painted her from his fantasy. And she wasn’t naked. Why don’t you do something like that?”
Da Vinci couldn’t have been obsessed with a woman. He had never met a goddess.
“But you’re not a fantasy, you’re a dream.” His voice echoed through the walls. For her, there was no difference. She missed the fact that one has some control over his fantasies, but dreams; dreams are the outlaws. He looked at her for a long moment. If only, she were his to worship.
“The world is an illusion, I see it now. The only real thing is your beauty. The truth is that your beauty is mine to paint.”
“And the truth will consume me someday and I will end up with you, but not in this life. So, why do you still pursue me?”
“The same reason why Adolf Hitler wanted to be a God. The idea of possessing the one impossible dream is too beautiful to give up.” His existence was confined to a life without a promise. Her beauty was the only thing without a confinement.
“Do you remember what I told you the first time we met?” he asked, without losing a stare.
“Yes, something about painting the soul of the world.”
“But we both knew that I always wanted to paint you.”
She removed her robes, threw them into the fireplace, walked out from the dark, and into the world of immortals.
“Isn’t she beautiful, like the offspring of some goddess?” they ask now when they look at her painting. Written beneath her painting, is his final message to the world about her- ‘Beauty isn’t inherited, it’s won! She wins every day!’
Image Source: flickr.com