#AtoZChallenge – Flash fiction based on life’s philosophy or mood or emotions, interpreted using colours.
He took the last step up the valley and reached the cottage where he was told the artist lived. Oblivious to the breeze caressing the pine trees, the sun shrouding the valley in orange-gold hue, his eyes searched for her and only her. But the finished and semi-finished sculptures lined on the paved path distracted him—reminding him of the workshop back home, the shared moments. He traced a finger on one of the figurines’ curves, her inner struggle apparent in the artefact.
To his surprise it was made of plaster-of-paris instead of porcelain. Had she begun to create with the new material? It would be hard since plaster-of-paris dried faster, but she could do it. She was the best, he knew, before anyone else did.
A faint rustling noise guided him to the back of the cottage and there she was—working on the wheel, the mud clinging lovingly to her arms, guided expertly by her skilled hands. Her face, calm and serene like a tranquil lake, but soul was an artist’s—moody, temperamental. A stray lock of hair clung doggedly to her sweating cheek despite her repeated attempts to pull it aside with her shoulder. He took a step closer, yearning to take her into his arms, to push aside that errant curl of hair disturbing her concentration. Something smashed near his foot, startled she looked up. The unfinished raw piece crumbled as her arms fell sideways.
Her heart had leapt in her throat and she could just stare at him. How did he find her? Was the distance she had kept between them not big enough? Why did he seek her out now, after so many years? She wanted to throw her arms around him and cry her suffering out. Misery due to the separation she herself had brought on them. He had aged a bit in the past five years. They both had. The fine lines around his eyes had added depth to his personality.
“Why?” His whispered anguish was in rhythm with her own torment.
“I didn’t want you to choose between the two of us.”
“You had always been impatient. You both could have co-existed.”
“It wouldn’t have been good for all of us.”
“Were these five years good for you?”
She silently watched the mud drying on her hands and couldn’t control trembling of her lips. A tear fell down on her hands in silent acceptance of her decision being wrong. Five years wasted.
He stepped forward and put the familiar turquoise ring on her finger. “This would bring you peace you crave.”
“I need only you.” She slipped her hand around his neck and sealed her promise.
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