The day was crisp and bright. It always would be; those warm lights made it look same all the year round. The gallery would have visitors walking casually from one spot to another; posing, staring, gawking and what not.
She looked at the two pair of eyes staring in her direction. She was not intimidated; she was waiting - patiently. The expressions were too subtle for anyone but her to notice. It was a slight shift of eyebrow; tilt of neck; leg shift. She just saw and smiled.
First pair of eyes was actually fixed upon her whereas the second pair of eyes was looking beyond her. She was intrigued to know what was behind her but she could never. It was just words that made her imagine what was behind her. Ah! Yes she felt it too - all the time.
“The artist is gifted” she finally heard first guy’s words of wisdom.
‘Ah! The typical opening sentence’ How she wished to roll her eyes.
“I agree” the second masculine tone responded in consensus.
“I mean look at the scene! What detailing! I can see the grains of sand in the air. The breeze is visible. These sand dunes are radiating the heat of sun. I could feel the heat” the first guy’s intonation was subtle.
‘Could he? He was standing in an air-conditioned space with a soothing music playing in the background.’ The girl wondered.
“I am spell bound by the girl” the second was still staring the girl. “She is completely covered in black. Artist has created magic with his brush strokes.” “Her hair strands; her dress” he was still in there “He conveys such a strong message by making her hold her own hands” He paused to articulate his deep thoughts “She is holding herself together; strong and steady in conditions like this” He sighed “Her smile makes her so desirable.”
The girl wanted to blush; the word ‘desirable’ always tickled her senses.
“I guess it is her smile that makes the entire scene so pleasant” he finally gave his closing statement. The girl wanted to smile more but couldn’t.
“Or maybe it is not so hot in there. The scene is so pleasing that she has a reason to smile” The first guy proposed his theory. All the thoughts paused in her mind for a moment. She wanted …to contradict; to argue; to speak.
She saw them walking away from her. She sighed. It was nothing new; people coming; staring; commenting - all in days work. Even if she wanted, she wouldn't be able to - how could she? She was framed...Literally!
But she waited for a different part of the day. After a long silence and stretch of darkness, she would see a different set of light illuminating the entire gallery. It would be different from the lights that worked when people passed. This was much softer; grainy and yet soothing. It made everything look so different. The cleaning person would wipe, scrub, paint and buff the things around trying to make them look as they should. The sound he made was not very pleasing but her eyes would wander and then would fix on her favorite painting. It was not only hers but most of the visitors favorite as well.
The painting had the bright sun; the green canopy of trees through which the sunlight sieved and reached the colourful flowers budding, flowering and withering away at the same time. Those tiny creatures fluttering above those flowers intrigued her the most. ‘How can it have so many colours…’ her wishes were unsaid; unrealistic and unacknowledged even by herself.
It was something different that morning. She was not sure what. She saw that thing. It was so similar to that painting; the small thing that fluttered over the flowers.
“Here comes a butterfly” cleaning man mumbled.
‘Butterfly’ she repeated. Her eyes followed that butterfly all the way up and down; sideways and far away.
‘So many colours!’ she mumbled again. She saw the butterfly coming towards her. She was not sure if she wanted her to get that close to butterfly. But the butterfly fluttered her wings and she was spellbound; it came and sat so close to her; she was not sure if it was right or not. She looked at the cleaning man who was busy with his work and paid no interest. She was nervous; she was uneasy. Never ever in her life someone has dared to get that close to her.
She finally looked beyond that. She looked at those wings; the colors were magical and then the butterfly moved her wings lightly. The colors dusted off on her. It was something she always desired for but never dreamed of. It was her unspoken wish that came true. She was soaked in the colors.
The girl looked at the butterfly and then she looked at herself. It has wings whereas her hands were locked.
‘It can fly anytime it want to and I won’t be able to do anything’ the thought was scary. She wanted to unlock her hands and hold it with her hands; never to let it go.
Helplessness - yes she had that annoying feeling many times before but this time it was beyond bounds.
The hue of colors was masked by her black dress and she liked the fact because she didn't want to share them with anyone. They were her colors - ‘Am I being selfish’ she pondered.
Soon the butterfly opened her wings and took off for it had better places to go. She looked at it scattering away all the colors creating a trail wherever it went.
The days and nights were as they were. People came and talked about many things; they even talked about her desirable looks – she listened and she smiled…