“If ever, in this eternity, you feel that your heart can beat for somebody else… If ever, you think you can put someone else before yourself, if ever you can re-arrange your priorities, you will come back into life. Do you think you can be that, being the still life painting you are?”
Tristan remembered her words from that dream.
“There is a chance for this curse to be lifted. If and only if you can be selfless. Somebody has to need you, Tristan, in this real world. Really… really need you and only you can help them. You will be free… and only you can answer their call without wanting anything in return.
No. Don’t jump and answer. I have seen you give up hope too easily from inside the frame. I have seen you doubt yourself far too many times. There is a thirst in you to prove me otherwise. Guilt has opened up your eyes. But it is mostly guilt, just penance, a corrective measure.”
“No… That is not correct. Trust me… I have changed. I am no longer what I was…”
“Do not interrupt Tristan. This is about your life. Listen and understand carefully. A man on the path of redemption does not give up when no one is there beside him. He does not lose his faith in himself when nobody is there to understand him. Even when he is not gaining anything in return…
“Are you on that path? Are you that sort of a man? Do you really believe that you have changed enough? Not only for this woman who means something to you. But for somebody else as well?
Yes, you have apologized. Yes, you regret. Yes, you identify your mistakes. Anybody would do if they were stuck like you for five years. You want to do a lot for Scarlett. What about the others? You want to, but how will I know whether to trust you? That once you are outside the frame you will not go back into what you were? It’s easy to say that I want to do this… I will do that… But can you really think beyond your guilt?
You might think I am punishing you too much. Can you blame me?”
Tristan heard everything she said and even what she did not put into words. Was he doomed? Was there anyone who needed him? Was he a quitter? Did he not have faith in himself? He lost, and he didn’t even know it? Where did he stand with himself? Did he care only for Scarlett? Was his heart not open to others? Why was he asking all these questions? Was he not sure of himself? All these years of regret and penance were not enough? He was not faking it. His pain did not count? His life did not matter? He was indeed doomed.
“I can hear you. If you believe you are doomed, then you are. Be careful of what you believe in…
Remember Tristan, an act of selfless deed… a desire from the very the depths of your heart to help the one who seeks it is what will free you from this cursed life.
All the best Tristan. I hope you will be free soon.”