Wow. She knew those lips and the forehead and that side of his face…
Everything was real. The moving painting. The Voice. The feelings. The instincts. The notorious Tristan Chase was right in front of her. The world was searching for him and here he was dangling on a nail, absolutely helpless.
But, why did he ask her to throw him out? Should she talk to him? No. Not yet. She needed to know more about Tristan, the real one, who had actually walked and talked in the real world. Like dinosaurs, that once roamed freely on the earth. Words were itching on her tongue and she blurted… “What do you think of dinosaurs Tristan?”
“Dinosaurs?” Tristan couldn’t help but laugh. “Woman, do you know that you make me laugh? Even in this still life state… Here I am lamenting on a life lost and then you ask me about dinosaurs which are extinct.”
“Or maybe it is apt to the situation. Like we have found the fossils of the beast, someone would finally figure out somewhere in the future, long after everyone and everything I know is gone, that Tristan Chase was indeed alive, but inside a painting. I hope I can leave behind some evidence… But then nobody might find it… Maybe leaving evidence is not a good idea…”
“I know these are not the kind of thoughts I should be having. Sophia might be even rolling her eyes at my words. But I am only human after all. It hurts me too.
But you know what Scarlett, it feels good to laugh, to feel so light even with all the burden. Only if you know what you do to me… and yet it seems you are not the one to let me free from this cursed life.”
Now Scarlett didn’t know what to do or say. She made him laugh? Tristan, the hero of many controversies and legends, was afraid of being left behind. The mighty who had bought the mightier to their knees was now hurt. Her heart was pounding. She was thrilled, frightened and terrified. All at once.
He said he loved her. Was it true? Was it even possible? With the phone still in her hands, she looked at the painting and the search images again and again, not really knowing what to think. She was not the one to set him free? Then who? There was that Sophia again… It’s been more than five years? How did he live there? Where was ‘there’? What was his world?
Scarlett suddenly remembered the other night. The heat and the warmth; it was real and not the wine. Things were getting clearer to her now. Thank God it was not the wine. She had been so scared to have a drink after that night. She could down a whole bottle now to get her nerves in control.
Scarlett wondered if this meant she has taken up the mission of freeing Tristan from his curse? No. That’s not correct. Didn’t Tristan just say that she was not the one to set him free? Then what was her role? Scarlett let her head fall into her hands, totally defeated in her war with rational and irrational, real and unreal life. Her head was boiling with thoughts and imagination. She wanted to walk away, erase everything she heard and at the same time she wanted to listen to everything he had to say and to go in search of Sophia and know more about Tristan.
There were many things that could go wrong. Agreed, she had no idea of what she was walking into, but Scarlett already knew that there was no way that she would back out from this now. It could be something dark and evil, or maybe not. If she did not try, she would never know and probably die of curiosity.
She needed to think clearly and come up with a plan. She had always known there was something about Tristan Chase that she was missing. Maybe this was it. Scarlett made up her mind, to know everything about this man.
She was a now woman on a mission.