“But before that, tell me why there is such a mess?” Scarlett asked.
“Well, for that you need to know about the person in question. Not just what the media says, or the police. You should ask about the life lived by the person in question. My son’s life was not the first that he has taken. He has single-handedly broken families, hearts and the will of many. Sometimes I feel it’s not my curse that is caging him, but the heartfelt curses of all those he has hurt.”
Scarlett wanted to defend Tristan. “But he has changed. He is not like that anymore.”
“Or so he says…”
“No. He has really… I know it.”
“Hmmm… Do you? Then it’s time for us to check that right? Tristan took an unnaturally long time to realize his mistakes. Even curses come with conditions Scarlett. You have to genuinely repent. Only then the curse will weaken and open up ways to end it.
And I believe that Tristan is right now on the way to redeem his soul. But you have let go of the painting. Sell it off, give it to charity or anything. As long as he is with you, there will be delays in lifting the curse. And one more thing, you cannot go in search of him. This is his battle. ”
“No. I can’t do that. I can’t let him go. I can’t abandon him.”
“Then Tristan is not going to come out of the frame ever. Atleast not as long as we all are alive.”
“No. I won’t let that happen either.”
“How so? Scarlett, there is a course of events that are set in motion when a curse is cast. And it is all accelerated or delayed depending on the genuine emotions and changes in the person. If you do not willingly give up the painting, the curse will alter its path to meet its end. And there might be delays or untoward consequences, which I am sure you do not want in your life.”
“That I am telling you to give away the painting is an unnatural deviation from the course of the curse. I am not supposed to do this. There will be repercussions; I will take care of it. But even I think there should be an intervention or this could go on for how many years, I do not know. Trust me, this is all for the best.”
Scarlett was pale. Did she have the strength to give him away? Even if it was all for the best? It was then she remembered Tristan asking her to throw him away. That must have been the natural course of the curse. But why was it delayed then? What should she do with the painting?
“If I give away the painting, can I still… hear…? The connection… will that also end?”
“Yes. It will. Even I will not be able to communicate with him. He will be on his own. He has to find the way back home on his own.”
“Can he do that?”
“You do not have faith in him?”
“Its not like that…” Scarlett’s heart was thumping painfully. Questions of how long and what ifs were nagging her and yet when Sophia asked if she doesn’t have faith, Scarlett was simultaneously confused and sure for a moment. She was sure that Tristan would break free of his curse. She cannot put her feelings at first. Wasn’t it just yesterday that she wanted Tristan to come to her? And of course, she was not the one to set him free from his curse. Then what was the point of keeping him still. He had a life to get back to. And she hoped to the Gods that she had a place in that life. Of course, she has, Tristan promised. He had asked her to wait. He will…
“I see that you have made your decision. Now it is up to you. I hope that you won’t take too much time. We will not meet again. God bless. ”
Indeed she had realized there was no roundabout way to avoid this turning point. Wasn’t she searching for this same opening? Scarlett could not say anything. What to do… what to do… A part of her mind was numb while another was trying to narrow down the options to keep the painting safe and yet will be the best for him. It can never be an art gallery. Any friends? They wouldn’t know the value of it… they might throw it out or give it off to somebody else. She need to give it off to somebody whom she can track. But who…?