“Why is this girl so busy on phone? I can’t hear what she is saying. She was saying trouble at office. What is so troublesome at office dammit… She has not been herself for so many days now. ”
Scarlett could not talk on phone from her bedroom. Tristan’s voice was a distraction. With the help of Maggie, Scarlett finally found a way to send Tristan off to his freedom. She was going to drop the painting off at an antique shop in the outskirts of the city. Then she would leave to pick up her parents from the airport. Everything would return to normal. Only, nothing would be normal again.
Till now Tristan was the one waiting. Now it would be her turn.
If the course of his curse was on the right track, the painting would be sold before Scarlett lost her mind and went in search of it.
Scarlett entered the bedroom and Tristan bellowed, “For once woman will you open your mouth and say what the hell is going on. What happened to you… Not that I can do anything to help you. But don’t leave me alone with my imagination. It is worse than hell. Scarlett, are you even listening to me… God… who am saying all this to…”
Scarlett threw her mobile on the bed and went to the painting.
“Scarlett, my love, I can’t take this any longer. Have mercy. Please tell me what is happening.”
Scarlett took the painting off the hook and held it at arm’s length. She remembered the first time she held the painting wondering about the color of his eyes. Though she knew how Tristan looked like now, thanks to Google images, it was this view of his shoulders and half of his face that was etched in her heart.
“Tristan… It is time for you to enter a new life that awaits you. A much better life, for you and for those surrounding you. I have so much faith in you. I know you will not let me down. I always trust the decision taken by my heart. You should too. It will not let you go astray. I ask only for one promise… To remember.”
Scarlett could only say so much without revealing too much. She leaned into the painting until her forehead touched the inside surface and she continued in her mind, “Remember your change. Remember your promises. Do not let Sophia win. Underneath all the pieces of a condemned Tristan Chase, there is a man of gold; tender and loving, sensitive and caring. You are not what the world believes you to be. You are what you believe you are. Remember to believe in goodness. You have to heal a lot of wounds. Be strong. Remember that I am waiting, only for you.”
Tristan felt the electric connection between them. But it was over far too soon. It felt like she left a mark on him, a piece of her inside him. For a moment he felt like he could hear her every thought as a faint whisper in his ears. It was nothing but a buzz and now empty. Before he could form a logical thought and say something to Scarlett, she covered the painting in a sheet of bubble wrap.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOO…… Scarlett… You can’t do this… Why would you do this… I did not get a chance to say goodbye…I couldn’t even see you… Noooo… ”
That was the last Scarlett heard of Tristan’s voice before she put the painting inside a cardboard box.
Finally, it was done.
She sat beside the painting and waited for the morning to come. There was no way she was going to sleep so this was to be one god damn long night. She prayed to the Gods that she had the willpower to resist herself from tearing open the box and scream at Tristan. She hoped that she can keep her shit together till she dropped off the painting at the antique shop in the morning.
She hugged the cardboard and wept silently…