I remember, I had woken up early, around 5 a.m. It was the exhibition day and my art work, “Little Sparkles”, an oil painting I had created, portraying children playing in a playground was to be exhibited. I was very excited, and was hoping that it would be selected as one of the best art work.
He woke up too. an hour later, when I was done with my bath and my breakfast. His was ready at the table, but I could see that even the smell of his favourite breakfast failed to lift his groggy mood.
Keeping a track of time, I skipped around, arranging the house and simultaneously deciding on the dress I’d wear to the exhibition. I asked for his opinion, to which he “humm-ed”most of the time. He would normally never do that, but today, he looked off.
It was 9 a.m now, and as the time passed, my excitement and anxiety both started to act as one drug. He could feel my restlessness, but had not said a word since he had woken up. My mind kept going back and forth to him and the exhibition. I wanted this day to be as perfect as our lives had been. But today, my life felt like it was anchoring me down.
I became aware that he had something that disturbed him. I asked him, but all I got was a glare. As if I knew something but I had not cared about it. It had become 11 a.m; 5 more ruthless hours and stress till I distract myself in a different world.
At about 01:00 p.m, I arranged lunch. Sandwiches and pasta, for a light occasion. He did not have lunch with me. Odd. Now I felt not only anxious and stressed, but worried. In a way I was scared. I gave up on lunch and went to our bedroom.
He was on the lazy couch, reading the All you need magazine. I started the conversation and enquired about what was bothering him. He looked up, this time, as though looking through my soul, and said that one word that broke all the knots in my heart: “You.”
This time, I glared at him. I wasn’t looking at him, but the direction of my vision was at his. My lips trembled, eyes opened wide, and I could feel the tears. I turned around and left him there. 3 more hours to go.
I had quick lunch, dressed up, took the necessities, and drove to the Galleria d’Arte where the exhibition was held, reaching at 03:30 p.m. There, I saw the hustle and bustle of art enthusiasts at the entrance. I remembered how I once used to among them. And how we had met. But it is all disappearing now.
Why did he destroy my hard work? I had put my heart into it, I had tried my best, skipped lunch, I had not slept normal hours; so much effort.. all lost in that single moment. He knows how I feel about him and how much his existence means to me. But why…
The exhibition commenced at around 04:35 p.m, and the crowd kept growing. Many visited my work, complimented me and wrote compliments on the ballot (an encouragement method, or a way of criticising; the “ballot-ers” remain anonymous). While I greeted and met everyone, my eyes scanned for him. It was as if he would come there, to at the least encourage me. But he never came.
At 08:00 p.m, the exhibition ended. the hall became emptier by the minute.
I wrapped up all what I had and the ballots (they were ours to keep), where, I saw one of the ballots, that was placed under the box, fall on the ground. In a hurry I picked it up, without a second thought, went in my car and secured the box in the passenger seat. A bit curious, where it was 08:37 p.m at the moment, I got curious about the chit. I opened it.
Horror dawned upon me. Which was a bit over exaggerated, but any other woman at that moment would be. The words:
Guess what? Your art work was already selected as the best. Sorry I had to be so harsh and secretive.
I know you are going to be mad but it was their idea! And a pretty neat one, I’ll give them that…
The hat and coat worked huh?
Hope you enjoyed the drama. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.
I drove as fast as I could. Safe, but fast enough. As I reached the door in the next hour, at 9:25 p.m, , my feet went numb. My heart beat increased. Because, what really gave me goosebumps at the time I read the note was the signature I had forged a billion times to memorise it with my eyes closed.
It was His.
This task is more than a bit of my of of many rushed works.
Please criticise it.