Amara walked into a bright room. Sunlight streamed in through a large window on one wall and a skylight window overhead. The walls were filled with sketches and paintings. There were a few easels set up with works on them as well. There were piles of old art in corners and strands of rope with art hanging from them. There were paint stains on the floor and jars of paint, water, and paintbrushes around a sink near the window. There were many landscapes and famous landmarks from places she had never been. There were women she didn’t recognize, each of them beautiful in their own way. But those were all older and faded.
“Who are they?” Amara asked without looking away from one particularly lovely face.
“That one happens to be my mother. I can’t seem to put it away.”
“She’s beautiful,” Amara remarked, then moved on to another. She knew Tucian didn’t like talking about his mom or dad. He didn’t like thinking about whatever happened to them. She hoped someday he would tell her. But she wouldn’t push it. He would tell her when he was ready.
“She would have liked you. The others are women I’ve known. Some romantically, some not.”
She was amazed at how beautiful it all was. She took her time looking at everything. She made her way around the edges of the room first, then looked at the ones hanging on the rope. Tucian watched her intently, trying to gauge what she might be thinking. He couldn’t tell so he stood by the door, watching and waiting. Each of his works were a piece of his heart. It was hard to let people see those pieces for their judgement. It was as though they were judging his soul. He hoped Amara would like what she saw in his work.
“Tucian, they’re…” Amara trailed off as she became distracted by each new piece of art.
“Yes?” He pressed.
“Spectacular…” she whispered. She came to one she recognized on the rope, a lake in a clearing. “Is this our lake?” She pointed and turned to look at Tucian.
“It is.” He stayed where he was, waiting for her to find his most recent ones.
She meandered her way to one of the easels. She gasped at the face on the canvas. It was her. The painting was filled with light. Her own green eyes gazed back at her. She looked amazing, flawless. She stared at the portrait. He had captured her slightly small eyes and mouth well and they fit perfectly on her beaming face.
Tucian walked up behind her. “Do you like it?” He whispered into her ear.
“I love it,” Amara whispered back. “I think you might have overdone it though.”
“It’s so radiant, so…” Amara tried to find the word to describe the painting. “Exquisite.” She stayed staring at her own face. It was so familiar and yet too beautiful to be herself.
Tucian slowly turned her around and lifted her face to his. “So are you,” he whispered, leaning in to kiss her.