Story 21

He looked at the ruined canvas. The red paint splashed over his hard work of many days. Blotches of red paint exactly below her eyes as if she was shedding blood tears. She - his muse, whom he had carefully captured on the canvas. The brush strokes bringing out every fine details of her face. The mesmerizing brown eyes, looking straight into his eyes, capturing his soul. The wonderful smile that made him miss a heart beat.

Her soft brown hair falling carelessly over her shoulder. The color in her cheeks, the blush captured in detail. 
Everything was ruined now. And, there was no one else but him to be blamed for it.

He had met her at one of the parties organized by a NGO he was a part of for getting sponsorship. She stepped in arm in arm with a man who did not seem to value what he was holding on his arm. He saw her and could not take off his eyes of her. Her sad eyes were searching for means of escape from the situation she found herself in. Obviously even she knew that the man whose arm she was holding on to did not value her. She looked at him, their eyes met and the story began.

The party ended but she did not leave. The man she had come with was now engaged in conversation with another woman, much younger than she was. She was sitting alone, waiting for the man to finish the conversation.
He walked towards her and she stood up, still looking at the man who was now busy being seduced by the younger girl.
“Take me out of here.” She said as if waiting here for one more second was unbearable.
Without saying a word he took her hand in his and they walked out, leaving the man and his younger companion alone.
She asked him to take her home and he obliged. They walked as long as they could and then they got into a cab. 
At the doorstep, she kissed him on the cheek before entering the house.

The next day, he mounted a blank canvas on the stand. He was going to capture her on the canvas. Make her a part of his life forever. The doorbell rang, he was not expecting anyone. He kept down the pencil reluctantly and went to open the door. There she was, standing outside his door, looking more beautiful than she had looked the previous day. She was wearing a red dress, she entered his studio without waiting for him to invite her in. He noticed that the red dress she was wearing was backless. He desired to be her brown hair that touched her soft bare skin. He turned away from her, lest she see what effect she was having on him. He closed the door as she walked around the studio, observing his work. She seemed to be impressed. He looked around, he was not. 

All his earlier work was nothing as compared to the one he was about to begin. She walked closer to the painting of a nude woman and stared at it for a while.
“So, you like nudity.” She said, each word dipped in jealousy.
“She had beautiful hands.” He said and smiled
She laughed out loud as she remembered Jack Dawson of Titanic. So, he thinks of himself as Jack Dawson, then, I will give him Rose. She said to herself.
She turned around to face him and said, “I want you to do me.”
He did not miss the pun. 
Before he could reply she walked over to the canvas mounted on the stand. She smiled as she recognized the face roughly outlined with a pencil. He had made a rough sketch of how he had seen her at the party. She made up her mind.
“Make a different one.” She said dismounting the canvas from the stand and threw it into a corner. 

He disliked how she invaded his private space and hated that he allowed her to do it. She placed a blank canvas on the stand and looked at him. She walked over to the couch and sat down. She slid her dress off one shoulder partially exposing her breast. She was about to slid the dress off the other shoulder when he stopped her.

“I want you to try and seduce with your eyes and not with nudity.” He said planting a kiss on the tip of her shoulder and pulling up the sleeve.
She wrapped her arms tightly around him, like a lioness catching hold of her prey. 
“Please take me.” She said, hungry for sex. 
“Yes.” He whispered as he began to undress her and then he claimed her, then and there on the floor of his studio. 
He lay on his back, staring at the paintings he had made. All the women in the paintings staring down at him knowingly. 
Was she going to be a part of these paintings, he thought as he stared at her nude body lying next to him. She was asleep. He ran his fingers over her body and felt her shiver, she opened her eyes and looked at him.
“Paint me like this.” She said seductively.
“No” he stayed true to his earlier decision.

He got up and put on his jeans. She got dressed too.
“How then?” she asked and he knew she wanted to know how he would like to paint her.
“Just the face showing intense emotions. Eyes that would seduce me each time I looked at it.” He replied, staring into space as if already creating.
“You’d keep it for yourself?” she asked.
“Yes, of course.” He said with a funny look on his face as if her question did not make any sense. 
“I want one for myself.” She told him.
“Let’s see.” He said not wanting to disappoint her.
He walked towards the canvas and picked up a pencil. 
“Go and sit on the couch.” He told her and she followed the instructions.

He sketched the outline. The aftereffect of sex evident on her face. He loved the way she looked. He loved the way he captured her on the  canvas. She grew tired of sitting and they called it a day. 
She came back again the next day and day after that. Each time he did her and then he painted her.
The painting was almost complete. He got everything right but he did not see the hint of seduction in her eyes on the last day. Then he remembered, she had been distracted during the love-making as well.

“What’s wrong?” he asked her walking towards the  couch.
“My husband suspects that I am having an affair. I cannot meet you like this” She said with a sad smile.
It was then he remembered the man for the first time in all these days. He was her husband. He moved away from the couch. He was hurt. She had seduced him to get what she wanted. 
And now, she was ending it all because her husband who did not value her had suspicions about their affair. He had thought her to be his muse; but she belonged to someone else. She had used him for sex.
He walked towards the canvas, rage coursing through his body and picked up a brush and splashed the red paint over the canvas. The red paint was meant to be her dress.
“No” she yelled as she rushed towards the canvas. “What have you done?” she asked him tears in her eyes.
She tried to wipe the red paint with a cloth, she ruined it further, the red drops of paint were now red blotches. 
“No.” she cried as she collapsed down on the floor in front of the canvas.
“Get out” he said and left her alone in the studio. A moment later she walked out.

He stood before the ruined painting. There was no way he was going to keep it. He decided to put it on display in an event. She had already humiliated and ruined him, he thought he would give people the chance to mock him.

The painting was displayed in one of the events organised by the NGO. He did not attend. He did not know that the painting was appreciated and bought for a large sum of money by a woman resembling the one in the painting.
It depicted the real her, she had told someone as she had carried the painting with her. She was alone.

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