The Canvas and the Brush

By Zara Dash.

A kind, wrinkled face stared intently at a blank canvas. A pale, wrinkled hand held a paintbrush tightly in his grasp. With a slight quiver, the hand moved toward the canvas with eagerness and purpose. 

Her lightly soaked bristles met the blank canvas in a silent kiss, making him blush with a hue of pink, before being swept away, leaving a colored trail in her wake.

She rushed to and fro in a hurried dance, doing her master’s bidding.

The canvas was intrigued.

By her grace. By her familiarity.

By her singularity, for she was like no other.

Who was this beautiful stranger?

There he was, constantly aware of her movements. In exchange, utterly unnoticed and cast away like a commoner to a supercilious regal queen.

He frantically tried to get her attention. His eyes screamed to herhis invisible hands reaching out to her. Begging for a chance. Begging for a glimpse of tenderness.

Unmoved and unheeded, she only continued her mesmerizing dance. Soft strokes to a silent song.

Back and forth.

Back and forth.

In agony, he watched his new love. Was he not good enough for her?

He wanted her to stay. His words of endearment were caught in his throat. She unleashed in him a determination to be something to her. To mean something to her.  

She suddenly pulled away before being placed back on the work-in-process.

She bestowed upon him a dear distant kiss, as if to greet a stranger she wouldn’t ever see again.

For a second, he was out of breath. He looked back at her, but her nonchalance made him realize what was wrong.

She was blotting him out.

She was covering him with her master’s colors.

He was dying, and she was dancing his life away.

The paint was drying, and he was suffocating from it.

But he loved her. He did.

Why couldn’t she see that?

For her, she was just doing her work.

She had looked at him once, a mere glance.

She had found nothing interesting there. She was changing him for the better. She was giving him an opportunity to be more. To be a masterpiece.

Now her kisses that once revived him, seemed like stabs to his figure.

Whenever she pulled away, he had a chance to breathe.

She stilled, surveying her work.

He spoke, a tremor in his tone. “You cover me with colors of your own. If you paint every inch of me with the colors you love, will you love me then?”

A tear trickled down her face. “I am not of poetry, nor of magic. I do not love. In here, there are just ashes, remnants from a terrible fire.”

He stepped forward to touch her, but she just turned around and walked away. “Please,” he pleaded.

He tried to make her stop. He was at a loss for words.

He loved her more than the sun loved the moon. Though she would never see.

The wrinkled hand placed the paintbrush back, and that was that.

Such is the story of the canvas and brush.

Such is the story of the awestruck fool and the guarded soul.


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