the painter’s last reply

Dear Brianna,

I had the weirdest dream of late. In this dream, I entered into a realm of wonder. I walked past a door of light leading me to a balcony where the panorama was spectacle. It seemed that what I saw was a reflection of my odyssey. No, it was more like my past, present, and future all moving before my eyes.

As I looked out of the window of my life, my gaze fell upon the masterpiece which put us both in the limelight. Even from a distance, I could still make out every stroke, every hue, every curves and straights of that painting. But something was wrong. So, I ventured to take a closer look.

The painting was pasted on the walls of love and was signed by a name, AU. I did not know what happened, but it was lost in a thicket of trees, pines and willows, and was surrounded by piles of leaves that found relief beside it. Although the details of the painting were very much vivid and alive, it seemed to fade into the background. It was obvious that many has seen my painting but seeing it like this made my eyes transfixed with what I saw.

I suddenly remembered how our tender hearts always felt. We were separated by direction but once fate did magic, our paths crossed in Paper Doll Park. Many things mystified us…butterflies, fairy tales, snakes, and kisses. Our pulse and flustered hearts sobered into a new state of naked clarity. It seemed that all of our fears and imperfections crumbled into the abyss.

Our broken spirits were soothed and solaced by the Muses. Grandeur was ours as we watched sunset after sunset. A warm tingling sensation ran through our bodies as we offered our palms to each other. How we struggled with ourselves made us soar. Our differences were each one’s power. We both let our pride to fly free but they never collided, instead it created us a closer bond because it was the foundation which we rested our relationship upon.

I want to speak to someone about this feeling…this admiration…this fascination…this memory which I have with this painting. But people were busy weaving the fibers of their lives. This made me look at the painting again.

I could see the fine features, almost like an elf, in your round face. Your eyes were like almonds, deep in thought. Your lips were full with a twist, not quite a smile but neither unyielding. Your nose was nicely bridged yet not really pointed.

I have visited your painting a lot in my sleep but every time I got through that door of light, I discern more details which I never saw while doing this. And I’ll have this never-tiring feeling of seeing it… my heart filled with adrenaline to undertake an adventure, like an excited young boy.

Like a nincompoop, I had expressed unspoken and unwritten feelings to your portrait. I spoke from my heart and outpoured my soul. I spoke about things I could not say to your face. I spoke of my curse and fears that I am at the mercy of a spell. I spoke of my genuine passion of painting- painting you. And I spoke, that if dying meant creating magnificent paintings of you, then it was a risk I was willing to take.

Thinking about these negativities made me disintegrate, a lot like melting but more radioactive. However, a glimpse at your face made me remember a quote you borrowed from someone, “Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.” Remembering those words actually made me face all the demons which taunted me. I accepted a challenge and I am planning to win it.

Brianna, I wish that we could be together for eternity. I wish that we could be a part of a sanctuary where imperfections were not an issue. But my sands of time are nearing its countdown. You will always be in my memory. I could not imagine making a story of my life without you in it. I will always remember you. I will always love you.

As I sat alone writing in between shelves of your favorite books, I had the vision to come up with a letter full of superb and enchanting words of love. However, in that very moment, I also held in my already numb fists a cone of ice cream which somewhat froze my thoughts of creating an exaggerated piece. I also remembered that how in the world will I string words together when in the first place I am not a writer? (I am actually smiling right now) I am a painter; I am more comfortable in painting you.  So please, will excuse all my words?

Moreover, this note is also a time for a confession. I confess that I watched you fall asleep next to me every night we were together. I watched you as you breathe. I watched you as your dreams took hold. I did this because I wanted a memory because when my time is up, I will only have this.

Time moved on. The universe stretched out. I may leave the earth without a photograph of you to carry in my pocket. I may never have a letter in your handwriting, or a scrap-book of everything we have done. I may never share a loft with you in the city. Definitely, we will not grow old together. I know that in the future, I could not be the person you will call when you’re in trouble. And I am really afraid not to be able to keep anything you have given me.

So, this may be the last gift I can give you. You have given me happiness no words can describe. You quenched my thirst for love. I beg you to cherish this treasure because I will cherish you more than anything.




– Juman Kevin Tindo


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