Jejune

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/your-daily-word-prompt-jejune-may-8-2019/

As they continued their trek, carefully searching, Nigel asked, “Have you ever painted something you couldn’t part with?”

“Numerous!  That’s when I know it is worth selling.  If I struggle to let go of it, then it will be a success and someone else will love it as much as I.  A couple of years ago I painted a little girl in a sunhat hunkered down beside a stream, wild daisies surrounding her with a beautiful lawn in the background.  There was a stream nearby with a lovely white and gold bridge, swans swimming near it summer skies overhead. Idyllic really.  She was trying to entice the swans with scraps of bread and the look on her face was so “jejune” so guileless, unworldly, so innocent that it nearly had me in tears.”

“What finally convinced you to sell it, or did you?”

“Months later, a man and woman came into the studio.  When I went to greet them, there was such a stunned look on their face, it stopped me in my tracks.  At first I thought something was wrong.  As I approached, the man’s eyes tracked from the painting, sitting on an easel to me and back to the painting.  When I asked if I could help them, the woman turned to me with tears in her eyes.  At first I wasn’t sure what to say. I wasn’t sure whether the painting had struck a chord, if it reminded them of someone, if it wrapped around their hearts as much as it had mine.”

“What happened?”

“They told me that it reminded them so much of their daughter when she was younger, the childlike spontaneity that had been hers, they had to have the painting, the price was immaterial.”

“I decided I had to sell that painting to them and I even dropped the price which I’d set abnormally high because I hadn’t wanted to sell it and they told me as they were leaving, their daughter had perished in a car accident and although they had photos of her, this was the epitome of her spirit, how they would always remember her.”

Nigel noticed June drop her head, but not before he witnessed the sheen of tears that momentarily filled her beautiful eyes. 

“I imagine they’ll treasure that painting forever, June.”

Rubbing the tear away June said, “I’m sure of it.”

Placing a hand gently on her shoulder, Nigel said, “And you’ll know that one of your paintings was absolutely priceless…not only to them, but to you.  You were right to love it, and letting it go couldn’t have been easy.”

Sniffing a little June said, “I don’t think I could or would have, otherwise, but it was so fitting, so right that it wasn’t a hardship in the end, but a truly cherished moment.”

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