When Tara awoke, the sun was setting. She must have slept about three hours. She continued to lay on the bed clutching Jaime’s shirt, trying to make some sense of things. It was no use, though, and after a few minutes, she arose and went into her art studio once more.
She set up a blank canvas and arranged her paints and brushes. Then she sat and closed her eyes. After a few moments, she began to paint. She didn’t know how long she had been painting, when the telephone rang. “Hello?”
“Tara, are you okay? I’ve been worrying about you since you didn’t return from your trip to Jacobson’s Mergers.”
“Oh, Katie, I’m sorry. Yes, I’m okay. I didn’t get anywhere at Jacobson’s Mergers and Carl called Natalie to come and take me to lunch. She took me to Edward’s in the city, and I became annoyed because both Carl and then, Natalie, tried to tell me that I need to forget Jaime and get on with my life.”
“Forget Jaime? They really said that — so soon?”
“No, they didn’t really say forget Jaime, but they may as well have, and Natalie made it sound like I am destitute. She wanted to know when I was going to paint again and offered to help me hold an art exhibit at Dorian’s Gallery in the city.”
“Oh, my. Whatever, is she thinking?”
“I’m sure I don’t know, but I was tired and annoyed and just wanted to be alone. Oh, by the way, did you clean up over here?”
“Yes, I didn’t want you to have to worry about that with everything else.”
“Thank you, Katie. You’re the best friend I have. I appreciate your understanding and support.”
“You’re welcome, dear. Will you be spending the night over there, then?”
“Yes, I think I will. I’m okay except when I go downstairs and see the desk. It brings back the vision of Jaime lying on the floor behind it. I slept for about three hours when I returned from lunch, after a good cry, and believe it or not, I actually am painting.”
“Well, don’t push yourself, Tara. Take things one day at a time and work through the emotions, don’t suppress them. And, remember, I am right next door if you need me. I think you should keep your doors locked too just in case . . .”
“I understand, Katie. That’s probably a good idea. I’ll set the alarm too.”
“Oh, good. Oh, and Marvin will be home this evening. His flight arrives at the airport at 6:45.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful. He’s been gone quite a while this time, hasn’t he?”
“Yes, three weeks. It’s always longer when he goes to China. He is helping with several adoptions from China right now. He’s been working with about five different lovely families, who will be bringing their new children home with them tonight as well.”
“What a blessing. It’s so wonderful that Marvin’s work is so rewarding. I’m sure that makes it easier for you when he’s gone for so long.”
“Yes, and I am excited to see him tonight. He says he has a surprise he wants to discuss with me and I can’t wait to find out what it is.”
“Do you think he might be ready to adopt a child or two to start your family?”
“I am afraid to think so, but I do hope so.”
“Well, have a good evening with Marvin, Katie. I’ll speak to you again tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll be okay tonight.”
“Okay, good night, Tara.”
“Good night.” As Tara hung up the phone, she looked to the canvas she had been working on. She was surprised at how well she had captured the resemblance, but what peaked her curiosity even more, was why she had felt it so pressing to paint the boy with the video game.
She set up another fresh canvas on the easel beside the painting of the boy and prepared to paint one more painting, for there was one more image she felt she needed to create before she would be ready for a break. There was something nagging at her, and she felt these images needed to be painted before she forgot the details.
Two hours later, Katie had completed her painting of the woman, whom she had seen with the boy, talking to Carl Jacobson.