“It feels weird having to purchase my own painting.” I was still reeling from the experience. Attending the Young Achiever's banquet was a huge surprise, but I was even more surprised by the fact that Christopher had submitted this painting on my behalf.
“It doesn't matter. I may lack a lot of things, but the one thing that I don't lack is money.” Christopher picked up my hand and placed it over his heart. “During the entire month that you were gone, I stayed in our house every day, doing nothing and just staring into space, thinking of you. They told me that you were dead, but I never once believed them. You're such a silly girl that even God won't take you in. You still have so much living and growing up to do.”
“What a bast*rd! Why would you bring that up again? You're making me tear up!” I pouted and playfully punched Christopher.
Christopher planted a kiss on the corner of my eyelid and said softly, “I know better than anyone else just how much you love painting. I looked at this painting that you did for me and thought to myself that I must share this gift with everyone. I want everyone to witness the depth of our love. From the moment I saw your Autumnal Panorama, I knew immediately how passionate you were about art. So, I told myself that I must put you on that stage again and let the whole world witness your dazzling talent.”
I wiped away my tears and held Christopher's hand in my own. Then, I asked him a question that had been troubling me for a long while, “How did you know that was my painting? Christopher, you really are such a mysterious person! I feel as if you can see right through me. Tell me, is there anything at all about me that you don't know?”
“Yes, I didn't know that you were going to marry Lyle. If I had known, I would have stopped you, but sadly, I was serving in the army at that time.” Christopher cupped my face, gazed into my eyes, and said earnestly, “When I found out that you were unhappy in your marriage, I felt terrible and blamed myself for it. If only I had returned earlier, you wouldn't have suffered so much.”