I was walking slowly. The sound of my steps would be lost in the soft red carpet with my every move. The corridor was long and dark and quiet, but my eyes were fixed on the small light at the end. The distance was becoming smaller and smaller and soon I felt the brightness hurting my eyes. The painting was surrounded by a golden frame, very simple, almost like a thin thread. It was not the small light above the frame that caught my glance. The canvas appeared to be shining. The face was so real.
It was a girl, a young girl, no more than twenty years old. The very paleness of her skin, making the surface of the painting glow, was flowing gently to her soft pink cheeks. Around her thin pointy face, the dark brown hair was reaching her shoulders in gentle waves, shining with a shade of scarlet red from a ray of light somewhere in her world. The nose and thin chin were slightly elevated by pride and determination. Her small pale hand was placed on her collar at the end of her long neck almost merging with the white lace. So gentle and delicate were her features and the colors of her world, she looked almost like a vision of serenity, easily blown away by the wind or lost in the play of light and darkness.
They were different though. They were striking. Her eyes were most real and contradicting. The artist had done something more with them then the rest of the portrait. He had given them all the strength and energy of her being. I couldn’t stop staring back at her. Her eyes were sharp brown, so deep, almost resembling two black abysses. Her face looked calm and obedient, with her pale pink lips locked forever, but her eyes were shouting, screaming with feelings, with a life never to be known and yet existing, and changing the world. Her eyes were talking. They were talking about her life, more than anything else.
I didn’t know her, but I knew her story. I could recognize the flame of adventure and defiance in her chin, I could sense the devilish determination for life in those dark eyes piercing right through me. But I could also see the thick lace tightly surrounding her neck and the helplessness in her hand, the same way I could notice the cracks in the canvas created by the many years passed. It was not a painting of a young woman, it was a painting of an urge, of a sparkle which lasts forever, no matter how fast life outruns it. She was everyone, and yet she was unique. Her skin was fading away, but her deep eyes will keep the life of the painting for eternity. She was telling me her story, the same way she was telling me my story. I lowered my gaze and noticed the small golden tag under the frame, with only one word written on it. Jessica. Walking back into the darkness I couldn’t stop thinking.