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Painters



Eighty years, an old lady now, sitting on the front porch
Watching the clouds roll by


Parker felt each breath come and go, knowing that each took a little of herself with it. She was dying, but somehow the knowledge did not upset or repulse her. It was a fact that she had already long accepted, months before the final diagnosis. And now she would die here, where it was best, in the home she had shared with the most important people in her life. When Jarod was brought to see her, as they had promised he would be, she would already be gone. Would he cry? Had the Centre left him with any emotion, in the many years since he had been recaptured? She had never been sure. Sometimes, in her visits to see him and to torture herself with the image of him in the cell, she thought that she had seen a spark of the old Jarod. But he, too, would soon join her in death. Now she wondered how he had managed to live for so long, considering the way he was treated.

They remind her of her lover, how he left her, and of the times long ago
When she used color carelessly, painted his portrait
A thousand times - or maybe just his smile
And she and her canvas would follow him wherever he would go


At times like this it was not Jarod that held her thoughts but Thomas. She had not believed in life after death until they had been torn apart, so many years earlier. And now, with all of her heart and soul, she hoped that such a thing existed and that he would be waiting there for her. Time began to slow and breathing to become more difficult. The sun slipped slowly down to the horizon. A smile appeared at the corner of her mouth. They would both vanish forever.

'Cause they were painters and they were painting themselves
A lovely world

"Come with me, Parker."
"To Oregon?"

The conversation flittered through her mind and made her wonder. Would things have changed, if she had left? Would they not both have been hunted?
Was it possible to change history?

Oil streaked daisies covered the living room wall
He put water-coloured roses in her hair
He said "Love, I love you, I want to give you the mountains, the sunshine the sunset too, I want to give you everything as beautiful as you are to me"


By turning she could see the picture she had made. So many years later, she had sat down in the room that her mother had loved and which had been the cause of her meeting Thomas in the first place. Picking up a brush, she had almost laughed aloud - she could not paint. She had no such skills. But, touching the brush to the canvas, suddenly she seemed to know exactly what would go on the surface and, frantically, she fought against time to fulfill her dream.

'Cause they were painters and they were painting themselves
A lovely world


As the sun rose to declare a new day, she had put down the brush for the final time and stared at the images she had made. A fitting tribute to the people she had loved.

So they sat down and made a drawing of their love, an art to live by
They painted every passion, every home, created every beautiful child
In the winter they were weavers of warmth
In summer they were carpenters of love
They thought blue prints were too sad so they made them turn yellow


She had sold the house that she had brought for them in Portland and refused to move, even when her father was found dead in his office and she was finally given the chance to be free. To avenge his death, she had done what he had always wanted him to do. Out of a sense of respect, she had found Jarod and brought him back to the Centre. The next day Sydney had been found in his office, his wrists slit and bleeding into bowls of water which were still warm. The water had flooded onto the carpet, soaking it through and making a permanent stain.

'Cause they were painters and they were painting themselves
A lovely world


So she had gone on without help, for Broots had vanished and she had long presumed him to be dead. Debbie, too, had vanished with her father, leaving Parker to face the result of her actions alone. A terrifying prospect and, for a time, she had considered the possibility of following those who had gone before her. But her own words about her mother had filled her mind and she found that she was too strong to do it.

CHANGE 1:
Until one day the rain fell as thick as black oil
And in her heart she knew something was wrong
She went running though the orchard screaming
'No God, don't take him from me!'
But by the time she got there, she feared he had already gone
She got to where he lay, water-colored roses in his hands for her
She threw them down screaming 'Damn you man, don't leave me with nothing left behind but these cold paintings, these cold portraits to remind me!'


It gave her a sense of relief that she finally had a choice in her life that she alone could make. Everything else had been structured and designed to shape her the way they had wanted. But now she could make the final decision.

CHANGE 2:
He said 'Love I leave, but only a little, try to understand
I put my soul in this life we created with these four hands
Love, I leave, but this world holds me still
My body may die now, but these paintings are real.'
So many seasons came and many seasons went and many times she saw her love's face watering the flowers talking to the trees and singing to his children
And when the wind blew she knew he was listening and how he seemed to laugh along, and how he seemed to hold her when she was crying.


She had felt pain when Thomas had died and yet she felt none at her own passing. It was strange. But she had other things to consider. Everything was finished. A letter lay on the table beside her, containing her will and some other important papers. Otherwise the house was empty. She had sold everything it contained and destroyed the things she had valued most. Only the painting hung above the mantel. The final one, painted on the anniversary of Thomas' death and the one she couldn't bear to destroy. She had left directions for its future in her letter, but she knew that he wouldn't carry them out. Her brother would do nothing for her. But it didn't matter anymore...

'Cause they were painters and they were painting themselves
A lovely world


The last breaths, the final gasps for air. Her vision had begun to blur but the pain diminished. A sense of peace, true peace, and the first she had felt. She seemed to see people with outstretched hands, waiting to take her, and she went willingly towards them. Nothing to fight for anymore. Finally, it was finished.

Eighty years, an old lady now, sitting on the front porch
Watching the clouds roll by they remind her of her lover, how he left her, and of the times long ago when she used color carelessly, painted his portrait a thousand times - or maybe just his smile
And she and her canvas would follow him wherever he would go
Yes she and her canvas still follow
'Cause they are painters and they are painting themselves
A lovely world




The End











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