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‘What do you think about this one?’ Bette points at the large canvas standing at the easel in one of the light chambers of the chateaux. We drove here this morning after she called me and invited me to join to see an artist who lives and works just a few hours away from Paris. After the heavy talk we had a few weeks ago, we met a few times for lunch or a walk, taking our time and taking it slow, just enjoying being in the same city again, staying away from all the sensitive topics.
‘I wouldn’t put it in the living room…it’s a bit grotesque but it fits this space.’
‘Hmm grotesque… interesting interpretation.’ With a small amused smile she glances back at the painting one last time before she strolls off to the next piece that’s much smaller and easier on the eye.
‘This one I really like.’
‘So this one you would hang in the living room?’
‘Study maybe…’ I say as I follow her. I always found her passion for art wildly attractive. It’s about the way she takes her time to study every piece, her eyes sparkle or become touched by what’s portrayed on the canvas, her face becomes soft, it’s clear she’s really taking it all in and then when she starts talking about it she draws me in, takes me into that world with her until I feel every emotion she’s feeling. She can talk about art for hours, sharing every feeling, including me in every thought, until the surrounding becomes completely irrelevant and there is only her voice and the passionate glow in her eyes. I glance next to me and study her profile. There is that glow that I know so well while enjoying this new discovery. The dark, slick business suit that she decided to wear today completes the appealing image that I could study for hours, like she studies art. ‘I’m glad you asked me to join.’
‘I thought you’d like to see this place and I know how much you enjoy the French countryside.’
‘It’s nice to go somewhere together.’
‘It is…’ When she turns to me and I meet her intense look, I find myself transfixed. And when she steps closer with an enticing smile, her voice appreciative and ardent, I am even more drawn in. ‘When you were in the other room he told me that I have a really beautiful wife.’