Chapter 12-Chance Of A Lifetime

“You all set?”  I asked.

Anna shouldered her travel bag, her eyes traveling to the ship where passengers were beginning to board.  The cacophony of voices, car horns, and the crashing of the ocean waves mingled together to the point that I heard nothing.  The only thing I heard was the beating of my heart in my ears as I saw the grieved look in her vibrant blue eyes.  Strands of hair covered her face and she impatiently tucked them away behind her ear, but in seconds it would return with the winds soft caress. 

She sighed, giving up with her attempts.  “It’s a nice day.” 

“It is.”  I shuffled my weight from one foot to the other.  There was a pebble near my shoe and I kicked it, looking at how far it traveled.  It didn’t get very far.

“So, I want to give you something,” she said, picking up the covered canvas that was among her belongings.

I smiled, watching the light dance in her eyes .  Taking the painting with one hand I dug into my jacket pocket for the black velvet box that I picked up earlier today from the shop.  For weeks I had been searching for something that she would like, something that spoke of her name.  It wasn’t until later (when my search for the perfect gift ended in vain) that I realized nothing could ever be compared to her.  Our fingerprints never fade from the lives we touch; Anna's impressions were forever cemented on the base of my soul – unique and unforgettable.

“I got you something too.”  She beamed as her eyes fell on the box in my hand.

“You didn’t have to go through that kind of trouble.”

She bit her lip, her eyes looking at the box as I handed it to her.  “What is it?”

“You’ll just have to open to see for yourself.”

“Okay, but you have to uncover the canvas at the same time.  Deal?”

My lips quirked into a wide grin as I looked into her shining blue eyes, feeling as if I was drowning in them – lost in their depth.  “Deal.”

“Okay.  One…two…” the tip of her thumb graced the latch as I grabbed the edge of the cloth in my hands, anticipating what lied underneath. “Three.”

Carefully, I unveiled the cloth as it landed on the floor.  I stared in utter amazement at the eyes that looked back at me – the same eyes that mirrored my own.  The shapes and colors created a beautiful atmosphere of a moment she captured from last night.  Light seeped in through the window, in delicate brush strokes.  The potted flowers that sprouted beneath the floor bed illustrate vividly in the painting, giving it a semblance of light against the backdrop.  I looked back to the center of the piece, looking intently at the eyes that she’d captured so well.

She captured a moment from last night as I told my story, painting a portrait of me. 

“It’s beautiful.”

Taking my eyes from her captivating painting I saw Anna’s soft blue eyes looking adoringly at her present.  Her fingers gingerly ran through the charms of the bracelet as they glistened in the sun.  Setting the canvas upright on her luggage I stepped forward, taking her hand in mine, and lead her to an unoccupied bench to sit.  

“I can’t take this it’s too-”

I shook my head, her words coming to a stop.  “It’s something to remember me by just as your painting is for me.”  Her eyes look down at the bracelet in her shaking hands.  Her breathing coming out in short shallow breaths.  I can hear her heart beating wildly in her chest as I put my arm around her shoulders, pulling her in to me. 

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