“Can I give you my secret? It’s okay. You can keep it; I don’t want it back.”
Ruby looks through me and out the other side. Her nail scratches at the wooden frame. The last specks of mud come away as she persists. It is still a beautiful painting in spite of the mud but my friend, Ruby, always needs things to be clean and blemish free. Her mother is no different. They are two women sliced off the same cloth; there wouldn’t have been much cloth left to make a third.
“Well? Do you want it or not? You don’t have to but I’m going to leave it here in Manchester anyway.”
“Why are you giving this away? It’s gorgeous. Look at the shades of red. You really are a good painter, Kezia. Why hide it?” Ruby runs her hands over the lines of the life-size young woman under the glass.