The Truth

Prompt: Show me that and destroy me

Ezra looked up when Chris Starbright approached him. He knew the man immediately, after all, he’d just spent the last week painting his likeness. As he drew near, Ezra stood. He could see immediately that Starbright was not handling the loss of his wife and son well.

“What do you want?” he asked, sounding tired.

For a moment, Ezra hesitated. Then, he said, “Pardon the intrusion, Master Starbright.” He bowed politely before continuing. “Your… late wife commissioned a painting from me. I… I just finished it and… what did you want me to do with it?”

“What is it of?” Starbright said. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair, cursing softly. “Family portrait…”

Ezra nodded, but didn’t speak.

Tears welled in Starbright’s eyes and he shook his head. “I’ll pay you for the work,” he said. “It’s only fair.” He looked over at the man who’d met Ezra first. “Logan, could you take the painting. Right now, I just… I can’t…” he trailed off, shaking his head.

“I’ll see it’s kept safe,” Logan said, giving him a tight smile. “Someday, when you’re ready…” As Chris nodded and wandered away, Logan turned to Ezra. “I just need your account number and a copy of the contract you had with Sarah, we’ll see to it that you’re credited with the proper amount.”

“Right,” Ezra said. He held out the contract and pointed at one line of text. “That’s my account number at the National Bank.” His brows furrowed and he said, “I wouldn’t mind holding the painting for Master Starbright – free of charge. I’ve got the facilities for it, after all.”

“We’ll just do that then,” Logan said, nodding. “When Chris is up to it, he can come and collect it from you.”

Ezra nodded and bowed, as he walked away, he remembered his father’s death – how it had made him feel to lose someone he’d loved so deeply. He could imagine some of Starbright’s pain, but not all of it. Holding the painting, caring for it and keeping it safe, was the least he could do. As he stepped out onto the street, he said a silent prayer of comfort for Starbright.