Friday, July 17, 2009


“Mr. Paint Man, draw me a picture please.” The girl pleaded in a sweet, tiny voice.

He stopped short with his roller brush midway across the large wall. There goes the momentum. For a moment, he contemplated being annoyed at having his work interrupted. But that was only for the split second until he his gaze met hers.

There was a sadness about her, somehow. Perhaps it was in her eyes. They looked somewhat misty, and her voice cracked a little when she spoke.

“What kind of picture would you like?”

The girl beamed at the question, but shrugged in reply.

“You don’t know?”

“Something beautiful,” was all she could suggest.

He bent down and picked up a small paintbrush. He paused for a moment, realizing that he had no canvas to paint on. Not that it was a surprise, really. He wasn’t an artist, anyway. What’s worse, he only had two different colours of paint on hand. How that would amuse the girl at all, he really didn’t know.

He looked around. But there was no surface he could easily make use of to draw on. There was the wall, which was out of the question. Besides that, there was only the floor. He tapped his foot repeatedly on the cold hard surface as he contemplated it.

The girl gazed up expectantly at him, her big round eyes hopeful. There was no way he could’ve excused her request away.

So, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes, trying to imagine a picture in his mind’s eye. Then, he dipped his paintbrush into one of the cans, and began.

“It’s lovely!” The girl squealed moments later, once he was done with his feeble attempts at drawing something.

“It is?” He doubted that, but if at the very least it amused her or made her happier than she had been when she’d first spoken to him, it would be good enough. Suddenly feeling rather self-conscious, he glanced about nervously, praying hard that no one else would walk their way and see the mess he’d created. He’d have to think of how to get the paint out later…

Her face lit up in delight as she bent down and fingered the strokes of paint on the floor. She seemed to find some comfort in his silly little piece of art, for whatever reason. Her eyes narrowed as she traced the outlines of the shapes and figures in his picture.

Suddenly, she began to cry.

It was so silent that he wouldn’t have known at all, had it not been for the tears that were noticeably falling from her face. He stared at her bewildered, uncertain what it was all about.

“Tell me what colours they are,” she said in a calm, rather quiet tone.

He knelt by her side, stunned momentarily by the thought that had just occurred to him.

Then, he described the most lavish spectrum of colours that anyone could’ve ever heard of. He even told a story of the characters in his painting and how they lived in a wonderful world with dozens of hues, shades and tints.

She sat listening intently to his every word, eventually drying her eyes.

Then, she smiled.

Day#4 - Inspired by the advertisement on the overhead bridge at Kelana Jaya LRT station