“What are you looking at?” her friend Liz asks, coming up from behind.
“Oh, hi,” Rachel says and gives Liz a quick hug. “Look at this picture.”
Liz glances up and offers her critique. “It doesn’t do much for me.”
“Don’t you see all that is in that tear moving across the canvas?” Rachel says in a quiet voice.
“All I see is a big red blob,” Liz answers. “I did read the other day scientists found that tears from different emotions have different chemicals. Tears of joy are different from tears of pain, and so on.”
Still staring at the painting, Rachel barely whispers, “This one is filled with sadness, pain, and sorrow, so I guess it would be hard for the scientists to nail down.”
“Come on, let’s get out of here. Everyone will be waiting,” Liz urges.
“You go ahead. Maybe I’ll join you later, but right now I’m just not up to it.”
“Oh, come on. It will be fun. We’ll laugh until we have tears in our eyes.”
Rachel offers Liz a small smile and shakes her head no. “I just need to stay here a bit longer. I need to be with this painting.”
“Okay, but promise to come join us. You know where we’ll be,” Liz says and after another quick hug, turns and leaves.
Rachel continued looking at the painting. She was falling deeper and deeper into its world.
A bellhop had been watching Rachel since she came into the lobby. He slowly approaches her. “If you look at that for too long, you’ll find yourself depressed. After working here for a few a months, I told myself I couldn’t look at it anymore. It got to me too much.”
Rachel hears him speak, but it’s as if the voice is from inside her head. She almost feels a tear run down her face.