The Painter’s Masterpiece - Short Story

The Painter’s Masterpiece - Short Story

The Painter’s Masterpiece

It was apparent to be a pleasure for Amir, a twenty-one-year-old young man to earn money from his paintings. Last week, one of his paintings had been bought by a rich businessman, and the generous businessman gave twenty million rupiahs for the beautiful painting.

Ilustrasi foto Gadis Rusia

Amir never had twenty million rupiahs in his life. He lived in a poor neighborhood with his mom. He quitted school when he was 15 years old because of poverty. He had to work in a fertilizer store since then. The fertilizer store had been closed a year ago, and Amir lost his job and started to develop his talent through painting.

One day, when Amir was painting on a canvas in his tiny bedroom, his mom got in. “Amir, what are you doing, child?” asked his old mom, with a heavy cough in her voice. “I’m painting, Mom. Look, it’s a wonderful land I dreamt last night. It seems very perfect, doesn’t it? Posh castle on cloud, colorful flowers and trees around it, and…”, before Amir could finish his word, his Mom cut, “Yes, I see. It’s a land in your imagination. I never find your painting about imaginary things, Amir. You often paint flowers, trees, mountains, and many things about nature, or pretty women. But now you amaze me by creating a new masterpiece. Good boy,” said his Mom with a smile.

“Listen, Mom. This is a land of our own, a place where we owe no more. A perfect heaven without poverty,” explained Amir. “Amir, despite poverty, debts, I feel happy to be your mom. I have you in my life and that’s what makes me enjoy this living,” replied his mom.

Amir kept painting his “imaginary land” with his imagination flying around his mind. He imagined he and his mom lived in the beautiful adorable castle just like he was painting. Then, Amir’s mom came in the room with holding money with her hand. “Is it finished?” she asked. “Not yet,” answered the son. “Amir, would you mind helping me?” his mom asked again, “please buy milkfish in the market.” “Sure,” said Amir, standing up. His mom handed him the money and he went to the market.

When Amir was walking in the traditional market, people talked about him. Everyone was praising and admiring. “Hey, how are you, Mr. Great Painter!” yelled Amir’s best friend, Rinto, a meatball seller. “What was that were you calling me with?” asked Amir laughing.

“Amir, you must be wealthy now,” commented a woman, “I heard you got 20 million from your painting!”
“You are quite remarkable, Young Man,” said a meat seller.

Amir smiled to those people delighted,” Thank you, folks. But I’m not rich at all. I’m still a dirty boy who likes playing football in mud just like when I was little.”

On the way home, something terrible happened. A taxi hit Amir’s motorcycle and he fell from it with a painful sore. Exactly, he broke his two hands. People in the road brought him to the nearby hospital immediately. Amir was incautious. His mom came to the hospital, crying heavily. The taxi driver ran way just after the car hit Amir, and he never showed up. When Amir turned to be cautious again, his mom embraced him. While crying, she said, “Amir, I don’t have any money to pay this hospital. Your twenty-million-money will be for this.” Amir burst into tears without a single word. Amir’s friend, Rinto, was standing beside Amir’s mom and said, “Face this with patience and strength, Amir. God is always with you.”

Soon Amir looked around his body with astonishment and asked, “Where are my hands?” “They have been broken and they have been amputated,” explained the doctor. Amir stared at his mom and his tears flowed as if it could not be stopped. “I’m sorry, Mr. Amir Ridwansyah, but this is the only thing we can help.” “What!!!”, shouted Amir like a mad man. “How can I go through my life with this? I can’t paint anymore! I can’t give money to my mom! What will my life be?!!!”

The doctor went out the room, leaving Amir’s mom and Rinto to calm Amir’s grief down. Amir’s mom hugged him, “You can, Amir. Oh, yes you can. I will work hard. I will work in mister mayor’s house as a housekeeper. And you can still create masterpieces with your feet.” “But I can’t paint with feet…” cried Amir. “You can if you try,” Rinto added.

The dramatic crying went for 3 hours. Amir could not change his feeling. The bright sun turned to be dark cloud full of thunder for him. Amir stayed for 3 days in the hospital, and when he came back to his house, everything seemed getting worse. “Look at that! Amir the painter without hands! Hahaha…” shouted children who were playing football. “Oh, can you see him? He lost his hands.. And guess what he will do… he won’t paint anymore!!!” yelled gentlemen who were playing chess with huge nasty laugh.

Amir and his mom walked home; full of sorrow. Amir felt depressed, and he cried and grumbled again at home. “I don’t know what to do with my life,” said Amir sadly. ”Ending up life seems far much better.” “No you can’t say that. Try to paint with your feet,” replied his mom.

His mom took him to his painting room, passed him a painting brush. “Hold it with your feet and start painting,” said his mom. “I don’t have any idea,” replied Amir shortly. “Yes, you do. I know you very well, Amir, and you always have ideas,” said his mom wisely. “There are always ideas dancing around your head.” “I’m thinking about chickens… Chickens those are playing in the ditch every morning, “Amir explained. “Now, put your imagination on the canvas, Amir,” said his mom softly. “It’ll be a great masterpiece.”

Amir started painting with his right foot. It was difficult at the beginning, but turned to be easier as he did it with heart and desire. Amir put the color perfectly: bright red for the chicken’s head, yellow and brown for the fur. After finishing the first painting, he painted schoolboys playing football in the rain, just like he used to do when he was little. Someone knocked the door’,”Assalamualaikum.” It was Rinto. He went inside Amir’s room. “Hey, still creating admirable paintings?” asked Rinto. “Nope, just waiting until they’re dry,” answered Amir. 

“How about your business, anyway?” “What? Meatball do you mean? You call it business?” Rinto got confused, “It’s going well.” Rinto looked at Amir’s painting carefully, and said, “What about selling them to the market?” Amir frowned. ”Do you think anyone will be pleased to buy any of my painting?” Rinto looked at Amir’s eyes deeply. “Your paintings look great, Amir. Trust me,” Rinto tried to convince him.

“Come on. Stand up. Let’s go selling these to the market!” cheered Rinto. “What are you waiting for?!”

The two friends went to the market to sell the paintings. Everything had not changed. Everyone was underestimating Amir, saying mocking words to him. “What’s that? A painting of ugly chickens? Hahaha!” mocked a store owner. Amir was going to get angry, but Rinto calmed him down by saying, “Don’t listen to them. Let’s go downtown. I know there will be people who appreciate your magnificent oil painting.” “What?!” Amir didn’t believe Rinto’s word. “You mean by knocking door to door?” “Of course not,” answered Rinto. “I’ll show you.”

They soon went downtown, walked to a posh neighborhood, shouting, “Painting! Painting! Beautiful painting to attach on your wall! Low price, high quality!” Everyone looked at them with curiosity in their faces. It seemed weird to have two young men selling paintings in the neighborhood.

Suddenly a security officer came nearer to them. “What are you doing in here?!,” shouted the officer fiercely. “We’re selling paintings,” Amir answered innocently. “Do you take any interest in my paintings?” The officer showed his anger, “Now, go away from here right away. This place is not for selling anything!”

Rinto and Amir ran away immediately, going home quickly with disappointed feeling.

“Rinto, what a miserable thing!” cried Amir. “No, Amir. It’s just the beginning. Never give up, Amir,” said Rinto. “You’re always saying that, Rinto,” Amir began to be unpleasant, “Yes, it’s like piece of cake saying that, but would you keep struggling for your ruined life after losing your hands?!” “Amir, what happens to you?!” Rinto replied angrily. “Every life is worth of living! Don’t you realize that?! You still have chances to reach your goals! You can be success!” “You can say that because you never experience such miserable disaster like I do. I have left my goals. All I wanna do is sobbing and regretting my life. 

I’m gonna end up my life!” Amir could not prevent tears flowing on his cheeks. Rinto shook his head, “I can’t comprehend you. It depends on you! It’s your life and not mine!!! Go… ending your life, stop dreaming, and be a looser!” “Yes, Rinto, you’re right. And start from right now, I don’t want to know you anymore. Leave me, Rinto! Leave me facing this hell alone!” Amir failed to control his emotion and ran away, leaving his best buddy. “Amir, do you forget memory of our childhood when you tell me your goals to be a famous painter?!” yelled Rinto from distance. Amir ignored Rinto, and kept walking.

It was raining when Amir arrived home. “Amir, where are your paintings?” asked his mom suddenly. “They must be sold out.” Amir stunned, thinking hard. “Aargh, no,” he said,” I left it. Aargh, Rinto. B*st*rd! What a sh*t Rinto!”

Amir’s mom was surprised hearing such bad words, “Amir, what’s wrong with you, child?” Amir didn’t answer and got into his room. Amir had just realized he left his paintings on Rinto, because Rinto was carrying the paintings all day long. Five months later, Amir was still depressed.

On a Sunday night, a man knocked the door. “Excuse me,” said a 40-year-old man in a low voice, “Is it Mr. Amir Ridwansyah’s house?” “Oh, yes. It’s me,” smiled Amir, “Please, come in.” Amir’s mom made two cups of tea for Amir and his guest. The guest was Mr. Gambir Hartoto, a rich and famous painter. “Well, I saw two paintings. Two great paintings which really touch my deepest heart,” said Mr. Gambir. “Would you like seeing them?” offered Mr. Gambir. Amir nodded, “With pleasure.” Then Mr. Gambir opened a big plastic bag he was bringing. Amir was shocked. He got stunned. There was no word could be said by him. “I’m going to give 30 million for this,” Mr. Gambir said. Mr. Gambir was holding a painting of chickens being fed by an old woman; a painting made by Amir.

Mr. Gambir showed the second painting: a painting of schoolboys playing soccer in the rain; also painted by Amir. “And so for this one,” said Mr. Gambir briefly. Amir could not keep his eyes dry from pleasure tears; a sign of happiness after going through huge storm of life.

After a moment, Amir could speak again. “Sir, would you tell me how you could get these paintings?” asked Amir politely. It wasn’t an accident. When Rinto was selling meatball in a posh neighborhood, he met Mr. Gambir who ordered a bowl of meatball. They had a long conversation about painting, and Rinto told Mr.Gambir about Amir’s talent, showed his painting, and gave him Amir’s address.

Amir got stunned once more; feeling a massive disappointment that he had ended his friendship with Rinto, his life hero besides his mom.

When Mr. Gambir left, Amir immediately went to Rinto’s house to meet him; he wanted to thank Rinto very much. “Rinto’s not home,” answered Rinto’s wife, “He’s been in the hospital since last night.” “What happened to him?” asked Amir.

“I don’t know yet. The doctor hasn’t told me,” that was the only explanation Rinto’s wife gave.

Amir now had enough money for the living. The house was being reconstructed, even he owned a car. A month later, Amir was invited to join an exhibition by Mr. Gambir and other painters. Amir got them back: praise, applause, and money. Every visitor admired his masterpiece. His picture appeared on media. He received much more than he ever expected. He was overwhelmed by the ocean of joy.

His mom came to the exhibition, feeling proud of his son. She hugged and kissed his son with a tender love. “I’m proud of you,” she whispered. “Thanks,” Amir smiled and gave her a kiss on cheek. “I have a pathetic news for you and me,” said his mom. “What’s that?” Amir paid attention. “Rinto has passed away last night,” answered his mom. “What?!” Amir got extremely surprised. “He had been suffering cancer for 3 months,” his mom continued talking, “and his wife told me, the last word from him was ‘please tell Amir not to stop struggling. He can’t give u’.”

Tears swamped Amir’s eyes. Deep inside his heart, he prayed for Rinto. He glanced at his painting of school boys playing football in the rain; remembering past time where he and Rinto had been young boys, playing football with cheers in the heavy rain.

( Hanifah )
Baca Juga

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