She is the last one and I'm closing. So many people came to see my gallery and it's only the first day.! Very flattering.
"I would like to buy the statue curved in the shape of an embryo".
"Excuse me?" I heard myself saying, "Embryo? Maybe you are confused with the gallery next to mine. There are two artists in the same place but my works are to my right."
"Yes, I mean the statue over there in the right corner"
My eyes followed her finger to the corner. Indeed it was mine. But I have no idea what she is talking about.
"I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. My exhibition is about animals, you know pets, farm animals, wild animals all of the type. But you know art is art, people can see many things in it..."
"And the painting over there with the fetus? How much is it?"
I stood still. What didn't she understand?
People have told me before I opened the gallery that I would bump into all kinds of people with all sorts of comments and reactions. I was warned not to take everything personally.
"I'm terribly sorry miss, but that painting is about a lioness and her cub. It is very hard not to miss…but you have a great imagination! Are you also an artist?"
"No. Not at all. Well how much is it?"
I thought for a second. "A thousand dollars."
She looked me straight in the eyes. "Thank you, I will need to think about it. I'll come back tomorrow. Good night"
Good night I replied. She was gone.
I was surrounded by animals. In the silence I could hear them breathing. They were all looking at me. What the hell is she talking about? Embryos? Fetus?
The fish's huge body floated in front of me. I took a few steps to get a closer look.
I felt the blood rush from my body. If I looked carefullyat the face of the fish I could see him staring at me.The brother that I had never known. The one my mother said had died at birth but really had been sent for adoption. Our Down Syndrome baby that she didn't want, now looked at me. Have you been here all the time? For years I was waiting to see you. A perfect baby, so fragile, soft, and cute. I was afraid to touch it. Afraid it might disappear or leave me for another twenty years. This was the closest I have ever been. I dared to touch it with trembling hands. My fingers felt his smooth skin, the soft skin only embryos have. What about the painting she talked about?
I stood back from the fish, from my new born brother and lifted my eyes towards the painting on the other side of the room. As I lifted my eyes across the hall I suddenly could see from each piece of work faces, fetus and embryos, all surrounding me. Instead of silence I could hear them all crying, shouting, yelling at me. It wasn’t me who deserted you, I wanted to scream back!!. How can I comfort you now baby brother? What can I give you? What do you need? I am sorry…. So sorry…I felt the tears pouring from my eyes and didn't bother even to wipe them off my cheeks.
How can I leave you again here in the dark, or even think of selling you?
It is nearly morning and I must get some sleep.
I will come back tomorrow baby brother, I promise.
I felt as if the umbilical cord was now cut off.
I took one more glance at each baby and shut off the lights. Sleep well baby brother. I love you so much.
And I locked the door after me.
I had managed to take four steps away from the front entrance when I felt a man's hand on my shoulder and a firm voice followed: "Miss Jone, you are under arrest for the murder of the baby Dona Trass. You have the right to remain silent."