Published at 27th of December 2018 05:37:41 PM
Chapter 28

November 1, 20XX (Friday)

Galleria d'arte- Milan and The Grand Royal Palace Hotel- Milan

Ru Shi and Mei Li stood in front the imposing large doors of the gallery . The Actress was grinning in excitement while Mei Li, aside from her panting for breath, was fidgeting in nervousness . Her agent, Elias, has already opened her third collections to the public as per her instructions . To help deviate any eyes away from her, she was not allowed to attend the opening ceremony and since she valued her anonymity, Mei Li had obediently stayed at the Hotel with the Actress who had sulked for a while since she had hoped to attend .

When Mei Li had told Ru Shi that she could just leave her and go, Ru Shi had glared at her to shut up . Mei Li did not try to convince her otherwise . The painter had learned not to argue with Li Ru Shi for her own good .

After finishing the opening and Elias had given her an okay, Mei Li together with Ru Shi had rushed to the gallery with their heels clicking on the brick roads of Milan damaging their expensive red bottom shoes .

"Were you this nervous in your last two collections too?" Ru Shi turned to Mei Li, who was breathless and panting like an idiot . The painter had only nodded in response . Ru Shi hid the amused smile that plastered into her face with her hand as she looked . Mei Li's hair already in disarray but her face, although looked tired, was still pretty . If Mei Li wanted to enter the entertainment industry, she would succeed most definitely . Ru Shi knew one readily patron and sponsor already in Mei Li's hands that goes by the name Zhao Yang and this backer alone could overtake Ru Shi's position at the top .

'Thank God that she's a painter . ' Ru Shi thanks God for small mercies . Ru Shi entered the gallery by opening the door with a grin, excited to see the paintings that were hidden every time she came with Mei Li before, while Mei Li followed after her as if she was just another person hoping to look at the paintings and not the painter creator herself .

Ru Shi had wondered from one painting to the next, looking at a certain painting for a while before proceeding towards the next . She had observed the dark theme on this collection, appropriate for the theme of course and very in tuned with the painter's feelings .

She had been surprised to note two different points on the last two collections; first by how Miss M's somewhat abstract works had become more concrete that resembled more of a scene that tells a story like the first picture that greets you when you enter was one feminine hand reaching out to a masculine hand that was intertwined with another feminine hand . A broken red string was on the first feminine hand and the masculine hand signalling a broken relationship .

The second thing that surprised her was the white card that usually had the starting price of the painting and a short introduction of the painting was not the only thing that graces the side of the displays . In fact above the white card with those pieces of information was a black card with a short poem printed in white letters and having a signed named of the painter .

Ru Shi quickly peeked at Mei Li at her back before she turned to another painting . It seems that the famous painter is a poet too .

And suddenly Ru Shi stopped at a painting that made her eyes water and her heart hurt with loneliness . It was of a woman's back on a terrace with white angel wings, her right wings opened ready to fly but the left wing was broken and blooded exposing a bone and in the background was a city's skyscraper . It felt lonely the way the woman was crouching on the floor reaching out her right hand to the moon .

'Did these paintings have something hidden like the rest of her painting?' Ru Shi wondered to herself . If she was allowed, Ru Shi would buy all these paintings for herself . Miss M was indeed a genius, she was a painter that could pull heartstrings and Ru Shi could not believe that the woman following behind her, dishevelled from their rushed walk, and still breathing heavily was that said genius painter .

After spending the rest of the afternoon admiring Miss M's paintings, Ru Shi along with Mei Li went back to their hotel just two streets away from their current location . Ru Shi went out of the elevator and into her room with a smile, satisfied with the time she had spent . While Mei Li opened the door with her key card making expected noise from all her movements especially as she opened the door .

Suddenly a middle-aged woman in her early 50's had appeared, surprising Mei Li . The woman was dressed elegantly, with a white long-sleeved sweater tucked into a long asymmetrical dark blue pencil skirt . Her mid-length hair swept into the right and held with a dark hair tie that had a small dark green ribbon in front . In her ears were pearl earrings paired with the pearl necklace in her neck that had the largest pearl Mei Li had seen at the front .

"Hello, My Dear Child," the woman said with a smile that Mei Li returned enthusiastically and opened her arms to Mei Li asking for a hug from the painter .

"Hi," Mei Li meekly replied while she runs towards the waiting arms of Mother Zhao, tucking herself into the woman's warmth .

For Mei Li, an orphan, Mother Zhao was the only 'mother' that she knew intimately and being buried in her arms, Mei Li felt the safest .

Smelling the familiar lavender scent, her tears began to fall like the dam that stopped the flood broke and created a raging mini tsunami .

As Mother Zhao shut the door of their penthouse, the sound of sobbing stopped echoing in the hallway and tensed silence reigned as if the air lamented upon the beauty's pain .