There was once a young talented painter, famed for his paintings that shined happiness and love.
Although his painting was really beautiful, only a few places would exhibit his art,
Thus, only a few would come to know of him.

Whenever he would show up to an art exhibition, people would praise him
Yet, he somehow… He couldn’t help but force a smile and just say “Thank you”
The smiles and the praise wouldn’t even make him truly happy
It felt like something was wrong… That something was amiss…
He knew that that feeling had been bothering him for years and years,
But he paid no mind and just kept on painting and accepting the praises.

On a clear and sunny day, he went outside to a park near where he stayed to paint.
He tried to sketch something up, but nothing striking would ever come up,
So he decided to up and go take a stroll around the area,
“Maybe the cute animals and the lovely people here will inspire me” he thought.

While walking around, he heard from afar “Oh my! Isn’t that Mr. Painter?!”
He looked around and tried to find that voice who called for him.

In the distance came running a young woman with short blond hair,
She had brown eyes and was just a tad bit smaller than him.
She looked young, but it doesn’t seem like she was much younger than him,
One could say that they were about the same age.

“I’m a huge fan of yours!”
The painter was surprised and confused at this sudden encounter.
The young girl introduced herself and told him how much she loved his paintings.
The painter couldn’t help but smile at her outgoing personality.

Seeing how she kept on talking about how she loved his works,
He invited her to come and sit down with him and watch him paint.
She gladly accepted and they went back to where the painter left his stuff.

She sat down next to him and looked at him with admiration,
The painter couldn’t help but feel pressured, yet feel at ease.

Seeing a woman and a man walking by, talking and laughing happily,
Inspiration suddenly hit him like a truck, he grabbed his brush and started painting.
The young girl couldn’t help but be amazed.

When he was done, he showed it to the young girl.

It was just the same picture as what they saw earlier,
A man and a woman with a pure smile, walking in a beautiful flower filled scenery.
Anyone who’d see would undoubtly say “This painting radiates warmth, love and joy.” with a smile.

Yet… The young girl looked sad. The painter didn’t understand her frown and asked her about it.
She stayed silent, looked at him with a sad face, stood up and walked behind the bench.
The painter, not averting his eyes from her, didn’t understand what was happening.

She stopped behind him. “What are you doing?” asked the painter, without replying, she just closed her eyes and told him with a stern and peaceful voice “Turn around.”

He didn’t understand what was going on, but he knew that he had to obey..
When he turned his head around, he felt two soft arms wrapping around his neck.
Before he could even usher one single word, the girl started talking.

“Painter… I love your works, not because they show joy and love… I love them because of the message you’re trying to tell everyone…”

He didn’t understand what she meant at all, but yet, her words felt like a thousand swords stabbing through his heart.

“For example… This painting that you just painted. As I watched you paint it, I looked at you closely and the things that I saw in your eyes was not happiness, love nor joy… Your eyes were filled with loneliness, sadness and pain… You were in so much pain that I thought you’d cry before even finishing the painting, but yet, you didn’t stop.”

The painter didn’t know what to say, somehow, he wanted to deny it, but yet, he feels that what she said was true… So he couldn’t say anything and stayed silent.

The young girl unwrapped her arms from his neck and went back to sit next to him.
The painter, still confused, kept looking at his painting.

“So many of your paintings tell of a boy and a girl loving each other, most of your fans thought that it was a story of a happy couple, a happy family. But, whenever you spoke to your fans, I felt a subtle sadness in your tone…”

He was shocked at what he had just heard. The girl understood what he felt, before he could even realize it…

“You are lonely aren’t you? You’re in pain, you’re sad and you feel incredibly lonely don’t you? You couldn’t live the story that you told through your paintings… Am I right?”

He still couldn’t look away from his painting until he noticed huge round transparent dots were starting to form on it. They were his tears, he noticed that he started crying.

“You… I…”

The young girl, seeing her favorite painter in pain, started to cry too.

“I… I’m sorry if I brought up sad memories…”

After staying silent for so long, the painter finally opened his mouth and spoke “I… I couldn’t tell her… And now… She’s…”

The girl stayed silent, but seeing as how he didn’t seem to want to continue talking, she tried to guess what he was going to say

“She’s unreachable?”

The painter, slowly wiping his tears and recomposing himself, calmly replied to her

“She went somewhere far away, somewhere I can’t reach her… I gave up on it… Yet… Like you said, my paintings reflect that I still want to see her…”

The young girl smiled through her tears and told him happily “Then you should go and see her! Or, or… Paint something that will reach her!”

The painter was surprised at her proposal, thought about it for a little while, patted her head and told her with a smile that he had never shown before, a true smile

“Haha… Yeah… I’ll tell her… Through this brush and this canvas, my feelings for her.”

The girl smiled happily and cheered him up.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Months later, a painting was made famous all around the world.
This painting made a lot of people smile and inspired so many to confess their feelings.
But, what made it truly famous was how happy the painter and the young girl who helped him made it possible during his interview.

People are still cheering him on, to keep on painting and to one day, find the woman that he couldn’t tell his feelings to.

As the hope of all his fans and his cheerful partner carry him through, he hoped that one day, his masterpiece “Distance”… Would one day find that special person.