"Why are you so nervous today?" He looked at his nephew who was pacing the little area where they had put up their paintings. Plaza Mayor was filled with tourists and many were enjoying drinks and tapas at the terraces.
The young man shrugged and kept on pacing.
"Oh, this is so pretty!" A lady with an elaborate hairdo stopped in front of one of the paintings.
The older man came up next to her.
"Yes, it is, isn't it? My nephew has painted it," he pointed proudly towards the young man.
"Very pretty indeed", the woman said while she touched the painting carefully. "Such a funny idea, all these butterflies. How much is it?"
"It is not for sale", the boy answered without even looking at them. He kept scanning the large square; searching, waiting.
The lady shot an angry look towards the impolite young painter and left with quick steps. She bought a painting from the artist that was standing next to them and she made it a point to show the amount of bills when doing so.
"What is the matter with you today? Why do you put up a painting that is not for sale?"
Finally he saw a change in the boy's face, it lit up.
"Because it is for her. For her only."
The older man followed his gaze and saw the girl that was coming towards them. The long, silver-like hair was just as beautiful in reality as on the painting.
She stopped a couple of steps away from him. The questions that had been in their heads for so long tumbled around without being uttered.
Why did you not invite me in?As their eyes spoke, they realized it did not matter. It did not matter at all.
Why did you leave?
Why did you keep me waiting for so long?
Why did you not wait just a little while longer?"
He took her hand and walked to the painting.
She looked at it, at every stroke of the brush, at every shade of color.
"It is beautiful", she said softly.
He let her hand go and put his arm around her shoulder.
"Of course it is. It is you. The girl with the butterfly hair."
Illustration: Michiel Rosendahl