What Do You Think?

There were three huge paintings on the far wall of the gallery. The one in the middle reminded her of a holiday in Scarborough, back when her and John were just married. They stayed in a flat with a view of the sea; the first morning she'd woken early and watched the sky turn a gentle pink, the waves glinting as the sun lifted itself above the horizon.
    'So, what do you think?' The man next to her half-turned, smiling.
    What did she think? She thought she shouldn't be here. She thought she should never have let Linda talk her into it. An art gallery! The last time she'd been in a gallery she'd been a schoolgirl, bored stiff by a man with a black moustache who'd stopped in front of painting after painting to wave his arms and talk about style and technique, shadow and light. The more he spoke, the further away the paintings seemed to get.
    She gave a little laugh, because it felt rude to just stand there, silent. She looked at the painting again, with its blues and pinks and a tiny flash of white which did something to her heart, though she couldn't say why.
    'Do you like them?' he asked.
    The man nodded and smiled again. He was waiting for her to say something.
    She swallowed, and folded her arms, and said, 'I'm not really an art person.'
    She should not have come. Except then she wouldn't have seen the painting or thought about Scarborough and how John had picked her up and carried her into the sea, both of them fully clothed and crying with laughter. She wished the man would go away.
    'You don't have to be an art person to like something,' the man said, 'Or not to like it.'
    She wondered, for a moment, if he had painted the pictures himself. If he had, she would like to ask him about that flash of white, and why the paintings had no names, and whether he had ever been to Scarborough.
    'In fact, I'm not sure there is such a thing as an art person,' the man continued. 'Maybe there are people who'd say they were, but I don't think such a thing exists.'
    She thought about the man with the black moustache making all those paintings feel impossible to understand, and then about John saying they must go to the theatre sometime, or to a gallery or some such, and how they never did.
    'That one.' She pointed at the middle picture. It was almost as tall as she was. 'It makes me want to step inside of it,' she said, and then blushed, but the man was simply looking at the painting and nodding, as though he knew exactly what she meant.

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