“Alexandra!” Richard called out from across the gallery. The two friends, still arm in arm walked over to Richard and a lady who was conspicuously covered in the sort of sophisticated bling that would make any insurance assessor break out in a cold sweat. They were standing in front of the painting of the two women locked in sexual embrace that was not for sale.
“Lady Fullerton is absolutely captivated by this painting and wishes you to reconsider your decision not to sell it. I have explained that you are unlikely to change your mind but she insisted on talking to you herself” said Richard.
“It’s absolutely captivating” purred Lady Fullerton, “I have never seen a painting that so powerfully conveyed such passion and yet at the same time such beautiful feminine intimacy. Name your price, I simply must have it.”
Alexandra forced the smile that Richard had painstakingly trained her to produce with prospective customers, “I’m afraid Richard’s absolutely correct Lady Fullerton; this painting is not for sale. Anyway it’s out of my hands as I no longer own this painting.”
Both Richard and Vanessa were taken aback by this. Alexandra was a force of nature when she had made up her mind about something. She had told both of them that she would never sell that painting and yet here she was standing in front of them directly contradicting herself.
“Well who is the new owner” exclaimed Lady Fullerton, “perhaps I could persuade them to part with it if the price is right? Do tell me.”
“Yes do tell us” said Richard quizzically with a raised eyebrow.
“Why the picture belongs to Vanessa here of course” smiled Alexandra putting her arm across Vanessa’s shoulder, “it could never truly belong to anyone else.”
Vanessa looked at Alexandra with tears glistening in her eyes. This was the moment captured in paint that had completely changed her life. Alexandra was right; it would never mean so much to anyone else.
“How much would you take for the picture?” enquired Lady Fullerton, “name your price, you will find I have very deep pockets if I really want something.”
Vanessa could not supress the laugh that burst out from between her lips, much to Lady Fullerton’s surprise and obvious distaste.
Vanessa composed herself and then politely replied “Well Lady Fullerton, I am sorry to have to tell you that I will never sell this painting. I will however offer you something which I believe is of far more value to you; some advice. Beyond a certain quantity, and I’m sure you would consider it to be a surprisingly low quantity, money is utterly worthless, indeed it is positively harmful. Understanding the truth of this would be an opportunity for you to discover riches beyond your wildest imagination. I’m afraid I have to tell you that you have nothing of any real value to offer me for this painting.” With that she calmly walked away to look at some of the other paintings leaving behind a completely bemused Lady Fullerton and a gallery proprietor who was grinning from ear to ear.