Threemonths after the truth became open to Lance, his mother and Peterabout their knowledge of Mr. Mallow’s lack of talent and terriblesculptures, Lance went back to Paris where he continued to paint. Hemet an old man after several days who said he would teach him how topaint if he followed him and so Peter followed the man. Back inCambridge, Peter remained silent about the love he had for the motherof Lance. Peter still carried the burden of the secret in his heart,always wanting to say it, but not willing to risk his friendship withthe Mallows. Peter carried on living the pretentious miserable lifefilled with the loneliness that was sometimes combined with the doubtof whether to reveal his feelings to Mrs. Mallow and why he had nevermarried or not. He wondered what the consequences of telling Mrs.Mallow the truth would be, but was always not ready to find outthrough experience. However, he always had the bizarre feeling thatif Mrs. Mallow had lied to her husband about how bad the sculptureswere she would also have lied about her true feelings for him aswell.
“Sir,I have been with you for months now, and you keep telling me to bepatient with you. Would you please at least show me your studio?”Lance asked the old man one day after several months of staying withhim and selling paintings in his shop. He had been asked by the manto duplicate paintings to sharpen his skills before he is trained onhow to create original paintings of his own.
“Youngman I have nothing to teach you. I thought you could paint, but now Irealize you cannot.” The old man replied. “As a matter of fact,you cannot even duplicate a painting well.” The man continued. “Youneed more time to learn the basics of painting.”
Lancedid not reply to what the old man said and stayed for several weeksuntil the police arrested the old man for counterfeiting people’spaintings. It was then that Lance realized that the old man was afraud, and he had used him to counterfeit paintings before sellingthe fakes at high prices. He left the shop and after narrowlyescaping arrest as an accomplice and went back to the streets ofParis where he continued painting and displaying his paintings.
Aftertwo years of selling paintings for low prices in the streets, Lancemet a wealthy business person who bought one of the paintings andhung it in one of his buildings where his colleagues saw it andsought to buy more of the same quality from Lance. Lance finallybecame famous and started hosting shows exhibits for his paintingsand those of less known artists to give them a chance to be known andsell their pieces of art.
Mr.Mallow died three years after Lance returned to Paris and Lancereturned home to pay his last respects. During the time of thefuneral, Mrs. Mallow had been very lonely and only had Peter tocomfort her. Months after the death of Mr. Mallow, Mrs. Mallowstarted growing fond of Peter, and they started going for lunchestogether in local restaurants. Occasionally, Mrs. Mallow would invitePeter over for dinner, and Peter would return the favor. Soon theystarted getting closers and closer as they enjoyed each other’scompany and time flew by. After a year or so, Mrs. Mallow managed toovercome the grief of losing her husband, although they continuegetting closer until one day Peter gained the confidence to revealthe secret he had hidden for so long in his heart.
“Youknow you have always meant more than a friend to me, right?” Peterbegan as he fidgeted like an adolescent.
“Oh,Peter I know that. You have been like a brother to Mallow and me foras long as I can remember. Even Mallow would agree with me on that.God rest his soul in eternal peace.” Mrs. Mallow repliedinnocently.
“Ido not mean that way…”
“PeterI know what you mean. I have always felt the same too.” Mrs. Mallowinterrupted before they kissed and bid each other a good night andPeter went to his place smiling.
Peterand Mrs. Mallow married the same day Lance married a lady he had metin one of his art exhibitions in Paris in a joint ceremony held inCambridge. The two new couples moved to Paris where they settled andcontinued building their lives on realities rather than lies.