the artist came to paint her brightly colored mural on the brick wall of the warehouse by the derelict park. Around noon an old man would arrive and take his customary seat beneath a great elm tree. He enjoyed watching the artist work.
On the day the mural was finished the artist approached the old man and extended her paint-splattered hand. Hello, she said. I hope you like the mural.
It’s been wonderful to see it go up, the old man said with a smile. The girl you painted looking out the window reminds me of my daughter. I miss her. She’s far, far away from these ruined streets.
The artist sat down next to the old man, her silent companion for the past three months. They both admired the vibrant mural. They talked about art, life, and the dangerous neighborhood. The old man shared a photo of his daughter. The artist agreed there was a slight resemblance as she studied the tattered, wallet-sized portrait. She then packed up her paint cans, brushes, and ladder.
The next day the old man sat beneath the great elm tree. He fed a mangy squirrel. He missed watching the artist paint. Looking up at the mural he suddenly realized that the artist had changed the face of the girl in the window overnight.
He wept with joy as he looked upon his daughter’s smiling likeness, knowing that each day he would now be able to see her lovely face in the park they once visited together.