Paintbrush

The sand was warm under Truman's hands as he sat quietly on the still beach, watching the sun disappear over the edge of the sea. Sylvia's hand was settled on top of his own, gently caressing his skin with her thumb. He could feel the warmth from that too, and the warmth of the sun on his face. It was…different from the fake sun he had felt before. He hadn't known quite how lacking it had been back then. He did now, and he appreciated every moment of it.

He watched the gold streaks meet the reds and oranges and start to be pushed away by the blue.

"You know," he whispered, "Marlon once said to me, as we were watching the sunset together, that it was the most perfect sunset in the world. He said that the big guy had quite a paintbrush."

Sylvia turned her eyes away from the natural work of art before her to the one sitting next to her. She was getting used to these little comments that he made as he compared real life to the fake one he had previously lived. Her eyes travelled over every feature of his face and figure, imprinting them again on her memory. She had seen him so many times when he hadn't seen her. She knew the look of it all from a flat screen, when she had been separated from him unfairly, unjustly for so many painful years. All she had been able to do then was look. He was so much more beautiful in person. His hand was so real underneath hers. She couldn't believe that she finally had him with her now, with no cameras and no interruptions. It was just the two of them.

"When I left the studio," Truman continued, "my belief that there was an almighty creator vanished. The creator of that amazing sunset, that perfect sunset, happened to be a man who had engineered my whole life…and yeah, his crew of artists probably did have nice paintbrushes."

Truman fell silent and gazed out at the sea.

"This though…" he waved his hand forward, "this restores it." He looked at Sylvia, directly into her eyes and smiled that smile that had captured the heart of millions across the globe. "This sunset, the real one, far outstrips anything that could have been created in a studio. It is more perfect, more beautiful, more colourful, more awe inspiring…and the real thing."

Sylvia smiled at the boyish look of delight on his face, how alive he looked, and kissed him. Truman wrapped his arms around her and drew her closer until there was no distance between them. Finally breaking the kiss Sylvia snuggled into his jumper, breathing in his smell as they watched the last rays of the sunset together.

Truman held her close, resting his face against her hair.

"I tell you what though," he whispered into the golden brown strands. "It appears that Marlon was right, the Big Guy really does have an amazing paintbrush."