Time was passing slowly and Dorian wasn't able to stay calm. His breath was irregular and his heart was beating too fast for a man that had nothing to hide. What was he doing? What did he do of his life? Basil's words were still locked in his mind. Poor Basil! What an end! He didn't deserve it, but Dorian knew that he couldn't do anything else. To kill Basil was the right thing to do: he knew too much. There, Dorian could see the material author of the terrible sin. A brilliant knife was shining, put on the edge of a soft armchair. He did clear the weapon, but he could still imagine the red and deep blood of his former best friend straining through the glittering blade.
Dorian had to admit to himself that he was feeling kinda weird. He was walking through the darkness of that attic... that attic that was witness of such a great number of horrible things, that mankind should keep hidden from the world.
A window was left half opened and so the light of the moon could give light to that corner of the room that he didn't want to see.
A cloth was covering Basil's portrait. Dorian kept it hidden because he was afraid of how he could be become. While he was keeping himself young and extraordinary handsome, the painting, representing his young figure, got old for him and it contained the signs of all the evil he did in his life. He didn't see it for a long time, because of the strange feelings and sense of guilt that representation brought to his soul.
Dorian stopped his walk and he saw his reflection through the window next to the still covered picture. His beauty was impeccable: the youth seemed to be so attached to this masterpiece that it could be considered a part of it. He sneered to his reflection. Lord Henry was right, he was always right: life is short and all mankind should live it with all the pleasures that it can offer. Beauty, appearance are the only way to reach that material satisfaction that let you feel complete.
The previous agitation disappeared, letting a pleasurable and selfish feeling flood his veins.
Dorian felt more self-confident and he tried to raise his hand to an edge of the covering cloth. He finally threw it away.
What a horrible sight! Was really this figure his representation? No, it was no more his physical portrait: it became only an accurate image of his corrupt soul. The picture seemed to look at him with scorn, giving to him terrible and evil expressions that hit his heart with a huge number of pointed blades.
Shivers of fear were sent down his spine. Were these ones the effects of what he had done in his life? How could those sensations, that brought to him pleasure, be linked to such a demoniacal image?
Fear let him fall on his knees. Dorian's soul had been corrupted in a permanent way. It had been a slow process but he didn't do anything to change what was happening.
A glittering flash passes through his eyes. Anger caught him in a while. With shaking hands, he took the sinful knife and he pointed it to the portrait.
- You...- he whispered in a crazy mood, looking at the picture. The figure in the portrait seemed to sustain his eyes with that diabolic sneer. - You are the cause of all my problems! You, jealous of my beauty, are trying to let me feel guilty. I'm not afraid of you...-
Dorian ended up with yelling to the picture. A huge rush moved his self-confident soul and the knife, that he was holding, hit the picture, causing an enormous wound on the painting.
As soon as the blade hit it, a sort of pain was provoked on Dorian's chest. He fell on the floor. What was happening? His blood was coming up his chest. He raised his eyes to the painting. The picture was intact and a young Dorian was sneering at him from the portrait. That was the last thing he saw before dying.
- Dorian? Dorian?- a familiar voice tried to wake him up. Dorian slowly opened his eyes. A huge light brought him to get surprise. Where was his attic? Where was his painting? He shook his head, trying to look around. His attention was caught by the place where he was. He knew it well. He had been in this garden lots of times. He would recognize anywhere the wonderful style of...
- Dorian! Finally you woke up! - Basil was next to him and he was giving to him one of his best smile.
- Basil?- a state of confusion came into Dorian. - Am I in Heaven with you, my friend? Oh, it must be an error! I have to be sent in Hell. -
A sort of agitation grew inside of him. He should be dead for seeing the poor Basil.
- Hell, Dorian? What are you saying? You are perfectly alive, thanks God, and if someone really evil would throw you out of this world, of course you would be sent in Heaven, where all the good and pure people like you should stay.- Basil smiled at him, trying to reassure him. - It had to be an horrible nightmare!-
Dorian showed to the friend all his surprise. - A nightmare, Basil?- he said with an affected voice. - Where's the portrait?-
Basil looked at him in a strange way, before exclaiming: - Dear Dorian, it's inside my office. While you were talking to Lord Henry, I continued to work on it and I almost finished it. Oh... I hope my friend you just met didn't annoy you. -
Lord Henry... How many adventures with him! Was it possible that it was only just a dream?
- Don't worry, Basil. He's ok.-
The two friends entered into Basil's office. Everything was in the same place where Dorian left it. The picture was there, in the centre of the room, looking at his real image in a silent way. The picture was smiling at him. A flash hit Dorian's heart. Someone wanted to give to him a second chance... a chance to restart his life from the point he started to ruin it... a chance to repair the errors made, to save the good friendships lost and to block the evolution of the bad ones.
- I think that you can bring the picture at home even tomorrow... Like I told you, it's almost finished.- Basil said to a confused but serene Dorian. The young man thought about it.
- Don't worry, Basil. If you want you can hold it. It's your masterpiece, I don't need it. In this way you can bring it to the art show in Paris, that you talked about last day. - he answered silently.
Basil smiled at him, continuing to paint his picture. Dorian seemed to be relaxed. Finally he knew what the right road to take for his life was.