"I say Polly, what a splendid painting!"
Polly Plummer smiled from in front of the large easel and looked over at her friend, who was leaning over the back of a nearby armchair. "Do you really think so, Digory? It's supposed to be a gift, and I have no clue if she'll like it or not."
"Why, who wouldn't like it?"
"Oh, SHE mightn't. I declare, Digory, that young lady is going to be the death of me before long! She was always that way, even from a little girl. Always mincing and declaring things simply weren't 'good enough for her.' I wouldn't' be a bit surprised if it ended up in a back bedroom one day, or out for sale by the curb."
Digory chuckled. "Yes, she's a tough one, but you've done your best, and I'm certain she'll like it. And even if she doesn't, I'm sure she'll be somewhat polite about it. You're giving it to her on 'the happiest day of her life.'
"Oh Polly, stop fretting. It's a glorious picture. The waves are simply magnificent, and the details on the ship are perfect. Why Polly, you never told me you had an interest in ships before."
"Oh, I don't. But somehow, this idea came to me and simply wouldn't leave. I kept seeing this image in my head, and it wouldn't leave me alone until I started putting it down on the canvas. And you know that I haven't taken my paints out in years. It must be nearly a decade since I last did anything with them. Why, I had to go out and buy all new ones to begin this little project."
"Hmm." Digory was quiet for a moment, before saying, "do you think He told you to paint it?
Polly glanced over at him thoughtfully. "You know, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. It would be just like Him, wouldn't it?"
She swiped a few more times at the canvas with a paint tipped brush, then stepped back to gaze at the finished painting. "Well, I do believe I'm done! Now all that's left it a frame."
"Now, you must allow me to provide at least the frame. You remember that apple tree in my old backyard?"
"The one you planted after we went There? Certainly."
"Well, it blew down a couple of nights ago." Polly gasped, and Digory continued. "I'm having it made into a wardrobe, but if you would like, I can save a couple pieces for a frame for your picture."
"Oh Digs, that sounds lovely. Thank you ever so much!"
The man allowed himself to be hugged—just that once, and they both exited the room, talking merrily of the days to come.
If they had waited, just a few seconds longer, Digory might have seen the waves start to move, or Polly might have smelled the salty air coming from the little painting. But, I suppose, it was for the better that they did not. After all, things never happen the same way twice.