Vincent Akamatsu loved to paint portraits of flowers. It did not matter what species the flowers were. He had no particular preference. For him, there was just something so spectacularly thrilling about capturing the slight changes in colour and form. Ever since he was small, Vincent would wander around his grandmother’s backyard finding the perfect subject. For him, nature provided the most wonderful aesthetic. A garden in his mind was already a painting.
His mother and father learnt quickly to indulge his hobby and bring all sorts of flowers home on a weekly basis. It kept the house colourful and Vincent happy. Mr Akamatsu did not even mind the sneezing fits he would have to suffer through, especially in the summertime. The family delighted in calling him Rudolph when his nose became a giant red mess.
When the Akamatsu family first moved to Godwin manor in 1986 they did not hesitate to hire a landscaper. One who would fill the empty earth around the large manor with an array of life. It was a place in dire need of colour and Eleanor Akamatsu was happy to oblige her teenage son’s wishes.
At fifteen years old, Vincent was a reasonably content young man. He went to the local Catholic school in town and gained popularity very easily due his obvious wealth. None of his peers seemed to disregard his hobby as strange or too ‘feminine’ a thing to do. No one could deny that his art was especially beautiful. Sometimes he would add his friends to the paintings, their faces pressed into the petals of purple Tulips or the leaves of a yellow Sunflower. The most memorable of Vincent’s paintings was that of a blue Rose. A bright vibrant blue against a dark blackness. It radiated a certain warmth that seemed unusual for such a colour.
“I don’t recall ever seeing a blue Rose before,” exclaimed his father, staring at the painting that was leaning against the doorframe of Vincent’s bedroom.
Vincent smirked “well they don’t technically exist in nature”
His father looked at him curiously “so what inspired you to paint it?”
Vincent shifted uncomfortably where he stood and shrugged. His eyes gazed towards the old mirror that hung on the wall opposite his bed “just something that came to me one day”.
Mr Akamatsu sensed the hesitation in his son’s voice. It was something he had never sensed from him before. There was an unease about him, a weariness behind his eyes. Looking back William Akamatsu would regret his decision to ignore this moment, to have brushed it off as nothing incidental.
Before William left for work, he turned to his son “and what do you call it?” he asked.
“Jules” he said in a direct manner without much thought or consideration.
“Why Jules?” his father asked said curiously.
Vincent frowned. He stared at the painting as though in a trance.
“Because that is its name”.
His father thought he could detect a hint of confusion in his son’s voice, and with that, he left, not knowing it would be the last time. For one can never imagine outliving one’s own child.
Note: This is a continuation of Winifred Pickle & The Ghost of Godwin Manor. I will now be identifying the chapters by name.