Chapter Thirteen

As Mr. Ade struggled with the cruel hands of death that gripped his breath, a man drove by and saw him. The moment he sighted him, he increased his speed as if he was running a car race.

Her hands were soon overpowering him, but he did not give up the fight for his breath. Soon, a Samaritan woman pulled over as she saw him. At first, she was fidgeting like one who saw her ancestors, but when she realized he was still alive, she was driven by compassion.

She drove at breakneck speed to the nearest hospital and the nurses briskly brought him out when she drove in.

It was a tough wrestle, but death went home with a golden belt. The woman that brought him was so overwhelmed with compassion that she became melodramatic. “No, I am sure he is still alive. Go and check him again, go,” she said pushing the doctor. “Madam, calm down, I would advise that you report this to the police. Simmer down ma,” said the doctor as he assuaged her.

For some time now, Dominion had been going to Luminous Studio, owned by Divine, Isabella’s brother. He was working on a piece when Divine came in. “My talented artist,” he said. “Good day sir,” he responded with a smile as Divine checked out what he was painting. “I am almost reading your mind, but I will wait until you are done,” said Divine. “Really, but you can guess,” responded Dominion. “You know I am not good at guessing. It’s really coming out nice,” he commented.

“Thank you. I thought you said you’re going somewhere,” said Dominion. “Yes, I had to return anon because someone called me to order for a piece from UK, and he will be in Nigeria by weekend,” he said. “Oh! Talking about…. I guess I’ll ask later, now that there is a deadline to beat,” said Dominion. “Go ahead, we can talk while we work,” Divine replied as he settled down to work.

“Actually, I still don’t understand the business aspect of this. People say artists end up as beggars who live on the few that appreciates painting. I am burning with curiosity. Is all this a product of other investments or strictly painting?” Asked Dominion.

“Well, I have other investments too, but my major source of income is painting. In fact, the money for my investments came from here. The truth is, there is no gift that is not lucrative. The only thing is, there are some that takes time before bringing any dime. For instance, the moment a fashion designer learns the art, he is likely going to start making money if he is good at it, because clothing is a necessity compared to an artist,” said Divine.

“That’s unvarnished truth,” replied Dominion. “I was initially frustrated with compliments with no penny, until I decided to speak with someone whose satisfaction is in turning a dime to millions. Let me relate some of the things the discussion opened my eyes to that led to my breakthrough with you,” said Divine. “Thank you sir,” he answered.

“Key 1: You must paint in a distinct way, such that when people want a kind of painting, you are the one that comes to their mind.

Key 2: Separate the paintings you do for pleasure from the ones you do for customers. If you want people to buy your works, give them what they want, not what you want.

Key 3: Connect. The people who know you and know how you started out as a painter might never buy your paintings. Sometimes they will only buy it to encourage you, not because they appreciate it. Connect to those who appreciates and patronize what you do.

Key 4: Never disappoint any customer, no matter how minute the piece they demand for. Their satisfaction must be your priority. One satisfied customer can open doors to several customers than you can imagine.

Key 5: Paint as if the only thing you get out of painting is money and as if all you get is pleasure. If you do, you’ll be getting buyers and satisfaction at the same time.

Key 6: Sit and think of a strategy. What works for me might not work for you. You must fashion out how you want to attract lovers of art and go far in this field.

Rule 7: you must keep in touch with the current drift of the art world all over the world. Always be thirsty to learn what’s new about what you do, especially the platforms that others are taking advantage of,” he continued when Dominion’s phone rang and Divine took a breath.

Dominion was all ears that he was unwilling to pick the call. “Go ahead and pick your call,” said Divine.

“Hello, who is speaking? Gift, how are you dear? Why is your line no longer going through? I’ve tried to reach you and your sister. OK. What’s wrong? You don’t sound too good to me. Are you kidding? When? How? Oh my God!” He exclaimed as he ended the call.

“I hope all is well,” said Divine. “Do you recall my dad’s friend that I told you about?” He asked. “Yes,” he responded. “He is dead,” he said. “What!” Responded Divine. “I have to go now,” he said, looking destabilized. “Calm down please,” said Divine. “My sister said he shuffled off his mortal coil three days ago, and they will consign him to the grave today,” he said. “It’s ok. I’ll come with you, just relax please,” he said comfortingly.

It was indeed a stupefying news, especially for his sons and wife who had returned from UK. His wife refused to be consoled, and vowed to unravel who was behind his death.

Sorrow filled the air like a thick perfume as people gathered to bid him adieu and he was laid to rest.

It was as if the spirit of dumbness was everywhere except for the speechless expressions of tears that climbed down the cheeks of many as they comforted her and her sons.

As people were departing, three men came around and asked for Mr. Desmond who was also present at the burial.

“Excuse me sir. Are you Mr. Desmond?” One of them asked as he nodded in response and the man showed him his identity card. “You are under arrest for the murder of Mr. Williams and Mr. Ade.

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