My name is Joseph Fraubou, I'm 11 years old, and in 5th grade. I'm teased a lot, because I have some disabilities that make me behave differently than what is considered normal; ADD, OCD, Aspergers, the list goes on. I used to really let the teasing get to me, and ended up in several fights, but now, it's not so bad anymore.
I have a certain artistic talent, and can paint with greater delicacy than most kids my age; my friends and family frequently praise me for my skill. I like to pick just one color to work with per canvas, and mix black and white paint with it to create different shades of it.
Last semester, my school had an art show, they had one every semester. Of course, my blue portrait of my closest friend-you wouldn't believe the trouble I had getting him to stay still while I painted him-anyways, of course it won first place in the show, and even got in the local newspaper.
At the show, there was a very strange looking man wearing sunglasses, he was admiring my painting, and told me that I have great talent; I don't remember exactly everything he said, because I got distracted and kind of spaced out, but in the end, he invited me to his van for some cake. Now, I absolutely love cake, so who was I to deny his offer? On top of that, my parents were looking at all the other works, so they wouldn't even notice that I was gone. So I left with the weird man.
When we got to his van, he let me in, and told me that he'd have the cake ready for me in a moment, I couldn't wait. Suddenly, he locked the door, which made me a little suspicious, and I got a little uneasy. Suddenly, when he seemed to be reaching for me, he broke down in tears.
“No!” he screamed. “I can't! Not again!”
He cried for some time, and I was getting more and more weirded out.
“What's wrong?” I asked him.
“Listen kid,” he began, “I'm not a good man, in fact, I'm horrible. You're an amazing artist, and I don't wanna destroy your life like I've done with so many others.”
He opened the door, revealing several scars along his arm.
“Go, make something of yourself in that cruel world.”
And so I left, more confused than ever.
In a few days, I saw the man again, he had been waiting out front the school for me.
“Hey, young man?” he called.
I turned and immediately recognized him; he was holding a Tupperware container of green liquid.
“Yeah?” I asked.
“I've decided, that to make up for what I almost did to you, to help play a part in your beautiful work, so please, take this special paint I made and use it in your paintings.”
I took the green paint from him, and as he handed it to me, I noticed the scars along his arm once again. I have no idea how he got so many.
“Thanks,” I said, bewildered. Then I left.
Well now, there was something amazing about that green paint, it looked radiantly beautiful on paper. I could tell, it was no ordinary paint; it was more liquidy, almost like a glaze, and smelled salty, and was warm to the touch. Over several weeks, I painted a number of breathtaking works using the green paint, and a little black and white paint mixed in here and there, and before I knew it, I was all out. Somehow, the man predicted this would happen, because he showed up with more green paint the very next day.
For the next several weeks, the man provided me with more and more green paint, and I continued to make beautiful works; until one day, a week short of the next art show, he told me he was leaving, and wouldn't be coming back.
“Where are you going?” I asked sadly, as I had grown attached to him.
“Well, let's just say it's nowhere you've been, but you will go there someday; I hope to see you then,” he said.
“Here, take this last container of the special paint,” he continued, handing me the familiar green liquid. “I'd give you more, but I'm just too weak.”
Indeed, the man did look very pale, he had been looking paler and paler lately every time I saw him. He outstretched his hand, and shook mine. I shook his back.
“Goodbye, my friend, I'll see you again someday I hope,” he said. And with that, he drove off in his van, for good.
Well, I worked hard on this painting, harder than I had ever worked before, and it took me the whole week up until the show to complete it; it was a portrait of the man's face, on a large, 5' by 5' canvas, painted with the special green paint of course. I made sure to get every last detail of his face-or at least what I remembered of it. He looked wonderful in green.
I took the portrait to the art show, and watched as the students and parents all looked in awe.
The Princeton Times
Young colorblind boy paints stunning red portrait of an unknown man