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Painting Your Heart

By RazzBerrieCharm

Romance / Drama

Chapter 1

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"Aaa...aaa..accchhooooo!" A twenty-two year old brunette sniffed. Well, that's what you get when you're walking down the park at night. Not to mention that it's freezing outside. In the middle of February.

This young woman didn't mind that. It's the sneezing out of nowhere that worries her. She wondered if she was getting sick. She quickly took off one of her pink gloves and touched her forehead. Good, no fever. Though... maybe I should go home, she thought, if I stay out here any longer I might actually get sick and I can't let the kids down! Pumped up, she turned around and walked back to her apartment.

Many would wonder why such a lady would go out late at night. Tea Gardner wonders about that as well. You just need some time off. Maybe this wasn't the right time, but you needed to think. She stopped and thought about it. She quickly turned the other way and started walking away from her apartment. You need more time! Why so suddenly!?

She tightened her white coat to bring her more warmth while her black leggings did nothing to protect her from the wind. Just a little bit more, then I'll go home. She started to walk faster. ...But...a little more what?...

Tea is quite a beautiful lady, though she doesn't see it. Her hair in a perfect shade of brown at shoulder length, eyes that mirrors that of the ocean, and hiding beneath her white coat is a body built by a well known dance teacher. The kids...Tea thought...I bet they would hate the idea of me getting married. The idea sent shivers in her spine and not in a good way...

Then again, it would make mom happy, Tea frowned. The idea of bringing her mother happiness irritated her. Her mother was a famous talent agent. Rika Gardner, having already brought up three superstars to the acting world, sought nothing in life but the best in everything. Her daughter was an exception. Having to divorce her husband, and dealing with future stars, Rika never had time to be there for her daughter. In fact, she has to be reminded by her secretary about her daughter's very own existence.

But when it comes to romance, Rika was always there by her daughter's side. Much to Tea's demise.

Tea knew that her mother wanted her to get married. Heck, her mother practically sets up Tea with random guys almost everyday. Tea always ended up dumping them or not even showing up for the date. She always told her mother that either he wasn't her type or she was busy. Luckily her mother was too busy to notice her daughter's lack of interest to bother her about it. Then again, Rika would always find someone else.

Tea let out a heavy sigh. But this time, her mother went too far.

Her mother hosted a Valentine's Day party at Tea's apartment. It would seem that her mother's secretary had made an extra copy of Tea's apartment key. Tea had just come from teaching a dance class when she got home. Tired, and sweaty looking, she excused herself only to find out that her mother wanted her to join her and her friends and forget about changing into something decent. She even added that she looked "great," though Tea saw her mother rolling her eyes.

Twenty minutes into the party, Tea wanted to scream. It seemed that her ex-boyfriend was there.

She hated him. They grew up together and dated as soon as they entered middle school. It wasn't until high school that Hideki dumped her on Prom Night. And right in front of the entire student body. They didn't even entered the school and already Hideki was talking about seeing other people.

Except tonight, Hideki was talking about how a fool he was. Tea just sneered at him. She couldn't believe that he was actually asking her out after what had happened six years ago. She was even surprised that he even remember dating her.

Though Hideki and Tea didn't talk to each other for the past few years, it would seemed that he and her mother did. Tea noticed by the way her mother was talking to him.

This added suspicion about the entire party. And Tea was right.

In a short while, she found Hideki on one knee and holding a small velvet box.

He talked about how he sensed back in their childhood that they were meant to be together. That he had changed and how he regretted dumping her back in their high school days.

Tea just ran out of the party.

Trying to keep herself from dying of pneumonia, Tea was walking around trying to think on why her brain wanted her to marry. There would be no good coming out of this. So her mother would be happy but that doesn't mean that she had to sacrifice her happiness for something as stupid as this. In fact, why was she even considering marrying a narcissist!

She stopped walking. She couldn't hold it any more. "IT WAS ALL YOUR IDEA, RIGHT MOM! WHAT THE HELL!" Tea ran on the snow covered ground and started to trash about. She took fistfuls of snow and threw it around, punched the snow, kicked it, shouted profanity at it. Everything that a person could think of doing when they exploded, Tea did it.

Exhausted, Tea collapsed on the snow and looked at the cloud covered sky. Out of breath, and feeling cold, she wondered how her life would be like if she went with her father rather than staying with her mother. It would less crappy than this, that's for sure...Tea closed her eyes as cold tears ran down her rosy cheeks.

"You know, you'll get sick if you stay down there any longer?"

Tea jumped up to see a tall man in front of her. At first, she thought he was some homeless person. The man was wearing an unusually long black coat and some type of beanie hat that covered some of his hair, blond bangs were hanging freely and covering his eyes. Though the bangs were covering them, Tea was able to see an amethyst color in his eyes. They didn't show concern for Tea but curiosity. The man was probably wondering why a young woman like Tea was lying on the snow this late at night. Tea couldn't blame him.

"I know..I-I just...I'm trying to find something..." Tea moved her arm, showing the man the snow where she was having her "small" fit.

The man arched an eyebrow, though Tea could barely see it, she knew he was doing it. "Hmm..." The man turned around and walked away. As Tea got up, she noticed the man stopped behind a tree nearby. Oh man, did he hear me? She brushed off snow from her back and walked towards the man. As she got closer, she noticed a painting canvas on a wooden tripod like thing. The man didn't seem to notice his visitor, even if he did, he showed no sign of it. He just continued to where he left off: painting a a baby deer with its mother. Tea was appalled at how the animals looked so real. She slowly moved closer to get a better view.

Like something from Bambi, the calf was in front of its mother, in a forest welcoming the light of dawn. The orange-blue colored sunrise peeking from the horizon, lighting up the trees and the two deers, covering then with them with the dawn's shadows. It was weird how there were more shadows than colors, but it makes the painting work.

"So...your mother made you angry?" The man asked.

Tea gasped, so the man was listening to her tantrum.

She was figuring out what to say when she noticed the man putting down his paintbrush on a small platform table next to the painting. He turned around, freed his hand from a black glove, and patted softly on Tea's head. "Why would you be mad at your mother? You're an adult. Anything any adult would say to you, including your mother, should be the last thing in your mind. It's as if you're mad at a decision you made. If anything, you should be happy that you made a decision on your own. Why? Because you're an adult. It is, in fact, your life. Don't go on blaming other people for some decision you made. You had a reason to do it." He suddenly flash a smile that made Tea's heart skip a beat, or two. "C'mon now, you're a pretty looking woman. And if I'm right, you probably have the most radiant smile a young woman can have. If I can have this honor, will you smile for me?"

Tea was speechless. She didn't know what to do. She only just met this strange man and now he's asking for her to smile. For what?

But, looking into his eyes, she couldn't refuse. Blocking whatever happened back in her apartment from the deepest part of her mind, she took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and smiled.

She felt two strong hands on her shoulders. Tea quickly opened her eyes and saw that the stranger was giving her the most handsome smirk that any man would never accomplish. "That's what I'm talking about." He let go of her and started to pack his things. As he was packing he turned around to see Tea still standing there. He pondered a bit and took something out from his pocket. "Here. In case you feel like screaming again." The stranger took one of Tea's hand and places something on it, he then closed her hand. He later winked and went back to packing.

As if a spell was broken, Tea came back from where ever she was, probably day dreaming, and looked at her closed hand. She turned back to the stranger and noticed that the man was already on his way.

Afraid of whatever would come out of her hand, Tea took a few moments to recollect herself. She then opened her hand and saw a small red "thing" with one small angelic wing on the side of the "thing." Tea gave the "thing" a quick squeezed and blushed as she figured out what it was.

It was one of those stress balls. At least it's cute, she calmly thought. Though it wasn't a ball, it was shaped like a heart. Tea didn't know what to make of this.

She gave the small heart a tight squeeze.

Atem Motou walked calmly into his apartment. What a long day, he thought. He had just spent the last six hours at the park trying to finish another painting. He would have finished if he hadn't heard that weird young woman screaming about her mother...

He chuckled to himself. He had always found women boring. But this woman, something about her. It somehow intrigued him and made him regret leaving the young woman alone. Though Atem had a feeling that she would be alright.

As he walked to his couch, he notice the answering machine had a couple of messages. Frowning, Atem pushed the play button. He found himself regretting it.

"Atem! Where the hell are you! You were suppose to be here at the dinner party six hours ago! You better have a good excuse this time you ungrateful bag of meat! In fact, why don't you do yourself a favor and let the dogs eat you! Just stop back at your REAL home and let my dogs devour you so you wouldn't be a pest to anyone ever again! Gods! What use would you be to other people! As a matter a fact-"

Atem let the machine play his uncle's favorite rant while he slipped into his bedroom. Collapsing on his bed, he stared at the ceiling and lets himself drift into sleep.

That night, instead of dark, depressing nightmares he usually has, he dreamed of that young woman giving him another one of her radiant smiles.
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