Matthew had called an Uber to take us to our destination (Maren thought it was embarrassing to drive to a fancy social event in a Jeep Cherokee). I decided that were going to visit the Museum, which wasn't too far from the venue where the gala was being held.
By the time we arrived, the museum was about to close but fortunately Matthew was able to pull some strings and negotiate with the security guard – and by that, I mean emotionally blackmailing the guard into thinking I had leukaemia and had a month to live.
The museum was huge. With paintings hanging on the walls and the skylight viewing the dark velvet night sky, the museum was ethereal and serene. I walked further into the room, awe and admiration plastered on my face.
"Is this better than staying at the gala?" he asked.
"Yeah..." I answered, sitting down on one of the benches. "I guess really did need a change of scenery after all."
"Told you." He replied smug.
I rolled my eyes before shifting my gaze to the paintings in front of me. "I wish I could spend hours on end looking at all these paintings but sadly the guard only gave us an hour."
"You really love art that much?" he sat next to me.
"I do. I love how artist express ideas and concepts in their art...it's something I strive to do with my art."
"What about appreciating the story being it?"
I looked at him mystified. "An artist doesn't just draw or paint without there being story or a reason behind their art." He told me.
"Isn't expression and inspiration a good enough reason?" I raised an eyebrow.
"It is but art is more than just an idea and concept. It can be many things. It can be a story, a vision, a feeling and a theme."
I let out a scoff. "You sound just like my Literature lecturer."
"Literature is part of the Arts and Vice versa. It's just that when people think about it, the first thing that comes to mind is Shakespeare, poems and those boring books you're forced to read and analyse." He explained. "But I have a different take on it. "
"Well, as you know Literature is made up of poetry, prose and drama."
I nodded confirming his statement. "For me Literature is made up of visual, oral, musical and written literature." He said. "It isn't just limited to poetry, drama and prose. It can also extend into music and dance, art and paintings and photography.
"That's what makes it literature. You can express ideas and concepts and make a story through it. And the beauty of it is that you can interpret it however you want. Take Gustav Klimt. You are familiar with his work, right?"
"Yes, I have come across some of his works. The Kiss was alluded and referenced in this anime called Elfin Lied."
"What's your impression when you look at the painting."
"A guy and girl wearing gold trying to make out in some garden?"
"Yes, but it's much deeper than that. Love, intimacy, and sexuality are common themes in his art. People can interpret the painting as the couple celebrating their love through marriage in the garden or as a forbidden romance where they secretly meet in that garden."
"Oh!" my eyebrows flew up amazed.
"You see?" he exclaimed enthusiastically. "If you want to appreciate the art you need to think and dig deeper instead of just scratching the surface."
"That's very insightful coming from a photographer who also works at stationery store." I commented.
He let out a chuckle. "Well, aside from being a fashion photographer, I'm also a free-lance photographer." He said. "I take pride in my work and I always aim to make sure my work as a story and meaning."
I gave him one last glance that radiated with curiosity before turning back to the paintings.
After our hour at the museum was up, Matthew called an Uber to pick us up from there and take us to the Pier near the hotel. We decided to walk around and look at the ocean, talking for what felt like hours. He talked about his work as a free-lance photographer and his upcoming projects he wanted to exhibit as well as other upcoming projects at Queens. I talked about school and my art. I even should him my Instagram page where I posted most of my work there. He followed me and liked a few of my posts.
"How come you don't have any pictures of yourself on your page?" he asked.
"As I said before; I'm not photogenic and Instagram model material. Plus, I suck at taking selfies." I answered.
"Well you're still beautiful nonetheless."
I gaped at him before letting out a guffaw. "I do acknowledge that I'm pretty, but I don't fit the criteria of a beautiful woman in the gaze of a man." I answered. "I don't always wear makeup and I don't always dress girly. I don't have the ideal body figure and I doubt if any guy would approach me."
"You don't have to fit the criteria of an ideal woman, Beverley. As a guy myself, I'd choose to approach a simple girl like you over a girl who's fake and tries too hard to impress someone."
"You're just saying that."
"I'm serious." He bumped his shoulder against mine. "After getting to know you these past few days any guy would be interested talking to you."
"This coming from a guy who couldn't even approach me. What makes you think that this won't be the case with other guys?"
"True but only cowards would avoid a woman with such a strong aura around herself."
I let out a sardonic laugh. "I'm flattered but there isn't really anything interesting about me. I can barely hold my own in a conversation."
"You're talking to me."
"Bullshit! We barely ever had a proper conversation beyond greeting each other until recently."
I opened my mouth to retort but closed it soon after knowing he had a point and I hated it. Instead, I rolled my eyes and folded my arms to my chest, avoiding his smug gaze. "Whatever." I muttered.
Suddenly, I felt something being put around my shoulders. I saw Matthew putting his jacket around me. "It's getting a little chilly, so I thought you'd need it to keep warm." He said
I blushed a little, wrapping the piece of clothing around me. "Thank you."
"No problem." He smiled.
I glanced at him, once again with the same curiosity I had at the museum before turning my gaze from him and continued strolling down the Pier in contented silence.