It has been a week since the winter dance and now we had the winter break. Snow had yet to cover the grounds, but the air was pretty chilly. I hadn’t seen anyone for the past week, ever since we got holidays. Stacey had gone to Florida with her family to visit her aunty and grandparents. But Carly and Mina were still here. I never got to see them due to the fact that I had to look after mom’s flower shop and Carly was busy in the pet shop.
One afternoon, as I was taking home the grocery list, a motorcyle stopped beside me. I didn’t think much of this as I continued walking. “Hey there beautiful” the guy on the bike called after me and startled, I looked back sharply. I rasied my eyebrow at the guy, contemplating my chances of fleeing without getting caught. “Need a lift?” he asked me pulling off his helmet and smilling at me cockily.
I cocked my head to the side, even as a smile tugged my lips up. I hadn’t seen him since him for some time now and he hadn’t visited with Nick lately. Then I looked down at the bike, bitting my lower lip. I had always wanted to ride on a bike, but I never had so I was a tiny bit scared. “I’ll pass” I said, eyeing the bike like it’d bite.
“But I really, really want to talk to you and I’m on my way to your house anyway, so come on” he said, kinda whining as he pulled out a spare helmet from under the seat holding it out to me.
I pouted, but still took the helmet and got on behind him. Once I got on, I wrapped my hands around his torso and he started the bike pulling away. I loved the adreline rush I had as I clung tight to Bruce, but not buring my face in his back in fear. I just closed my eyes tossing my head back, loving the feel of the wind against my face.
Soon enough we reached home and I hopped off once Bruce parked. pulling the helmet off I handed it to Bruce before running my hand through my hair, straightning it out.
Nick was cleaning the garden, mom surely must be in the kitchen cooking and Tania was back at the shop, looking after it. We were cleaning up the house for christmas, so everyone was pretty busy.
“Hey man!” Bruce called to Nick when he saw him in the garden. Nick raised his hnd in greeting before he wiped his hands in his old pair of jeans and walked over. “Hey man, what are you doing here? I thought you went home to Cali.” Nick said coming over to us, as I took the bags from Bruce and went in, not waiting around to find out the answer. I was sure that he was here for Nick anyway... though he did say he wanted to talk to me about something.
Shrugging it off as nothing, I went into the kitchen. “Hey mom, I’m home” I called as I entered the kitchen and heaved the heavy bags top of the counter.
“Thankx honey, could you do me another favour?” she asked ma rummaging through the bags to see if therewas something I had forgotten t get. I nodded my head as o filled a glass of water and guzzeled it down. “Dustin’s still at his friends place, could you get him for me? Peter’s house is not far” she told me, looking up momentarily before going back to putting everything away.
I shrugged before heading back out, Nock and Bruce were still talking and looked up when I came out. “And where are you going?” Nick asked skeptically with an raised eyebrow.
“To pick up Dus. Moms busy” I explained with a careless shrug, walking down the porch steps.
Nodding Nick went back to picking out weeds. “Why don’t I acompany you?” I do have something to talk to you about.” Bruce said and I said ‘fine by me’ smiling at him. Waving to Nick, we both started towards Peters house.
Bruce fell into strides beside me and we walked around for a while in silence before I asked him, “So what did you want to talk about?” looking up at him curiously.
“Well... as you heard, I should be in California, there’s this function and all” he started. I was wondering what that had to do with me, but I didn’t interupt and let him continue. “My father is opening an art gallery and I wanted to ask if you would want your paintings to be put up in them. I asked my father and all, but he wanted ,me to talk to you about this before we worked out all the details” he told me, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “So what do you say?” he asked me, finally looking up from the side-walk and at me.
I was so flabbergasted and touched by his proposal, so much so, that I couldn’t find my voice. “Are you serious?” I asked him, still not believing this was happeneing. This had been my dream ever since I was a little girl. how could I say no?
“Ur - pretty much, yes” he told, scratching the back of his head sheepishly.
I screamed jumping around and taking his head. “OMG! OMG OMG! I can’t believe you’re asking me this. ofcourse I’d love to go, I mean give my paintings...” then I flattered, looking down and frowing. “But I don’t have any good paintings, just the graffiti in my wall and a few old paintings that are too personal I told Bruce, slumping sadly and looking at my feet as we continied to walk.
Bruce laughed a relived laughing making me look up at him. “That’s okay Sydney, you can make new ones. The gallery opening won’t start until way after christmas, so hope you have enough time” he told patting my arm gently. Then he left out another relived laughing, before he wrapped his arm around me squeezing me to his side. “I can’t tell you how thankful I am for you for accepting. I was really afraid you’d say no and Nicolas was no help at all. He was all ‘ask her itself, you never know what she’d say’ but I’m positive that he knew you’d accept, that bustard” he cursed making me laughing along with him.
“You shouldn’t be the one thanking me, it should be the other way around. Besides why were you afraid that I’d say no?” I asked, peering up at him.
“You have great talent Sydney. Wonderful talent and I didn’t think you should put it to waste. iwas afraid because I thought you’d be like those girls who think there drawings are too personal for anyone to see, because honestly, I’ve never seen any of your drawings or paintings. Just your roomwhich is awexome by the ways and the sketches that are always lying around your living room” he explained and I gave him a sheepishly look when he mentioned the scattered drawing in the living room.
“Yeah, I don’t exactly leave any personal drawings around. Besides I never show off anything I draw. I mean Carly and Nick has seen pretty much everything I’ve ever drawn and no one else is intrested in them much” I told him shrugging it off like it was no big deal and it really wasn wasn’t, I wasn’t going to make anyone see my drawings if they weren’t interested.
“So? Is that a yes?” he asked me more seriously.
I scratched the back of my head. “Yeah, but I need Nick’s and mom permission before I agree to anything” I told him with a ‘sorry’ look.
“Don’t worry, I already have Nick’s permission, you just ask your mom and give me and answer” he told me ruffling my hair. I ducked under his hand, glaring at him for messing my hair.
By then we had reached Peters house and I rang the doorbell. “I have anoth problem” I told Bruce s we aited for someone to open the door. “I love to try drawing a land scape, but Morgantown doesn’t exactly give you any good places that really inspire me to draw... though there is this one place, I think I have a painting.” the last part I added to myself more than to him.
Just then Peters mother opened the door and she smiled fondly at me. “I guess you two are here for Dustin” she stated more than asked. “They’re playing in the backyard, why don’t you go fetch him” she said letting us in before disappearing back to the kitchen.
“You should show it to me sometime. It could be good to use for the gallery” Bruce suggested as we made it to the backyard, where Peter and Dustin were playing.
Nodding my head absentmindedly, I called “Hey Dus! come on time to go home”
“Five more minites, please” Dustin called back to me pouting as he and Peter ran over to us.
I squated down to his level and patted his head saying “Sorry Dus, I have work back home, you can come back tommorow or Peter nd the rest of them could come over, but now we have to get home. Tell your goodbye’s” I told hm softly with a smile.
Sighing and pouting he waved to Peter, Danny and Tally - Peters little sister - and we left, shouting our goodbyes to Peters mother.
“I’ll show you if I find it, I’m not sure where I put it. Probably in my wardrobe, I have too many stacks of unwanted drawings” I said resuming our previous conversation, giggling uneasily. I didn’t like talking about unwanted drawings, because they weren’t unwanted to me. they had no meaning, but they weren’t unwanted, there is a reason that they weren’t thrown away.
“Sure” Bruce agreed happily, not noticing my unease. “As for your other problem... I have a solution” he smiled mysteriously at me and now that he had my entire attention as I nodded eagerly for him to continue. “I was planning on inviting you to a weel in California for the opening of the gallery and the new years party, but we could extend it for two weeks and you can do last minite paintings there. There are pretty nice scenaries in Cali... That is if you like” he was quick to add throwing me a side-way glance. “Until then, I’ll have Cam drive you arou d town for anything inspirering” he went on, then looked at me, to see what I’d think.
“Camerons here? Not in Cali?” I asked Bruce frowning confusedly, I really thought he was out of town because I hadn’t seen hm around ever since the winter dance.
“We both came yesterday. Though we’d have to go back pretty soon, but Cam would stay if you agree” he answered me stuffing his hand back in his pockets.
“Oh” I muttered looking down not sure what to say to that. “I’d agree, but you already know, I need to ask my parents... and Nick” I told him as we reached our house, Nick was still out in the garden and it was getting late.
“Alright, but give me and answer soon. I have to get back to Cali for some work” he told me and I nodded my head as Dustin ran Iinside. “See you later Sydney-” he started to say but I cut him off asking if he wanted to see the painting now? That I’d try to find it. he agreed.
I ran up to my room while Bruce stayed out talking to Nick- I’m sure he was telling Nick what I had told. Rummaging through my wardrobe for my stack of old paintings andsketches. It took a few minutes to go through the whole stack but I finally found the painting I was looking for. It was the painting of the lake where a lot of people hanged out at but I had painted it from a different angle, making it look like a completly different place. And it had kinda dented round the corners as the page looked crumbled, but in my defence, I had done this painting almost a year and a half ago, back when we had first moved into Morgantown town. Along with a few different painting’s I ran back down.
Thankfully Bruce was already in the living rom and Nick was no where to be seen. “Here you go” I told him, dumping the paintings on the coffee table and pulling out the painting I had originally planed to show. “It’s a bit dented around the edges, it old. Really old.” I told him handing it over to him as I flopped down on the couch beside him. “I’ll re-paint it for you if it’s good enough” I added.
“That’s ’kay” he told taking the drawing from my hand and looking at it with interest.
Once he was done, we went through the rest of the paintings I had brought down with me. There was one of a few kids playing in the sandbox in the park, a painting I had done back when I was in Australia, but I had it framed so it was in good condition. Then there was a painting of our house, done from the backyard. Another was of the night sky, filled with stars and the lyrs constalation - which I had matched the dots to make the shape. Then there was a pond of lotus’s. Lastly there was a picture of a sunsetting into the water. it was one I had done in Australia as well, but since I loved that painting I had kept it really safe, so was in good condition as well’ though it was even older than the one of the lake.
“Wow, Sydney! These are great, do you have any more?” he asked me as he was done looking at the last painting
“Yeah they’re up in my room, I can’t bring them up if you want-” I started when he eagerly nodded his head, so standing up I said “come on, let’s go up and see” I told him gathering my drawings and heading back into my rom with Bruce right behind me. Asking him to waiting in the room I went to fetch the rest of my paintings and sketches.
When I came back, Bruce was staring amazedly at my walls. They were all done in graffiti of different sceneries, even my floor. The wall to my right - the one with the window - was done in a flower garden. The flower garden faded into a forest to the wall on it’s right and to a sunsetting behind hills to the left. The extrodinary thing about all of them was that it looked like you could step right off my room and into the wall. Both the pictures of the hills and the forest faded into a picture of a steep clift over looking the ocean, the thing about the last picture was like if you walked into the wall, you’d fall right off the clift and deep down into the open sea. The floor right below the clift was painted in a rocky style that faded off to grass as it reached the other walls. A black hole was right in front of my room door so it looks like you would fall right in as soon as you stepped inside. I’ve had so many people fall for it.
The part I love about my room the most is the roof. all the scenaries started at day time, but as they reach the roof the fade into a night sky filled with thousands of glow-in-the-dark stars/constalations.
I gave Bruce everything I had in my arms and he went through the paintings, drawings, sketches, often stopping to ask me where I had drawn them or what they were. Half-way through, Nick joined us too and soon mom was calling us for dinner and Bruce had to go.
We asked him to have dinner with us - even mom did - but he declined saying he couldn’t and left. I decided that I’ll ask mom permission at dinner, that way she’d be able to run it through with dad when he calls and I’d be able to give Bruce an answer soon.