1. From amateur picture to school project
Here I am. I’m the crazy girl, laying on her belly on the ground, covered with leafs in the school yard.
No, I wasn’t bullied or something. Not that I am popular or that I am skilled in martial arts. I guess they haven’t decided to do it yet. Anyway, I would do anything for my art and I do not care what others might think.
“Alice, stay at that pose, but let me just get that off.” My best friend Linda said as she bends to remove a leaf from my face. “Now it’s perfect, I guess.”
She is amazing and loyal as Hell. I love her so much. Linda is korean, not that it matters one bit. I will love her even if she had horns and a tail. If something, it even made her special. We became close at 8th grade when she came to our school. One day I was going home, and she was walking right next to me towards her house, and we ended up talking. A lot.
Her family moved to our city because of a job her father had to take. Now she lives seven minutes away from me, and we are together most of the time. We look a bit strange together, because I am one head taller than her, and she is 17 years old like me. I am not a giant, she is small. No, not a dwarf, just a “pocket girl” as my father said. It’s how he calls her. Linda is so cute with her long black ponytail and perfectly flat belly that she likes to show by wearing short tops. Today was an exception. Even her legs look longer because she is with tight short pants all the time. It’s not important to me. What is, is that she gets me by only looking at me. Her cheerful and sharp mind can make even a rainy day brighter. Her tar eyes never judge me and even at this moment she is so supportive.
She took a few steps backwards, using her new mobile to take the most creative photo of me. It was what I asked of her and the reason why I was rolling on the grass covered in leafs in front of other students. As I said - I don’t care what they think of me. I like being different.
I needed the photo to paint autoportrait. I was making the four seasons and it was time for Fall. When I heard the ring sound, announcing that a picture is taken, I glanced at Linda to see if she is happy with the result. She took a second to stare at her phone and I placed my head on my palms.
“Is it okay now?” I asked, a little annoyed.
“Oh, yeah! You can get up. I just got a new comment on my blog.” She explained and I groaned.
“Seriously? I said I am tired, but not that tired to enjoy laying on the ground so you can gossip with someone about your weekend.” I said, while removing nature from my clothes and hair.
“Relax! Here. Look at the photo. It will cheer you up.” Linda said and showed me her mobile.
I took it and inspected every detail. I am perfectionist like that. I like to make my paintings nothing less than amazing, and I this photo was the place from where I will look to paint.
“Oh, miss Alice! Outstanding! I wanted to speak with you.” Mr. Webster called at me and increased his steps towards us. He is the dean at our school. “Miss Kim” He added when he stopped near Linda.
She raised her shoulders mouthing “Why?” when he turned to talk with me and I tried my best not to laugh. He always called me by my first name and her and every other kid in school by their surname.
“I think I have something you would like to be part of. We will be repainting the walls in the gym building. All walls in all rooms. It is decided that it will be done by student only as an art project. Here is where you come in. If you want, of course.” Mr. Webster rambled and when he saw me exchanging looks with Linda, he added. “It will give you extra credit. That is the idea. One of the ideas, I mean. It’s good to help to kids to feel needed. Others sure will be on detention so you will have help.”
I scratched my forehead, measuring the positives and the negatives and Linda stared at her phone again, obviously bored.
“What kind of painting? Just some colors?” I asked, unsure how much art can do a kid at detention.
“Oh, not just colors! You can do whatever you see fit as long as it will not bend any rules or offend someone.”
“All the walls? The gym and the swimming pool and the halls?” I questioned as my curiosity was raising at the opportunity.
“Yes, Miss Alice. All... Not the change rooms, of course. We will have them painted.” He smiled and waited for my answer.
I guess it might be fun. I can give it a try and maybe force everyone stare at my stuff by putting it there for years to come.
“Okay. So how do I do this? Do I sign somewhere or...?” I raised a brow at the dean, and he grinned at me.
“Outstanding! Come to my office after your last class today. I will be there to give you more information. I am afraid I have to go now.” He stated and with short “goodbye” to me and Linda, he fast continued walking towards the parking lot.
I playfully punched my best friend on the shoulder, pulling her from her addiction.
“Did you hear? I will make history.” I said sarcastically and laughed. She joined me, and we started walking towards the entrance, but we both knew that I was excited about the project and ideas were already boiling in my creative mind.
A few torturing hours later I was finally walking towards the dean’s office. It was at the end of a long corridor with benches on both sides. There was at least six other rooms that were not a place to study. The school nurse, our psychotherapist, some rooms only for teachers and the dean’s office. If you are in this corridor - you messed up or you are somehow hurt.
I was walking slowly, squishing the strap of the backpack on my right shoulder, trying not to bump in someone, whose knees were almost at the center of the corridor as they were sitting on the benches... staring at me. Wondering what I did to deserve to be here.
Avoiding their hungry eyes, I reached the giant door with a small wooden sign with carved “Dean” on it, and knocked. The almost female voice of Mr. Webster answered me instantly and invited me inside. I never been in here, so I was surprised to see that I was in a small waiting room with another bench. I thought it was the dean that called me in, but it really was a female after all. A woman in her fifties, dressed in a brown official jacket was sitting behind a desk right next to the door, writing something with concentration. I went to stand in front of her and soon she gave me fast appreciative look.
“Miss Stevens, right? You can sit there. Dean Webster will soon talk with you.” She said, while resuming her work without even pointing me where “there” is. Not that I needed it.
The room was bright and filled with plants. Like a small jungle or something. Old wooden bench was placed on the opposite site of the desk where the woman was and the only other furniture was a small glass table. I wondered how it is still in one piece after the weight of all educational books placed on it.
I made my way to sit there near some boy I didn’t look at. Then I changed my mind and turned my head to him to just say “Hi” and Oh... My... God! I couldn’t believe it. I knew that face. I got starstruck.
He was a teenage boy, who was already famous in our town. Not too famous, but he was a talented singer and guitarist of the band “Victory run”. They got one song on the local radio a month ago and most teen girls went crazy. Don’t get me wrong, he is absolutely stunning, looking like Alex Band from The calling in that song Wherever you will go. Just I am not that easily impressed. Looks is not all, you know... and yet here I was... speechless.
“Are you just going to stare at me?” He asked, without even turning his face to see me, as he was looking at his phone since I came inside.
“Umm, hi.” I came to my senses and grabbed some random book from the table, acting like it’s something I would read. He did not answer back. Rude much? Maybe he was this way, because he was a famous ass. Why should I care if he say “Hi” back to me?
It was awkward silence for maybe five minutes and finally the dean’s door got opened by a chubby red haired woman. I jumped from my place, ignoring what someone might think, like I always do, and went towards the dean.
“Thank you so much, Mr Webster. I appreciate you taking a chance in my boy. You will not regret this!” She said, her cheeks red. “Come on, Thomas. Let’s not waste any more of “dean’s precious time.”
She raised a hand towards the self-absorbed guy on the bench, waiting for him to get up and go to her like a little boy. I smiled, not afraid if he will see it and steeled one more look at him before going inside the office. Damn, he was hot! He had earrings on both ears and a thin silver chain on his neck, reaching his collarbone. Black T-shirt was hugging his torso, complimented by unbuttoned jean’s jacket. Sitting with spread legs and annoyed expression, he sure didn’t want to be here. His blonde hair was falling on his face on both sides to the middle of his cheeks and his blue eyes were piercing me. I fast turned my head. I am not one of those girls! I reminded myself. I can’t have a crush on someone who never met me, talked to me, learned who I am and what I like. Nor will I fall for the bad boy attitude!
“Outstanding! Goodbye, miss Black, Mr. Black. I am looking forward to your success here!” Mr. Female voice said. Just like he always calls me by my first name, he is used to saying “outstanding” too often.
While I was closing the door behind me, our eyes crossed again and I cursed under my nose for letting myself be caught looking for a third time at the pretty, famous boy.