White- cold and unfriendly, bland and sterile, pure and innocent.
I sat in class, staring blankly on the wall as everyone started drawing their sketches for their project. I just wanted to get straight to the painting, I wanted to get the colors down on canvas, but I had to sketch what I wanted to draw first. I stared down at my blank paper finally, knowing that I might just have to wait till I get home since I need more than this environmental conversation. I should just wait.
I put my pen down and sighed quietly in the silence. I should work hard but I don’t know why I’ve lost motivation; maybe this sort of thing isn’t for me. I should just try something else.
But I love all the paint, and the colors. That’s what gets me to do what I need to. I want to paint everywhere.
The bell rang and everyone shuffled up, causing a debris of noise that killed the silence. I got up too, putting my pens in my bag as I took my books. As I backed away from my seat, I bumped into someone, causing them to drop their stuff.
“I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to-” I hurried to state my excuse but Eli was already reaching for his stuff quietly.
“Don’t worry.” he said as he got his papers together.
Eli is a prodigy, someone who takes art to the next level. I look up to him, everyone does, Mr. Phillips loves him because of what he can do. But Eli is sort of a bit weird. I notice he doesn’t talk much to people, he stays on his own a lot. He doesn’t hang out with anyone, he doesn’t even notice us. And sometimes, he can be a bit squirmish around people. He’s Haphephobic. He has a fear of being touched by people. Its something I picked up on not too long ago. It isn’t extreme, but I know he has other problems as well. ADHD, OCD, all the works.
He isn’t terribly afraid.
I bumped into him and he didn’t start screaming. At least he knows its an accident. And he got his papers organized neatly.
When he stood up straight again, he tried his best to smile, but I saw he didn’t get there. He isn’t a people person, I know that too. I don’t feel bad for him, he is a nice person though. Just slightly crazy. I stared at his pink lips that were curving slightly on his pale face. He had dimples the size of craters which literally were about to dominate his cheeks. I haven’t seen that before.
“I didn’t mean to...ah, well... I’m sorry about bumping into you.” I said quickly, hoping he knew how sorry I was for something like this.
“Its fine.” he said as he turned away from me. Well, he tried at least. That’s a start. I watched him walk away, his slick black curls moving as he moved.
Eli Vander is someone no one can get to.
The only reason I know about his problems is because my mom works at a mental hospital. She knows all the phobias and extreme disorders. I learned a lot over there, and sometimes, I see them in Eli as well. It makes me wonder if he should be admitted there, but he isn’t crazy, just a little strange. But he draw like no other, he can paint like no one else, he can do anything with a pencil, pen, or paint brush.
His price for being so talented is his problems.
I ran my hand through my hair as I sighed to myself again. I should be getting home before it gets too crowded in the halls to leave. I took my stuff and walked out of the class room with the last people who were leaving. The day had gone by pretty slowly until my little accident happened. I should stop being such a klutz towards people more and things won’t be so terrible.
I walked home on my own. This town is sort of small, not a lot of people reside here. Its always quiet, and no one does much. Its boring too, buts that’s what its like. The trees are the same, the cars are the same, the houses are the same. White, blue, and yellow, all the colors that are on houses, or on things, or just everywhere. I know people who live in each house, on each street. Its friendlier I guess. I would hate to be in the city. As I walked, I greeted the people that I knew, and the people I didn’t. Its like this everyday.
And on the other side of the street, Eli was walking the other way, going a different way home.
I heard he doesn’t have a family, that he lives by himself, that he makes money by himself. Its just himself. I never asked him so I wouldn’t know what was real or fake, but I want to know though. I want to know how he gets by, why he’s the way he is, why he can do art better than anyone I’ve ever seen. But that’s his business. He doesn’t talk, so I can’t expect much from him.
I barely even know him.
I walked inside my house quietly, hearing mom talking on the phone since no one replied to her questions. Dad was probably still working. He’s a psychologist, so he studies human behavior and functions. He tells me things too, and I think its interesting because I can apply it all. I dropped my bag as I thought some more about all this. I wanted to ask mom some questions, but I know she’s busy so I should hold it.
Instead, I took my sketch book out of my bag, and found a few different pens that I could use for shading. I went up to my room, intending to draw for the rest of the day without any disruptions.
But after a while, I found myself sketching Eli’s face lightly. If I could paint this, I would. I would use turquoise for his eyes, and add in a soft green around the edges. Black for his hair that curled thickly, strands loosely falling around his bright eyes and close to his nose. A dark grey color for his eye brows and thick eye lashes. A light shade of brown, almost pale brown for his skin, and a slightly darker shade to shadow in his dimples. And then pink for his lips. I didn’t think I would be able to sketch him that fast, but I ached to paint him. But I can’t do that. I tore the paper off and tossed it on the floor, focusing on the project instead.
It didn’t take me long to get distracted, but after a while, I ignored it and moved on.
The next morning, I was hesitant to go to school. I was hesitant of going to my last class. Art. I wanted to continued drawing him but I didn’t want to be a creeper. I held in my sudden urges, but maybe I could at least be his friend. I don’t have a reason for doing this other than I want and I really do want to. Being completely alone can cause insanity.
So at the end of the day, I walked into my next class, sort of eager to talk to him. So eager that I got ahead of myself. I had more intended now.
“Hi...um-” I sort of got nervous when he looked up at me. He was still quiet, waiting on me to finish since I clearly was not done. But him looking at me was the one thing that made me stop. I need to collect myself before I look like an idiot. “Would you mind if I sat with you today?” I asked.
He didn’t answer.
Then he moved his stuff to free open the seat right next to him. Hopefully I didn’t seem to desperate to sit here, but maybe I could talk to him. I could already tell his boundaries even though he didn’t make it specific. As the bell rang, I sat next to him quietly, putting my bag on the table, making sure it didn’t touch his stuff. No physical contact, no pushy questions, don’t make him feel uncomfortable.
“So why would you want to sit next to me?” he asked quietly as Mr. Phillips began talking to the class.
“I wanted to talk to you.” I admitted quietly. Isn’t that how friendships start? I stared at my hands, twirling an ink pen around as I completely disregarded Mr. Phillips words.
“I’m not that interesting.” he whispered.
“I don’t believe that.” I said and looked at him. He just might be one of the nicest people on this world, I just want to know if that’s true or not. His blue eyes scanned my face for a second then they moved somewhere else, away from me.
“Eli, Jamie, since you’re already sitting together, you two can be partners.” Mr. Phillips said as he moved on around the class. I hadn’t known he was doing that. I didn’t even know we were getting a minor assignment today.
“I didn’t predict that either.” I said quickly to Eli.
“Its okay, I’ll take care of the whole thing.” he said.
“Don’t do that, I can help you.” I said. I know he’s some sort of art god, but it would be terrible of me to make him do all the work because of it. I didn’t plan this happening so I have to put my two cents in anyway.
“Are you sure?” he asked. I wonder if he’s asking about my well being in general. The way he asked it said that I might not be prepared to work with him mentally. But it should be fun, at least, that’s what I thought it to be.
“I can’t let you do everything yourself.” I said and meant it. I wouldn’t ever make him do this on his own. Even if its a minor project. “And I don’t completely suck at this.” I added to be funny. And I was. He smiled and laughed.
“A lot of people know that.” he said as he pulled out his sketch book, flipping to a blank page.
But the page before it caught my attention first. I was careful not to touch him but I wanted to see the portrait before it. I flipped the page back slowly, finding a sketch of a face almost as accurate as a picture.
I stared in shock. Not because he drew my face which means he thought of me, but because it was the most amazing sketch someone has ever done of my face. How did he remember everything so perfectly? I could be staring at a mirror basically. He drew my hair all messy like it was yesterday. My eyes were big and I bet would be colored blue. He drew my nose right too with the freckles around it and cheeks. He drew me smiling too, and it made my cheeks look bigger, and basically my face looked brighter because of that. And the pens he used for this didn’t make me want to paint it at all, I loved the vague colors he used. I stared longer than I should have since it gave away my amazement.
“This is amazing, Eli.” I said quietly.
“At least you don’t find it creepy that I somehow manage to draw your face in detail.” he said and I heard a sarcastic tone to it. I don’t find it creepy because I did the same thing. I reached in my messy bag and took my sketch book, flipping to the last page with something drawn on it.
I showed him how I had drawn his face last night.
“You planned on coloring it.” he said.
How’d he know?
“I did, but I just thought that it would be too much. Its already creepy enough.” I said and laughed lightly. He was quiet for a moment, thinking as he pulled his lips in a hard line.
“Do you...want to come over to my place later...to work on the assignment?” he asked. I wonder how big a step this was for him, because it doesn’t seem like he asks people that for sure.
“Sure.” I answered because I was interested. I already know we won’t be working on that project anyway.
But it would be nice to get to know Eli more and go to his place.