This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“You’re a loser. Y’know that?”
My back braced the doorframe as I gazed at her. Gwen was fairly bold in glaring across the hallway. She was particularly bold for someone standing there in my unclean shirt and a bundle of clothes clutched in her arms.
“Oh, seriously? You can’t even fake an apology,” she hissed, only adding to her own embarrassment.
I glanced away to see my neighbour enter his apartment awkwardly.
“I’m very sorry, Gwen.”
“You are...” Her sentence run dry in exasperation. She huffed loudly and scurried toward the dirty staircase without another word.
So many of them didn’t understand it. It seemed the younger they were, the less they knew of how this world worked.
I strolled back into my apartment, lightly kicking the door shut behind me. I drew a cigarette from the pack laying across the counter and sauntered into the bedroom, the bright morning light obstructed by withdrawn curtains.
I looked over the ruffled duvet across the floor as I retrieved a lighter from the pocket of my loose pants. A canvas board was set to the side of the bed, depicting the girl, Gwen, who had been laying across the white mattress since early morning.
I seized a long drag, eventually exhaling thick, swirling smoke into the already polluted air. I watched it like I watched my worries drift away from me, my eyes blinking slowly.
Gwen didn’t understand it. I breathed to paint. Water paints, oil, acrylics - whatever I had lying around. My paintbrush was a part of me as any other ligament or tendon. It had been my calling since I could form memories.
My point being I was created to create before I destroy, to deliver this world some art form it would probably never see. And she was merely a part of the process.
I fell back to the bed, sceptically studying over what I had painted of Gwen. Artists tend to find something that particularly speaks to them, something that begs to materialise. My little fixation was to paint the bodies of women. I developed a fondness for the intricacy of each and every detail that it entailed. I had spent a good year and a half doing this. I suppose you could say my taboo interest had grown to be a something more, something deeper emitted into me...
I was in pursuit of something that would inspire me far beyond what these other women had. Gwen wasn’t it. I had realised that on the last stroke of colour. None of them were. I had never experienced the satisfaction I should have in capturing their beautiful forms.
My throat grew numb to breathing through the burning cigarette. I exhaled slowly, watching the smoke leave my parted lips as I leaned back.
It tarnished my thoughts, this hobby of mine. I looked at women in a way I probably shouldn’t look at them. Some caught my eye and I could only imagine if they would be the one to give my art purpose. It’s not that I see naked women as items. There’s always been a difference to me. The girls who agreed to be subjects were forms, figures of an artwork.
I dragged myself to my feet and clutched the painting of Gwen in my hands, staring over it. I had a running collection that this would have to be added to.
As I piled it on top, I tapped the soft filter of the cigarette to the ring across my lower lip. It was rigorous the way my brain obsessed over the finer details. It ate at me when I wasn’t painting, and laughed at me when I was.
I barely flinched to hear an angered knock at the door. I would’ve thought Gwen came to terms with things by now.
As I strolled past the kitchen counter, I flicked the end of the smoke to a cracked ashtray. I inhaled once more, deeply. Too deeply. I coughed lightly as I gripped to the door and yanked it open.
When realising it wasn’t Gwen, I rolled my eyes and shut it behind myself as I stepped out. Ambrosia stood before the apartment, her black dreadlocks hanging over her shoulders. “Leonardo, you missed this morning’s class. This is the last time I’m calling you, you get me?”
“I don’t step outside before twelve.”
“You’re getting a free class in an art school you can’t afford and you tell me you slept it off?” She folded her arms and glowered at me, though barely height of a teenage girl.
“I don’t need to be told what to draw.”
“Oh, that’s what this is. You’re too good for art school.” She nodded along, her eyes falling away from me. “Leo, you better be at the next class or don’t bother showing up ever again. They’ll never let you back in there.”
Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!
Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...
Marimar Amieva: I just can't believe the story! I absolutely loved it, all of it. The characters and their chemistry between them, and the fact that they are relatable. The story also has some sick plot twists, which I never saw coming. I loved the fact that it is an adorable love story but has its mystery touc...
Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...
rihannabkj2: Great story,I can hardly stop reading this novel. it shows that compassion and love can still exist after so many years between two persons. I most say well done to the Author who wrote this book. Others should read this book inorder to know that there can still be LOVE among two persons no matt...
christylynnr5: This was beyond amazing! I loved this book. The characters seemed so real. It was amazing how the author let Zak and Kaylees personalities slowly change. This story was very sad and eye opening. It could teach some people a very worthy lesson. It was a great combination of romance, mystery, and a...
maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...
Shreya Biswas: Finally god...... I was tired of Charissa doubting Frederick's love... yes.. All's well that ends well.... i was getting really downright agitated at the author because the suspense was held really well on how things will work out in the epilogue and i just wanted them to have a happy ending.. An...
brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...
annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...
JONANNA: As an avid reader it is not often I say that about a book. The plot is what was different and the twists where unexpected. This book is defiantly a page turner and enjoyable read. I can't wait to reread this novel after a little editing to finish off the shine on this wonderful novel.