I spend the day working on a piece for the Paris review. After Adrian's show last night, he didn't have much to say to me and I left without asking if he wanted to come over. What a fucking birthday. I knew turning thirty was going to be a disaster. I try to take my mind off of things and focus on what I need to get done. Once I'm about half-way through, I decide to call mom to see how things are going with her and to tell her the news. She called and left a voicemail last night to say happy birthday, but I didn't want to call her back with it being so late.
“Hi honey, how did your birthday turn out?” She answers with a question.
“It was fine, ma. How are you feeling?”
“I'm good, dear, just taking it easy.”
“That's good. So I have something to tell you. I may be coming to see you soon.”
“What? Really? What's bringing you this way? It would be so nice to see you!”
I go on to tell her all about the situation. She lets me know that she didn't submit anything, which has me wondering who did if it wasn't her. I was so sure she was the one. She tells me how excited she is for me and that she hopes it all works out. After we end our conversation, I continue working on the piece I started. I don't want to go home. What I want is for Adrian to quit tripping and talk to me. I can't help but miss him. All I need right now is his touch.
I work until I finish. It's beautiful. This piece came from my heart, there's a lot of meaning behind it. The canvas is elegantly painted in colors of black and white. It's a man. He's lying in a bed with white bedding. Next to him is a rose, the only color on the painting, red as blood. The rose lies by itself in the empty space beside the lonely man. It's Adrian. I wanted to paint him while looking at him, but he's burnt into my mind like a picture glued to a wall. The look of him remains in my vision without flaw. I sign the bottom of the piece and print the name of it on the left hand corner. 'Bed of Thornes'
Wednesday couldn't have gotten here any sooner. I'm so ready to hand over my work and the form, to send off the hope for a new beginning in my life. I've spoken with Adrian since Sunday, I called him that night to talk things over. We've since met up every day to have dinner and of course do what we do best together. I couldn't stand not having him whenever I want him, so I had to make things right. If a day goes by that we don't fuck, I'm miserable. Thinking about leaving makes me crave him even more.
It's noon and the lady comes in right on time. Very punctual. I show her the piece I completed and she looks at in it awe. Her hand goes over her chest.
“It is positively stunning.” Her remark makes me blush.
“Thank you ma'am, I appreciate your compliment.”
“You are very welcome. You have proven yourself to me, now let's see if you can impress the panel. I will have it flown over to the institution first thing. I look forward to dealing with you further, Ms. Thorne.”
She reaches to shake my hand and I'm left speechless. I can't believe this is happening, it's literally a dream come true for me. After she leaves, I slouch down into the chair at the gallery's front desk and take a deep breath. Tomorrow is Triple R's. I've never been so ready to get to it. I think I'm going to take a hot bubble bath tonight and just relax. Maybe I can call and talk to Adrian while I'm in the tub and listen to his sexy voice to soothe me.
It's Triple R day. I've got this. There's about ten minutes until go-time. Jenna's filled the table in the display room with refreshments for the clients. I take an escape to the restroom to gather myself before they show up. I really hope they all agree to use the pieces I've done, I've invested a lot of time in them and it'd mean a lot to have them displayed. Especially right now, to get word out of my work on top of the whole Paris offer, it would really boost my business. I go into the display room, two of the clients have already arrived and I greet them. I dread seeing Clayton today . . . speaking of the devil, he walks in and takes a seat. The remaining of the clients come in and get settled a few moments later. I begin the meeting.
“Thank you all for coming today. I hope that you find satisfaction in the projects I've done for each of you. I'll start with the first in line, I call this piece 'Golden Meadows'.”
I unveil them one by one, each a different story. I was sure that when I got to Clayton's he would decline after seeing it, just out of spite. They all talk amongst themselves as I hand them the paper to fill out if they should decide to use the piece. On these papers, they write their information including payment amount and so on. I give them a moment to fill them out, some look as though they may still be deciding. After an excruciating waiting period, the first of them come up to hand me their papers. If it's blank, they decline.
Client after client comes up handing me the papers. I look at each of them as I get them and all of them are filled out, including Clayton's. He gives me an eye when he approaches me, I don't say a word to him and he walks off. I'm beyond thankful right now, the offers look generous as well. I couldn't be happier that they all accepted so that my hard work doesn't go to waste. I call Adrian afterwards to celebrate. We decide we're going to meet when he's done with work for the day. Jenna and I spend the rest of the day cleaning up and drinking wine. We talk for about an hour before heading out. I hand her pay to her when we get outside to our cars. It's much larger than usual.
“Wow. What's this for?” She asks with big eyes.
“For being there for me every step of the way and not letting me get down.”
“Awe, I love you Ronni.”
“I love you too, Jen.”
We hug and go our separate ways.