“I think you’re an artist.” Her voice scared him out of his daze, as he was looking at a wonderful photograph of the coast of Maine. He replied as he turned towards her, “Why do you say that?” “Because you’ve been in here every day this week, after work, studying the art.” “Most people look at the art and photographs, but you really study them.” He smiled at her insight. He had been in the gallery, every day this week gawking. “Ok you got me, but I used to be an artist.” She scoffed, “Nobody used to be… you are for sure.”
It was strange that he was just now noticing how beautiful she was. He had seen her working there, but never really paid attention to her. She had short brown hair, with a round face, and her smiled always curved up the one side of her face. He was smiling back at her, when he said, “Hey would you like to go for a walk after closing?” He couldn’t believe he said it! It totally slipped out of his mouth, and why did he ask her to go for a walk?
It sounded like junior high school, and he felt stupid. But he bravely continued, “I know this park down the street….” She interrupted him with, “….the one with the bridge that reminds me of Monet?” He was shocked. She continued with, “Sure I would love to, but not with these shoes.” They both looked down. “I have some tennis shoes in the car though.” There was that crooked smile again.
“By the way my name is Marie.”, she said as she stuck out her hand. He said, “Yeah I know.”, pointing at her name tag, they both chuckled. “I’m Richard.”, he said as they shook hands. He thought, “She really is beautiful.”
Later, when they had been walking in the cool autumn air for a while, Richard realized it was the first time, in a very long time, that he had a friend.
As they stood on the bridge that reminded them both of Monet, Marie was bold with, “So why did you stop painting?”
The conclusion tomorrow!
Writing and Image © Copyright 2016, The Mystical Forest