2.2. Passion

So I agreed to meet Brittani at the park. It was absurd Eleanor actually tried to be a matchmaker. I knew she was crazily in love now. Perhaps she would only be satisfied if rest of the world turn pink too..?

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To my surprise Brittani suggested a game of chess. She never came across as someone who would appreciate a mind stimulating game. In my impression, she was this self-absorbed Barbie who can only talk about herself. Well, call me judgemental but it was certainly the vibe that she gives off.

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And she won me, hands down. I conceded. I was clearly dumbstruck. It forced me to see her in a new light, and maybe I should not have rushed into judgements. Perhaps stereotypes were false after all. It was then I realised I might have developed feelings for her too.

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“Well… so what do you think of me?”

I didn’t know how to answer. I thought of Eleanor and that Malcom dude.

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They were very much joined at the hip these days. Like siamese twins. They just had to sit together every time. And surely she had been sneaking that Malcom dude into our house (when my parents weren’t around) and things got pretty frisky. She thought I didn’t know, so I guess I shouldn’t expose her. 😉

Yet I had unexplainable feelings cross my heart. Somehow, it made me realize I desired to be in love too. Brittani was both beautiful and brainy. She gave me that…butterflies or was it?

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“I like you, too.” I planted a kiss on her lips. It was probably the most decisive thing I had ever done.

I think she stumbled a little. Perhaps I had taken her by surprise. “You know, I have been waiting for this like forever!!” She squealed too enthusiastically.

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I couldn’t help but think she was the inspiration behind this painting. I named it ‘Romance in the Rain‘. Perhaps I would give this to her someday.

***

I didn’t know why I painted this painting really. I was just experimenting with colors, and proportions whatnot. It was as if my hand had a mind on it’s own, commanding the brush where to go. Little I knew I just painted my first masterpiece.

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It was when I was convinced I could make a living as an independent artist. Like Aunt Rebecca for starters, she made a good living out of her paintings. I didn’t need to slog my guts out for someone, and get no recognition from it.

If something required my blood and sweat, it better had my name on it!

I just needed to make my case to mom. It would soon be my 21st birthday. Or she might be trying to pull strings again to get me into the best colleges. I understand her intentions, but that wasn’t what I wanted to pursue. It was awful being forced to study things I had absolutely zero interest in, and get humiliated by substandard grades. I’m almost a grown up now and I want to follow my heart.

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I tried painting my grandparents. Mom said they passed away before I was born, so I had never met them. But I tried to imagine their appearances, using old photographs as a reference. And maybe I could get some brownie points for that?

“Mom? I have something to discuss…”

She hesitated for a while. Was she trying to gather her thoughts and convince me how stupid that idea is? I knew it was social stigma to excel in school, get a decent job and then start a family blah blah…

“I’m sure you will make a brilliant artist!” I was surprised. It was easier than I thought.

I was free to pursue my dreams.

***

Aunt Rebecca said she had something to announce. I wonder what was that.

“Hello…” I could see her hesitating a little. Before I noticed another lady standing behind her. She was cool, though I could tell she was at least 10 years younger than my aunt. “…meet my new wife, Ulrike.”

“Congratulations Becks! It’s about time you settle down.” Mom squealed. I could see everyone was happy that Aunt Rebecca has finally found somebody she truly liked.

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“Honestly, I never expect I would fall for my own apprentice!” She laughed. “But the first time I saw Ulrike, I had a feeling she would be someone special…”

“Well, I certainly didn’t expect to sign up as a stepmama!” Aunt Ulrike joked.

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***

(Rachel’s POV)

To be honest, I was taken aback when Tobias told me he had no intention of going to college. I was already halfway liaising with the best schools. I thought that would give him a head start in life. Like I said, I wanted the best for my children.

But again, I knew it was the path he chose to lead. I dread to think what drastic measure he could resort to if I opposed him. Teenagers can be quite headstrong. My assistant, Siobhan, told me her son ran away. I didn’t want it to happen to Tobias.

Perhaps I should be grateful my son turned out to be fine. Raising children certainly wasn’t easy I know. Especially if they happened to be err, troubled. It had costed Siobhan her career. Respecting my son’s decision was probably the least I could do.

“You know that sis, it was mostly my paintings that helped to pay the bills. You and Kason were drawing meagre salaries then…”

Yes, maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

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