Today I am revisiting Blair Weathers. She is remembering her first and only love as she awaits her lawyer…
She first saw him at an art exhibition. Under the florescent lights of the center, his sandy hair shined like a halo above him. His blue eyes crinkled in a never-ending mysterious smile. His hands were small and warm, and extended readily for handshakes. His clothing was disheveled, as if he had slept in them, and there was a streak of paint on the lapel of his shirt that was matched by the small streak in his hair, just above his right ear. His voice was soft yet boisterous, soothing yet deep. He was slight of stature but not too short, a thin string bean in a swarm of beefy bellies. He was just starting out then, and his humble nature charmed everyone who met him. When he spoke, his voice carried over the loud din, like a narrator telling a story. It caused her to pause in her browsing and look his way.
He didn’t notice her at first, as he was engrossed in a polite conversation with a very old woman, who was making her way around the art show with a cane. She used the cane as a pointer also, and when she inquired into the price of one of his pieces, Blair’s ears perked up.
“I’m sorry, but this piece isn’t for sale.” Blair looked at the picture he was pointing to. It was a charcoal drawing of a little girl, her face sad and withdrawn, and tears glistening from her eyes. The drawing seemed haunted in some way, somehow familiar, but what Blair found most interesting is that the man wouldn’t sell it. She firmly believed everything had a price tag, people included, and this went against her very nature. When the old lady moved away, grumbling, Blair stepped into her place.
“Why won’t you sell it?” She inquired to his back. He had turned away after the old lady had moved on. “It’s…exquisite;. haunting, actually. Really rather quite good.”
He turned at the sound of her voice. “Thank you, but I can’t sell something that is unfinished.”
“Unfinished? What more could you do to perfect this?” She knew there was more that could be done, but she wanted to know what his plans were. She also liked the sound of his voice.
“I didn’t intend for it to be black and white. She’s a very colorful little girl, and this doesn’t do her justice, at all.”
“I disagree. Perhaps a spot of color here,” she points to the girl’s eyes, “and here,” pointing at the teardrop running down her face, “and a teensy bit of rouge here” pointing at the girl’s lips, “is all it really needs. You could easily finish that within the hour and sell it for a pretty price.”
“It’s not for sale.” His eyes darkened. This also intrigued her because they were so cheerful moments ago. What is it about this little girl that he doesn’t want to let go of? She wonders to herself. “Any of these others, anyone can buy, but this one is not for sale.”
“It’s your best work. Frankly, I don’t see the others bringing in much. But this? This could easily net you a couple thousand, and that’s without adding anything. You really must consider it. In fact, I can cut you a check right now.” Blair may have been in denial about her own artistic abilities, but she did know talent when she came face to face with it. This man was destined for great things, before he died. In fact, she could even picture exactly where she would hang this in her apartment. It would fit perfectly in the space above her hall table.
“It’s NOT for sale, finished or not.” Now his lips had turned down, matching the storm collecting in his eyes.
“Why not? I am offering you $2,500 for it and you tell me ‘No’. Preposterous. No one ever tells a Weathers no. It’s simply not done.”
“It’s not mine to sell,” he says finally, the clouds clearing from his eyes, and the smile reappearing. She was visibly impressed with his ability to not only control his emotions, but stand up to her as well. She had lost very few battles in her life.
“Oh, well that changes things. I suppose you aren’t going to tell me to whom it belongs either, are you?” She laughed a little to ease the weight of the conversation.
He sighed long and deep before answering. “I could, but I don’t think she would appreciate it much.” He watched her face crumble as he said “she” and found it humorous. “My sister drew it, and she won’t sell it; not for any amount of money. There’s no use even trying because she is not here.”
She spent the next year trying to solve the mystery, allowing herself to be charmed by him, and ended up falling in love with him. Three weeks before their wedding, it was over, and his blue eyes closed for the last time, his halo of hair covered in darkness as he was laid to rest while he was still in the prime of his life. She had accepted him as he was, learned of his lies after his death, eventually managed to move on, and promised herself to never let it happen again.
I didn’t really edit this. It’s a work in progress. Critique welcome.