My Masterpiece

March 20, 2012
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“Look mommy!” my daughter calls my attention from the living room. I put down my knife and as I come around the corner I see her spinning in the tutu her grandfather got her last Christmas. “Wow baby! You’re beautiful. Look at your dress!” I take her hands and we spin together. When she lets go she shows me how she can hop in her special dress, making circles around the room. Leaning against the door frame I listen to her giggles. She smiles at me and informs me that she is going to be a ballerina. “You think I’m a good bal-rina mommy?” “The best I tell her with a smile.

I had dreams once. I used to imagine I was a famous artist. The doodling on my papers drove my teachers and my mother crazy. For my tenth birthday I received a pad of paper and colored pencils. It was all my parents could afford to give me and I treasured them above all things.

When I reached high school my parents started to realize I had talent. They put their meager savings into art lessons for the next couple years. They were determined I would have a better life than they did. Then I met Ethan.

He was a college student on Spring Break. We met on the beach, overlooking the lake, my favorite place to draw. It calmed my mind. I didn’t win the gene pool, but I didn’t lose it either. I definitely wasn’t ugly. I also wasn’t pretty enough for men to take much notice. Or maybe I was just too absorbed in my own life to realize.

I was on my favorite rock; I could feel the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair. I leaned over my paper, drawing with just a simple pencil, no eraser. “Everything you draw has meaning and is beautiful. An artist doesn’t make mistakes. No eraser.” My teacher had once told me. That was two years ago, and still, no eraser.

My pencil was gliding across my paper, taking form as the baby duck in the water, eating the bits of bread I threw. He was either very quiet or I was so into my work, but either way I didn’t hear him come up behind me. However; my model did. I cursed as the ball of fluff swam away; ignoring the bread I threw at it.

“I didn’t mean to make you mad” said a joking voice from my right. I turned and met his smiling face with my pale blue eyes. His dark skin still wet from his obviously recent dip the cool spring water. I couldn’t help but notice those deep dark brown eyes, smiling and laughing at my obvious anger and discomfort at his intrusion. His smile revealed two rows of perfect pearly white teeth. Even through my anger I had to admit, he was attractive. My frustration melted, I allowed him a half smile.
“You scared away my first client” I said. “Looks like you pay them better than they pay you” he said, indicating the bag of bread ends next to me on the rock. “The joy I get from my drawings is more payment then the energy it took to throw the bread my mother almost threw out.”
“May I?” he asked, indicating my sketch pad. Looking at his warm smile I reluctantly handed it over.
We saw each other every day for the next two weeks. It didn’t take long to neglect my art, or to fall in love with him. And then his break was over. He went back to school, and Sadie. He told me about his girlfriend the day he left, after I asked him to keep in touch. It broke my heart.
A month later I found out I was pregnant. Ethan had ruined my world.
“Mommy dance with me!” my baby squealed. As I took her up in my arms I realized just how lucky I was. He didn’t ruin my life, he gave me my life. There is nothing I would trade, for my daughter.

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