Hues of Blue This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 29, 2012
“Sit down,” she had ordered me and I complied, shuffling my clumsy feet forward to her blue loveseat, with stuffing poking from its frayed cushions.

“Relax,” she chided and I complied letting my fidgeting hands rest in my lap while I tried not to stare or count the 15 freckles on her nose.

“ A little to the left.” “Sit up straight.” “Better.” “Chin down.” “Eyes forward.” I complied with all her directions while she bit her lower lip, worn and chapped from years of thinking and positioning the brush in her hand before daring the adventure that was to appear on her empty canvas.

I fought my own battle sitting as she posed me, fighting the muscles that lashed out and told my limbs to move, hoping to allow them to breathe and rest in a position that would cause them not to suffocate.

And I absolutely dared not reach out and push back the stranded curl with split ends behind the safety of her ear. I braved her wondrous green eyes as they gazed ­intently over my imperfections, and I didn't tell her that she was lovely. I shifted to the right of the loveseat and I restrained myself from saying how her paint-stained blue jeans made my heart beat fast.

I took in her harsh demeanor and tucked the image away into the corner of my mind, taping it shut in a brown, cardboard box so I could view it along with each tilt of her head, flick of her wrist, and rigid posture at a later time. I endured wintry stares, and scolded my mouth not to speak to her the highest of praise that she would only pick up and casually toss into her waste basket. She had never thought a man of my stature a wondrous thing, like one might think a flower growing out of a crack in a concrete sidewalk. I was not her heart keeper, though she ­imprisoned mine.

But then she put down the brush and turned the canvas at an angle so I could behold what I thought would be the portrait of my hanging, and I was ready to bolt. Ready to leave this woman who was hell-bent on my misery, the woman I was so willing to comply to. Ready to run and never look back. Ready to leave the country with her in it. And never again would I think of the gentle curve of her ears, or her slightly crooked teeth, or how her laugh turned my bones into butter.

I was not ready for the disdain or ­rejection or the holding back of the red curtain on stage that would reveal her true feelings for me. Fool, fool!

“Let me paint you, and I will give you an answer,” she had said. Why did I comply so easily? Why did I let hope's last string wrap around my bruised and battered heart which she kept tucked away in her right pocket? Why did I think I could handle seeing what her painting's answer would hold? But I didn't run. I didn't bolt. I didn't leave the country. Because her painting held everything I would be.

When my line of vision found its way to the canvas, I was neither ready nor prepared to have my breath retract into my throat as I beheld a beautifully stretched and broken sky, with crackling stars that reminded me of her 15 freckles and a receding dawn whose colors tumbled over the other, going backward from one nothingness into another. Lazy clouds wove through themselves, drifting and rebelling against the coming night sky that loomed over their heads.

A tear slid down my cheek and rested on my chin before completing its journey into my ­waiting hand. “I don't understand,” my voice finally complied, as she waited to hear what my answer to hers would be.

“It's my answer,” was her yielding voice. She wasn't so lucky to hear my voice comply a second time, stuck with ­silence hanging in the air.

She dabbed a hue of blue onto my nose before leaving the room with her heart in my lap, and my own heart still in her right pocket.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

madi._.son said...
Feb. 4, 2016 at 9:53 pm
This is absolutely amazing! I can't believe how talented you are at 17!!! Wow!!
spirtualpersonification said...
Jan. 5, 2014 at 10:49 pm
This is beautiful!
Memories_Of_Nobody This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 6, 2014 at 10:00 am
Thanks so much!!! This has been up for quite some time, and I was wondering if anyone would ever comment.
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