There is nothing quite like fresh paint. The color red is my favorite. I like to leave the paint out overnight on a pallet, which in turn oxidizes or dehydrates the color. Dark reds, bright reds. They look so perfect against the white canvas. See, the thing about art is that it's subjective. You see what you want to see; you hear what you want to hear. Some people think art is just an outlet. I believe it is much more than that. It is the key to the human mind. It is therapeutic in a sense. I know because it has helped me identify my true being. Who I am meant to be in this life. At one point I betrayed art. I forced it to be something it wasn't. How foolish was I to believe I could find something similar to the love I had for it. There was this girl. A girl so beautiful you'd think about her even though you never even stood a foot in front of her. She was in my art class. She smiled her way into everyone's heart. Even our mean, old art teacher that liked no one loved her. Ariel. *sigh how I love her name. It fit her so perfectly. Like a warm, dry towel after a long summer swim. The curls of her hair danced in the wind wherever she walked. The curvature of her hips complimented the curve of her lips.

On campus she was who everyone wanted. Including me. I'm not going to beat around the bush, I'm a shy girl. I keep to myself, painting while most people danced at a local party. Because of my orientation, I don't have many friends. See, I live in a small town. No more than two thousand people. We keep to ourselves. We live quiet lives. But, if you are different, most if not all two thousand of those people won't speak to you. So I'm alone. No friends. Just my paint brush and canvases. But, one day that all changed. See, Jake, the asshole of the campus, decided to run into me. Everyone around laughed as I fell to the cemented sidewalk, scattering to get my sketchbooks before they were ruined by the muddy grass.

"Dyke!" he said with a satisfied grin. Perhaps that word would have offended me if it wasn't used by a complete imbecile.

"Here, I'll help you up." I lifted my eyes to see Ariel standing before me.

"That guy is a real dick," she said, offering her hand to help me up.

I accepted the help, lifting to my feet. Once up, I stood there, Staring closely at the face of the girl I had been so madly infatuated with all semester. She smiled shyly, pushing her thick curls from her face and placing them behind her ears.

"I'm Ariel," she said, smiling.

I stood speechless, goosebumps arising from my forearms. She noticed my nervousness and giggled so sweetly you would've thought it was candy.

"It's okay, I don't bite," she said. Inside, my heart raced with a anticipation.

She couldn't have been talking to me right? I remember thinking to myself, "there has to be someone behind me she was egging on a conversation with." Not me. But her dark brown eyes dug into my soul with slight impatience.

"Juni," I said.

"I'm Juni."

She smiled, revealing those perfect white teeth, and I couldn't help but reciprocate the expression.

"Nice to meet you," she said. I nodded, turning to continue my walk back to my dorm. A warm hand grabbed my forearm.

"Don't let those idiots bring you down alright?" she said.

Her hand fell from my forearm and she walked away. I stood there for a second, gazing at the white imprint left on my forearm from her hand. Who would've thought someone so beautiful could have such a warm heart. That day, I was hooked. The next couple of weeks passed quickly. Finals were over and it was time for everyone to go back home to their families. Thing is, I don't have one. So I stayed in my dorm, painting while everyone else vacated the university. Loneliness crept up my spine but I kept shaking it off. Until... someone knocked on my door. Seeing as though I have no friends, the knocking was surprising.hesitantly I walked over to the door and opened it.

"Hey, I didn't see you leave so I figured you were staying here for break," Ariel said. I nodded. And as swiftly as those words escaped my mouth, she walked into the room.

I wasn't prepared for guests, let alone Ariel. But she walked around the room, observing the various paintings hanging from the walls.

"You are really talented," she spoke, smiling. I blushed, not used to anyone complimenting my work.

"This one looks a lot like that missing girl who's been all over the news lately," she said, pointing at the canvas above my bed.

"I like painting significant current events," I said, walking over to my mini refrigerator.

"Thirsty?" I questioned. She nodded before sitting down on my bed. I handed her a Sprite before sitting across from her in a chair.

"I've always liked your work in art class," she said, before taking a sip of the fizzing soda.

"You have a different edge to your work. I've never seen before," she said. I sat back in the chair, staring at her intently.

"I'm from Russia. Before my mother and father died, they taught me an important lesson. Somehow I integrated it into my art," I explained. At the time, her eyes began to open and close at a slower rate. I watched on as she fell to the floor moments later. I kneeled down, lifting her head from the carpet as her eyes widened with fear.

"What's happening?" she mumbled, barely able to get the words out. I smiled, caressing those curly locks I had fallen in love with.

"You happened," I whispered before lifting her to the bed. She laid there, paralyzed as she stared back at me with fearful eyes.

"I ran out of paint today," I said, grabbing a bucket from under my bed and placing it underneath her wrist, dangling off the side of the mattress.

"You will make an amazing painting, Ariel. Amazing."

Written by GreyOwl
Content is available under CC BY-SA