"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."
It had been one simple touch between two strangers, but it had affected one of them more than that person would ever let on to others. He had been a new comer to the city, but he had already been taught the ropes and hadn't expected to learn something new again from anyone. The city was small, considered a town more than an actual city, and had very few tricks to it in order to have a person make their way around so that they could survive. But he had run into one female who, with that simple bumping of shoulders, had taught and showed him more than he believed a stranger like her could.
The only words that had been exchanged were apologies and those were closed off with gentle and partially forced smiles on both of their parts, but that small bumping into had caused the male to think endlessly about the female. Her face kept popping into his mind, the thin cheeks and the full naturally blonde haired that framed her face just so and that could give her the look of a devil and an angel at the same time if the situation was right. It was something that he thought would never happen to him; something that only happened in movies and fairy tales, but he had been proven wrong when it had actually happened to him. No longer were there doubts that a simple touch would never spark an interest that bordered on obsession to find the person that had been on the receiving and giving end.
"Damn, why can't I get her out of my head?" he asked himself as he ran his hands through his hair. The fingers remained twisted in his hair as he began to gently massage his scalp, hoping to all things holy that he could get the female's face out of his head for just one minute in order to concentrate on something else. "It happened last week and I haven't been able to stop thinking about her…I highly doubt that she even remembers who I am. I'm probably just another careless person on the street." A groan came forth as he shook his head, removed his fingers from his hair, and picked up a piece of charcoal from his pile, his hand raising and pressing the tip of the utensil against the canvas paper on his easel.
His hands moved quickly and with ease, proving that he had been drawing and painting for as long as he could remember. The strokes were soft, light and either long or short depending on what part of the drawing he was working on. Multiple strokes were made over the same stop to give emphasis to the area that was being drawn, and, before long, a black and white outline of the female had appeared on his paper. Without giving it a second thought, he picked up several different shades of yellow and brown and began to work on the hair, giving it the volume and definition that it needed, as well as the proper highlights.
Yellows and browns were soon abandoned and greens and golds were put in their places as he began to work on the eyes. If he closed his eyes, he could remember the exact placement of the gold specks in her eyes and the exact shade of the green that she had, but the moment that he opened his eyes, he lost all placements. He put his chin into his hand and propped his elbow on the arm rest of his chair, staring deep into the colorless eyes as he tried to figure out a way to put color into them and get it right. Lifting up a darker shade of green, he put the tip of the charcoal to her eye and then shut his eyes, his hand moving slowly and with care as he colored in the green, making it lighter where it needed to be lighter.
His eyes opened and he stared at the two green eyes, a grin tugging at the corners of his lips as he shook his head and let out a short and deep laugh. "I'll have to try this technique more often," he told himself as he shook his head, dropped the green, and picked up the gold. Following the same procedure as before, he put in the gold specks and the gold ring that surrounded the pupil, his focus seemingly not there since he was so deep in thought. As soon as the tip of his instrument lifted from the paper, his eyes opened and he was staring at an exact replica of what he saw in his mind. What he saw amazed him. It was as if she had been sitting in front of him the entire time that he had sketched out her portrait.
There was still one major thing missing for him. Her lips remained the white of the paper and, no matter how hard he tried to focus on that feature, his mind came up blank. His fingers traced along the pinks, peaches, and oranges of his pastels and charcoals, his eyes scanning over the rest of the uncolored portion of the drawing. While his eyes continued to look deeper into the picture than what was drawn there, his fingers picked up several peaches and tans from his box of pastels and he began to softly color and shade in her face, hoping that maybe that would give him the rest of the picture that he needed and wanted instead of the blank that he was receiving. Even after her face had been given the correct shade and mix of peach and tan, her lips still remained empty and colorless.
"One week and I've already forgotten them…" he said as he sighed and shook his head. Lounging back in his chair, he put his hands back at the base of his head and looked up at the ceiling, wanting to see something that reminded him. "Maybe it's a sign that I'm finally starting to get her out of my head..." He paused and a smile graced his features as he let out a weak and partially forced laugh. "Or maybe it's a sign telling me that I need to see her again and that fate wants us to meet up again." It sounded ludicrous to him, but he was willing to give it a try if only to finish the drawing that was sitting on his easel, almost mockingly.
"All right, all right," he told himself as he lifted himself out of his chair with a groan. "I'll go and find her again. If it'll get this thing finished and help to possibly get her out of my head, I'll go on a hunt for the missing female." He cleaned off his hands on his shirt and slipped the once white shirt off of his back before pulling on a clean one as well as a blue button-up shirt. Glancing down to his jeans, he let a shrug roll off of his shoulders as he slipped on a coat and stuck his feet into his old and weathered pair of converse. It didn't seem important to tie them up, so he left the laces undone and walked out of his studio apartment, locking the door behind him.
"Mr. Starving Artist, it looks to me as though you need a new pair of shoes," he told himself as he watched the toes of his shoes. Sure enough, there were a few holes and his mismatching socks could be seen through those holes, proving that he didn't have time enough between getting up and work to make sure that his socks matched.
The move from the big city had been a move that he hadn't wanted to take but he had had no other choice in the matter. Money was tight and he found that he could only manage to pay the rent if he skipped out on eating for several days after the rent was paid while he earned some more money in order to eat. Despite how his parents had told him that, if he needed any sort of help, he could go to them for some extra change, he refused to allow himself to go back to his parents and explain that they were right about his art: it didn't give him the money that he needed. Although he had even picked up a part time job, things in the big city only seemed to get worse and that caused him to finally give his land lord the two weeks notice to move. He had explained how he didn't have the money and the fact that the rent was going up didn't help him, and said that he would be going to a smaller city that was less costly on the edge of his at the time current residence.
Even though he had been a little iffy about living in the smaller city after always having lived in larger and busier cities, he had come to find that he enjoyed the quiet that he got at night and the silent inspiration. There was still night life in case he wanted or needed to get out of his studio apartment so that he could take his mind off of his paintings, and the people were friendly. Everyone still walked around since the taxis from his hometown drove through quite often and everything was close enough together that people could walk to. It had seemed as though it would be a dramatic change in his daily routine, but he found that it was more like what he had grown up with for the past twenty-five years than he had expected it to be.
What made his living arrangements even better now was that he could pay the rent and then eat the very next day that the money was deducted from his back account, as well as buy himself coffee when he needed something to rejuvenate himself. His apartment was a little smaller than what he had had before, but he was paying hundreds of dollars less than before and he quite enjoyed how he was able to constantly have some money in his pockets. What amazed him most about everything, besides the money in his pockets and how he could eat every day, was that he had come to love the small city so quickly and already felt as though he had lived there his entire life. The people were amazing and always, as he had come to learn, made sure that a person wasn't lost and that they felt right at home. It was something that he hadn't seen often enough in his hometown.
His thoughts changed abruptly as he stepped onto the sidewalk and shifted suddenly to the female that was constantly invading his thoughts. It still proved useless to concentrate as hard as he was to remember the color of her lips and how the gloss that had been applied had ended up settling on her lower lip. He could remember the most insignificant details about her, things that he didn't care to remember, but he couldn't remember something as important as the color of her lips. As he searched through his memory, desperately trying to find the right pair of lips to put to her face, he couldn't help but laugh. Ever since he had begun to draw portraits of people that he saw or ran into on the street, he had always forgotten some detail about them and had been forced to ad-lib that feature.
All of the portraits of people that he hadn't done while the person was in front of him had wound up in the trash at the end of the day because there had been something completely wrong with it. Unlike all of those other sketches, he wasn't going to let this one end up in the trash. If he had the chance, he would finish it and find the female once again in order to give it to her. He doubted that he'd find her for a third time, but he would try to and then thank her discretely for giving and showing him so much in their simple but rough shoulder touch. But, if he could find her now and she wasn't busy, he would ask her to come to his studio so that he could finish the charcoal drawing of her and then give it to her.
He just hoped that she wouldn't think that he was a creep for requesting such a thing.
His chocolate eyes scanned the streets as he walked quickly down them, his head turning to and fro as he looked over the heads of everyone that was shorter than him, trying and hoping to find the top of the female's head. After several moments of looking, his eyes stopped on a blonde that was on the other side of the street than he was, and he found that he was suddenly pushing through the crowds to get to the street. Multiple people gave him obstacles to overcome when they refused to move out of his way, so he simply took a step back and then went on running and pushing through the people until he was at the curb.
His head turned left, right, and then left again, and then he took off running into the middle of the street, his head and eyes turning to each side multiple times to make sure that he didn't find himself a sandwich between a car and the pavement. "Wait! Miss, please wait a minute!" he called to her, knowing right then that it was the same woman that he had been drawing.
Her foot was halfway into the taxi that she had called over and her eyes lifted to the male that was running towards her as a look of confusion passed over her face. After getting an impatient grunt from the taxicab driver, she pulled her foot out and shut the door so that he could find himself another customer. "I'm sorry, but I don't believe that I know you," she said softly as she shifted her purse up her arm a little and to a more comfortable spot. A brow inclined as the male stopped in front of her and bent over double, panting to catch his breath, and she let out a small laugh as she shook her head. "I might not know you, but I can still give you a bottle of water." With that, she pulled out a half empty water bottle and handed it to the male.
He took the bottle of water and stood up straight, tilting his head back a little as he poured the partially warm liquid into his awaiting mouth before he recapped it and handed it back to her. "I don't know you either, but I need to ask you something," he said as he straightened himself out a little and gave her a goofy grin. "We ran into each other on the street sometime last week, and I haven't been able to get you out of my head since then. This morning I started a drawing of you, but I couldn't finish it because I couldn't remember the color of your lips." Swallowing roughly, he rubbed at the back of his neck nervously and bit on his lower lip a little. "If you're not too busy right now, do you think that you could come with me back to my studio so that I could finish it? I'd like to give it to you afterwards as well, if you don't mind."
The same green and gold eyes that he had colored not too long ago looked at him with a look of confusion before a smile appeared in them, which was soon followed by the smile that was on her lips. "You seem like a safe enough young man, so I guess that I could head back with you to your studio and allow you to finish the drawing," she said as she gave him a gentle laugh before shaking her head. "I do hope you don't expect me to run down there though. And, you know, it's your art work. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I took it from you simply because it was of me."
"No, I don't expect you to run," he said and gave her a grin as he forced a nervous laugh and then turned his eyes to the ground. "The only reason that I even started to run was because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to catch up with you before you left, and I couldn't have that." He gave a small nod and sent the mess of his untamed wavy brown hair into his face, though he gave no notice to the sudden blockage in his eyesight. "I planned on giving it to you eventually, but now that I've found you, I can give it to you as soon as I'm done with it." With that said, he took a hold of her hand for a moment, gently tugging on it as he started down the sidewalk towards the nearest cross walk to his apartment building.
It wasn't long before the both of them were in his small studio apartment with him in the chair behind his easel and her sitting on one of his bar stools, looking rather prim and proper. Her eyes were dancing around the ground, trying to figure out how men could live in such a mess with clothes tossed all over the ground and boxes piled to past her shoulders. The canvases that surrounded the edge of the room caught her attention and she found that she had stood up and gone to look at what was drawn or painted on them, her eyes lighting up at what she was seeing. Several of the canvases had been blank, but the ones that were full of color or only partially colored had amazed her beyond belief that someone could actually paint like that. Someone that she had been fortunate enough to run into on the street and then asked to see his studio.
At the sudden clearing of a throat, she jumped and looked wide-eyed over to the male that was now standing back behind his easel. When she realized that he hadn't meant to startle her like he had managed to do, she gave him a smile and then walked back over to the barstool that she had been occupying earlier. "Well, am I going to get to see it or you just going to stand there looking all cocky?" she asked with a grin as she raised a brow. She rested her left hand on the seat of the stool and then leaned against it as she watched the male curiously. "You can't just leave me hanging after seeing all of the gorgeous paintings, you know."
"All right, all right," he said and gave her a joking roll of his eyes as he carefully picked the canvas paper up by the very top and bottom. After looking between the picture and the female's face, he gave a final nod and then turned the image to face her, taking a deep breath before he spoke. "This is in thanks for teaching me so much more than I thought that a stranger on the street could teach me. That simple shoulder bump that we shared made me realize so much that I had never thought possible."
Her eyes widened as she saw the portrait and the smile on her face grew as joy and excitement filled her eyes. It had been better than she had expected and she couldn't understand how the male was still struggling like he was when he had art that belonged in museums. "This is amazing," she said breathlessly as she looked up to him with the same smile that had been drawn onto her face in the picture.