Photo Credit: Grass Kiss by Criswey
Swamp coolers roared in the background and I wondered why a gallery would allow so much damp air in the room. My parents dragged me to the opening. The artist was some son of some power couple they knew. As if it wasn’t bad enough being stuck at a snooty damp art show it was made worse by their trying to pair me up. Ever since Max died its all they ever tried to do.
“Hey,” said a dark haired boy about my age. With his hands shoved deep into his expensive tailored suit pockets he seemed bashful and out of place.
“Hey back,” I said, right finger twirling in the silk cord of my purse. Why the hell was I nervous?
“You like the show?” he asked.
I turned to the wall of abstract paintings, overhead lights zeroed in on each piece. The one in front of us had broad strokes of tans with sage and yellow like the sun had just come across a field of wheat. My heart broke all over again. The months and months of trying to forget came undone as instead of a painting a memory played before my eyes.
“Are you okay?” the boy asked, a warm hand on my shoulder.
I blinked and the vision of Max and I in our field disappeared.
“Um, are you—”
“I’m fine. It’s fine. I’m… It’s a beautiful piece.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yes. Thank you.”
“I’m glad you like it,” he said, his hand still on my shoulder.
“Let me guess. You’re Calvin, as in the artist.”
“Something like that.” Pride laced his voice.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Juliana.”
I shook my head, my gaze sliding to the ground. “Of course. I suppose your parents sent you on some mercy mission to come talk to me.”
“Whatever, don’t bother. I’m not interested." I bit my lip and looked up at the painting once more. It threatened to melt into my memory again. "I'm still..."
My eyes met his. “Max?”
“Mmm. Hmmm. But just for tonight.”
He pulled me into his arms, his breath warm against my ear. “Because I never got to say goodbye.”
(c) 2010, MB
Don't forget to check out my fellow YAFFer's stories based on the same photo: