Chapter One: Drawing 101
I knew I had talent from the second I put my graphite pencil on the clean white sketch pad. The lines came naturally and I eventually learned to connect the real world into my drawings. I could only draw. If you asked me to paint, it would be decent. Ask me to sculpt, and you were asking for problems. The only problem I saw was pottery, but my parents thought otherwise.
"Why can't you become a nice lawyer like your brothers? Attend Harvard like your father did?" My mother would ask me. I didn't want to attend Harvard, or become a stuffy and snobby lawyer like Jacob and Andrew had. I wanted to draw and paint myself out of reality, not attend a false reality of jurisdictions and evidentiary support.
The time came when I thought I was going to turn in my sketch pad and be sunk into the world of business suits and briefcases. It was the beginning of my senior year and I had enrolled in every art class that I knew I would excel in. Until then, I knew I was going to be at the top of my class and have every piece of art I had done be displayed. My moment of glory was shattered when Maxim Hart waltzed through the wooden door of the Advanced Drawing classroom at West Bank High.
West Bank High was nothing special. Just the typical California suburb, not as glamorous as Beverly Hills, but nicer than Los Angeles. West Bank was a quiet town, a nice place to have a vacation for couples. West Bank had nothing special except its beaches and a couple restaurants, and the million Corvettes zipping down the streets. It was calm and serene, a nice place to raise kids, I would say. Some came to West Bank as an entrepreneur, others because they weren't as rich as the Beverly Hills folk. Nevertheless, West Bank people were nice and civil, to an extent. Most of the time West Bank was forgotten, but that never bothered anyone here. We West Bankers just want to roll with the waves and make it through the day, or that's what I try to do.
I took one glance at the boy standing in the doorway, Maxim Hart was revolting. The boy was my age, but he could have passed for twenty. He was tall, but not lanky and from the looks of his tight fitting black t-shirt, he was athletic. His chocolate brown hair fell just over his eyes in the front of his face, and was longer on the sides, but not so much that it covered his ears or went down the nape of his neck. He turned up his head to smile at the teacher, and flashed her a dazzling white smile. Every inch of his face was engulfed in the smile, even his bright blue eyes seemed to be dancing with delight. A small dimple appeared on his right cheek, something that made his face look younger as it danced with laughter. He was tanned, and his casual attitude dripped off of him like rain after a summer storm. This was no ordinary boy, this was Maxim Hart, sidekick to the most attractive boy in all of West Bank High.
"Good morning Mrs. Swinton, is this Advanced Drawing?" he asked in a smooth, low voice. All of the girls in the front row had stopped what they were doing to watch Maxim talk. Even when he talked, he talked with his whole mouth. Every word he produced was different and smooth, and he spoke in a soft voice so that everyone stopped to listen to him.
"Yes of course Mr. Hart, please take a seat in the back," Mrs. Swinton instructed. Mrs. Swinton was the cliche of every art teacher. She was flaky and pranced around the room speaking of famous artists and when and when not to use soft lead pencils. She didn't walk like a normal person, she floated. Whenever she floated, the many bangles on her wrists would make noise and her head scarf would trail behind her like a tail. She might have been pretty if it were not for her odd choice of attire and the slight problem of being frazzled and mentally insane.
The fact that Maxim Hart was walking over directly towards me didn't phase me at all. Almost every girl in the class had turned around to watch him walk to the empty seat in the back next to me. As he walked the girls chatted and whispered anxiously, tossing their hair in hopes of him to notice them. But Maxim wouldn't ever notice them, he was almost too nice to go for the girls that threw themselves at him. You heard me, he was almost too nice.
Maxim was the only one out of his group of friends that had a good head on his shoulders. The ring leader, Carson Stone was cunning and had almost slept with every pretty girl in the grade. His prime motive was now or never, and one hundred percent of the time it was now. He had three best friends, Jimmy Lincoln, Andrew Gibbs, and Maxim Hart. All were equally hormone hungry and partied until their livers bled of alcohol. The only one who had a promising future was Maxim. His father was a Princeton graduate and had handed off his smarts to his one and only son, Maxim. The only flaw with Maxim was that he was a complete smart-ass. The smart-ass remarks and his ever-so-prevalent arrogance was sometimes offset by his compassion and sincerity, but only on good days. It got him into trouble many times a day, but he was a master with words. He had talked his way out of countless suspensions and detentions, not to mention swooned young teachers out of giving him a zero for assignments.
Maxim took a seat next to me, his face in his hands. He looked down at what I was drawing and stared intently.
"You're doing it wrong," he protested as he began to take out a hard lead pencil.
"You're doing it wrong," he said again, furrowing his brows.
"I haven't even introduced myself to you, and you're already reprimanding me," I told him, putting down my pencil.
"I don't care. You shaded the crow's left wing too lightly, shade it darker," he said using his pencil on my drawing.
"What do you think you're doing? I only use soft lead, get your pencil off of my work!" I yelled at him, yanking the paper out from underneath his pencil. Immediately a dark black line was drawn over the beak of the crow.
"You are not sitting by me anymore. Get your things and move to the front by the squealing junior," I told him and dropped his books on the floor.
"Are we fighting already? I don't even know your name yet," he said, leaning his arms on the table. He wasn't even phased that I had thrown all of his things onto the floor.
"Yes, but I know yours, and you're bad news. So please relocate yourself, or I will."
"You're pretty when you're mad," Maxim said to me, leaning on one elbow.
"Don't even try those on me Hart, I'm here to make art, not war."
"But why just art, darling? Why not make love?" He said with a smile. I groaned and picked up my pencil case, eraser, and drawing.
"That's it, I'm moving!" Maxim grabbed my arm and pulled me back down into my chair.
"Don't go," he pleaded.
"Give me a reason not to," I seethed at him. Maxim blinked at me with his large blue eyes, the eyes that I couldn't read the thoughts behind.
"I like watching you draw. You're so concentrated and intricate, it's fascinating," he said.
"If you promise to shut up and not say one single word, or even breathe near my art work, then I'll stay. One slip up Hart, and I'm running like hell. Clear?"
"Crystal," he said with a cheeky smile. Mrs. Swinton stood up in the front of the room and tried to hush the class through telekinesis. It obviously wasn't working. Noticing Mrs. Swinton's struggle, Maxim stuck two fingers in his mouth and made a high-pitched whistle.
"Thank you Mr. Hart," she nodded towards him. Maxim's face broke out into a smile and then slowly faded.
"Now class, as you all know this is Advanced Drawing. This means that we will be doing longer projects, with higher expectations. This semester I would like to focus on people, and living creatures," she said. The class groaned in disapproval. Maxim whistled once more and the class quieted down.
"I will be assigning partners for you to be sharing materials with, when I call your name please come get your art box," Swinton continued. Two junior girls had been paired together, then a boy and a girl, then two more girls, a girl and a girl that looked like a boy, and then finally me.
"Ms. Vaughan, and let's see, Mr. Hart," Mrs. Swinton called out. She held out a box towards me and I thought I felt my ankles give out. If I was to be sharing an art box with the art critic, I don't think I would be able to make it through the semester. My world was slowly crumbling.
"What do you know love, we're partners! Aren't you excited?" he asked.
"Overjoyed," I said through gritted teeth. No problem, I would bring in all of the pencils that I didn't use, and he could share those. He could break all of the tips off of the hard lead pencils that he wanted, as long as he stayed away from my watercolors and pastels. Problem solved. Maxim returned to where he was sitting and turned to look at me.
"This is going to be a fun semester," he said, shoving another dazzling smile in my face.
"Do you always smile?" I asked him.
"Do you always not smile?"
"Don't be cheeky with me Hart," I told him.
"Well then stop staring at me," he said.
"I wasn't staring at you," I said. I had been maybe for a few seconds, but that was because his profile was immaculate. He had the perfect shaped nose, and a not too big of a forehead. His lips were the perfect shape, and his jaw didn't jut out too far despite his perfect bone structure. Even his eyelashes were long enough to be drawn.
"Don't worry about it baby, looking is for free," he said with another sarcastic smile. "Anything other than looking will cost you, but I might make an exception for you," he said lightly tapping my nose.
"Don't touch me, Hart."
"Why do you always use my last name at the end of your sentences?"
"Why does it matter?"
"Because I don't know your last name," he said, spinning a pencil around on the desktop.
"You would know if you had bothered to ask, rather than criticizing my art." He stopped what he was doing and looked at me, a solemn expression on his face.
"Angela Vaughan. That's my name, happy?"
"Yes, very much," he said, another smile exploding onto his face. The dimple peeked out from under his blue eyes, and then went back into his cheek.
"Good, now if you don't mind.." I was cut off by Mrs. Swinton's breathy voice cutting into the class conversations. Looks like she opted for the mind control this time.
"Class, now that you have art utensil buddies, I want you to think of someone that you want to draw. It could be a family member, a friend, anyone. I want your idea by tomorrow and a sketch by Monday, class dismissed," she said with a wave of her hand. I stood up and slung my backpack over my shoulder. Just as I was about to turn and leave, Maxim grabbed my hand.
"Yes Maxim, what can I do for you now?"
"I want you to draw me," he said.
"I want you to draw me."
"But I think I have a subject, so it wouldn't work," I said trying to shrug out of his grip. He only held on tighter and turned me so that I faced him.
"I want you to draw me."
"Yeah I get that, but I already told you..."
"I want you to draw me Angela," he said and then paused for a moment. "Naked," he said. I didn't know whether to laugh or be extremely disgusted.
"Excuse me? Did I just hear you correctly?"
"Why, what's the problem? Haven't you never seen a penis before?" He said, folding his arms over his chest.
"No, I aced that part of health in eighth grade. But you can't be serious Maxim."
"I am serious."
"I can't possibly draw you naked for an art project, that's absurd!"
"We can get around it," he said with a sly and mischievous grin.
"There isn't getting around anything. You're going to be naked in my vicinity, and I don't want you naked anywhere near me."
"Angela, please. I really want to be your subject, but if it's too much of a problem I guess I could find a sophomore girl more than willing to draw me," he sulked. He turned to walk the other direction out of class.
"Fine." I cringed at the sound of my voice coming out of my mouth. I couldn't believe that I was going to be agreeing to this. Maxim whirled around on his heel, an award-winning smile already on his face.
"Yes, but no fooling around. Promise? This is strictly business," I warned him, poking a finger at his chest. He was so much taller than I was, I had to look up at him to speak.
"Fine, I'll talk to you later about this. But this gets mentioned to no one, not even your friends. Hear me, or this whole thing is off," I said. He made a motion to zipper his lips shut and then throw out the key.
"Not a soul, boy scouts honor," he said. I rolled my eyes at him and walked out of class, leaving my future nude subject in my wake.
Author's Note: I'm trying something new! This has been weighing heavily on me, so I thought I would just see if this goes anywhere. Feedback would be much appreciated, and if there are any questions feel free to ask, and I will try and post them in the next chapter with some answers! Thanks you as always! :)