He was rich. I could tell the moment he stepped out of his BMW and onto the driveway to the huge, abandoned-for-years, Victorian style mansion that he'd inhabit now, that his family was loaded. And although I didn't see his face, I caught a glimpse of dark brown hair and pale skin. He was tall, and his shoulders were broad. He had on a black suit that looked new and reeked of Armani. I stood at my bedroom window, staring at him as he stood staring at his surroundings. I didn't know him and already I loathed his presumably pompous nature and arrogant way of going about his daily routine. But I couldn't stop staring.
That was my first glimpse of Otis Geoffrey Chevalier. And it would not be my last.
"Iris! Iris!" My mother called up the stairs to me. My family lived in a modest two-story house that was not 25 yards from the huge mansion that was now being moved into. I quickly snapped out of my strange trance and looked out my bedroom to see my mother running up our oak stairs, almost out of breath. I smiled cheekily.
"Y'all right there?" I said, slurring my words about, the way I usually did when I was feeling a little silly.
"Iris! Have you seen them?" Mother asked, disregarding my question. I stuck my tongue in my cheek and crossed my arms as she ran into my room. Really, why did she even ask me if she was just going to ignore me, and then run like a madwoman into my room?
"Look at them Iris! Oh my goodness, just look at them!" Mother said breathlessly, putting a hand to her chest, the way she always did when she was overcome by emotions. I held back my witty response to tell her that actually, looking at him was all I could do before she had broken my trance. And after a moment, I realized it wasn't actually that witty. It would more or less make me look like a stalker. Instead I lazily went over to my mother who was staring out the window.
Below us was now a taller man than the first one with absolutely black hair, a strong nose and jaw line and (from what I could tell), bottle green eyes. There was a woman standing next to him, a petite blonde with short hair and a feminine grey suit on. She was strikingly beautiful, and possibly a model, or at least a retired model. I wondered where the boy went. He was nowhere to be seen. They stood talking to each other, the man looking at the woman almost severely and the woman fixing her diamond ear bobs. I felt entranced in their actions, as if I was watching a silent movie.
"I wonder who they are," I asked, turning my head away from the people and to mother. She sighed once more.
"They're the Chevalier's. I heard that they were moving here awhile ago, at a board meeting. Apparently they're a well-to-do family from England." She explained dreamily. I scoffed. Whenever mother said she got information from a "board meeting", it meant that it was gossip. Of course, I wouldn't have been surprised if these people were actually a well-to-do family from England. They were rich, and they sure looked the part of sophisticated Europeans. Mother stood at the window looking down on the eldest Chevalier's intently. She smiled a little and finally gave me a pat on the shoulder and walked out my room.
The boy came out of the house as a few movers went in with a high-class looking couch. The boy looked upward slightly and I finally saw his face. It was strong like his father's but beautiful like his mother's. Eyes bluer than ocean's stared at the sky. Cherry-red lips pouted slightly. All of a sudden, my heart ached strangely. I had only seen this kind of beauty once before, and it had been online when I was looking at picture's of Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel. How could this kind of beauty be arrogant? I almost laughed at myself for thinking he was only a few minutes beforehand and sighed contentedly. My life was complete. I could die happy now.
The boy casually moved on to speak with his father. I sat down finally, on my window seat. I continued to look at him all day, framing his image into my mind. And when the last mover brought the last piece of furniture inside the house, the family went inside with it. I sat staring at the house for a long time before I finally turned away. I stood up and walked swiftly to my easel, which had a fresh canvas on it, one that I had bought the day before but had no idea what to paint. Finally, I knew. I sent to work blending different color acrylics to make his perfect hair color, his skin color, his eye color, his lip color.
This boy, he was my muse.
Early the next morning (Sunday) I was awoken by my mother shaking me awake.
"I have the full story on the Chevalier's!" she said, excitedly. I groaned, groggy. It was early and I was never up this early.
"Mm?" I answered, my tongue feeling thick in my mouth.
"The father is Geoffrey Chevalier. He's a businessman and his company just sent him over here because he was recently promoted to CEO of the U.S. part of the company. The mother is Lousia Chevalier, she's an actress in England. I didn't hear if she was planning on returning to the stage here, so I guess we'll have to wait and see. The son, who is your age, is Otis Chevalier. He's brilliant, but very, very shy. I guess he barely says anything. He's going to your school though. But his parents can actually afford it, and he's smart, so I can see why. But you must be nice to him, alright?" Mother enlightened me. I hardly knew what she was talking about, until it all clicked.
"That's nice," I mumbled, falling back into my comforter, feeling more excited than I had let on. Mother clicked her tongue and after realizing she wasn't going to get much more of an answer out of me, left my room.
I lay on my bed contemplating the fact that my muse would be attending Regency School of Excellency (usually just called Regency or RSE by the students) like me. He was going because he was apparently a genius and his parents could afford expensive schooling. I was going there simply because I had an art scholarship, which was where I spent most of my time. I only went to a couple other classes besides drawing, painting, anatomy, history of art and art basics 101. My life at Regency was filled with canvases, art store runs, paint stains on clothes and skin, long hours spent in the studio with my friends hyping on Starbucks and practically worshipping the Renaissance artists. I doubted my muse and I should ever cross paths.
This might have not been a bad thing. I could paint him freely without being considered a psycho. My friends were in generally the same classes as I, and I couldn't foresee my muse ever entering the art studio.
I sat up in my bed and traced outlines of what I wanted to paint on my white duvet. I stopped and got out of bed and went over to my window and sat on the window seat, the spot where I had been, most of the day prior. I looked to the Chevalier's new home. I could tell I'd be there many hours, wishing I could see through the walls and into his room. Stalker, a small voice inside my head said. I angrily crossed my arms and stood up.
Like he'd ever notice me, I spat back in my head
I stared at the started painting the rest of the morning and didn't even come down for breakfast. Already his exact hair color was fading from my mind. I closed my eyes and my mind brought up the first mental picture I had of him, him staring up at the sky. His eyes bluer than the object he was looking at. I opened my eyes again and I was staring at the white walls of my bedroom and the pale skin color that adorned my canvas.
I'll work on this at school, I concluded and did my best to put my muse in the back of my head. I wasn't working well until my friend Kenzie called me to ask if I wanted to go to the Museum of Art with her. They were having an exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci and I had almost died when I had found out. I quickly told her that yes, I would love to and a few hours later she picked me up to go to the museum. All thoughts in my mind of Otis Chevalier were pushed to the back as I looked at different pieces (all copies) of da Vinci's art.
At least, for now.