Chapter 23: The First Outsider

October 31st came around and everyone wanted to tell scary stories by the campfire. I guess coming here to spend Halloween was a lot better than staying home doing nothing. Everyone knew almost everyone in town so there wasn't really much you could do there. It was small and I guess these people found it a lot more fun to go camping then throw some dumb party back home. I do admit though that it did seem like a lot of fun...but I couldn't stick around. When everyone got dressed and headed to the campfire I waited in the cabins until they were all gone. When they were all too busy to pay attention I got dressed and grabbed the bigger bag from under the bed. I had my own plans on how I was going to spend Halloween.

I grabbed the bigger bag and carried it out of the cabin. I took a flashlight with me because it had already gotten so dark. I checked to make sure if anyone had seen me before I started leaving the camp grounds. I knew I wouldn't be back until morning...because I wasn't going to let my parents down. I had to finish what they started and I wasn't going back until it was done. It took them years to create and now I'm going to be the one to complete it. I've already put it off for too long...it was all up to me now.

As I headed towards the mountains I kept getting a strange feeling that someone was watching me. I tried searching around but I couldn't find anyone there. I figured it must all be in my head and shook it off. I couldn't let anything distract me now. I had the pictures saved and ready to complete my parents work. They had spent their lives together trying to complete this...and now they're gone. It's up to me to finish what they started.

It took me at least two hours to reach my destination. Our secret place was only a few minutes pass the hill of wild flowers. Liam had taken enough pictures of the flowers for me to use. Once I finally got to where I was headed I could finally rest. I could spot the storage room the second I made it to the top of the hill. Memories of my mothers warm smile and gentle laughter appeared in my mind. I could still hear her voice in my head. It was almost hard to believe that she was actually gone...and I was on my own. I guess I just never expected her to leave so soon...and it was all my fault.

I got to the storage room and stepped inside. The room had no door so that anyone could enter and see what my parents had created. On the walls in the room was a mural that represented my parents love for each other. Walls covered in beautiful fully bloomed flowers that my father first started painting before I was even born. The room wasn't huge but it was pretty big. In the middle of the room stood an old piano that my mother used to play for my father. My father would paint these flowers to symbolize their eternal love for each other. Flowers normally die and wither away but these flowers would never die...just like their love. My mother would help him occasionally and when he died...she had no choice but to finish it. Of course, my mother was no artist so she had to take her time to finish the painting. Then she died...and it was up to me to complete it.

I had spent years studying my fathers old work. My grandmother had left me a few things of his before she disappeared. She left the house to me and my mother and everything now was left to me. My mother always spoke about my father and how much she loved him. She always seemed happier whenever she was in this room...and the saddest. She eventually let me help her with the art because I was created by their love for each other. That was why in the middle of this mural...stood a big fully bloomed Viola. This was what their eternal love had created.

I put my bags down and got everything set up. I made sure to clean everything up before I started getting to work. I had to reach in my bag for the camera in order to finish the painting. I skimmed through the pictures saved in the camera to try and figure out how to start off. That was when I found something strange saved in the photos. The first few pictures were of me...smiling. I hadn't noticed I was even smiling and I had no idea Liam was even taking shots of me. I didn't understand anything about that guy. He was like two different people and I didn't know who the real one was. At times I felt like the way he was with me was who he really was...but then I realized I don't really know him at all. What was even stranger was that I had no idea what I felt for him. All I knew was that whenever he was around...I felt safe.

"So, what do you think of the pictures?" I jumped when I found Liam come up from behind me. I looked around to see if anyone else had come along with him but found no one.

"What are you doing here?" I asked, furiously. This was a place my mother and father could escape to. A secret place that only the three of us could go to...and now an outsider had stepped into our world.

"I saw you leaving on your own and I was worried. It's pretty late and you could get into serious trouble." I rolled my eyes and turned back to the mural. I placed the camera on the piano and grabbed my supplies.

"You shouldn't be here." I said firmly as he came over to look at the painting.

"Did you do this?" He asked, as he walked around the room.

"No...my parents did." He stopped to look at me before he reached over for the camera.

"So, did you like my pictures?" He asked, as he started to look through them with a smile.

"You were supposed to be taking pictures of the flowers." He looked up at me and put the camera back down.

"You told me to capture the beauty...and that's exactly what I did." I turned away from him to hide my blushing face. I could feel my face starting to burn up again and my heart beginning to race.

"Look, you should probably head back to the cabins before you get yourself in trouble." I warned him, as I reached over for the brush and started getting everything set up.

"Won't you get in trouble if you don't go back now too?" I shrugged and grabbed a stool from the corner of the room.

"I have to finish this or no one else will...I don't mind whatever punishment they give me. This is worth it." I glanced over at the picture in the camera before I started to continue on with the painting.

"Well, if you're staying here then so am I. We're gonna get in trouble anyways so might as well do it together. Besides, I can't just leave you here alone." He walked over to my side as my heart began to speed up.

"Fine, but you might as well make yourself useful." He laughed and grabbed a paint brush on the ground.

"I can help you with this whole thing if you want. I have art as an elective." He smiled again and I couldn't help but laugh. I shook my head and and looked down at him from the stool.

"Just don't screw anything up. If you ruin this painting I'll never forgive you...and I will make you pay." He laughed and grabbed the bucket of paint from the floor.

My father took down the door from this room to let everyone who passed by see his art. He wanted people to share in his joy of love. I'm not sure if outsiders ever came by and saw his work. I'm not sure if they could really sense his joy and happiness from an uncompleted mural either. I'm not sure if anyone could understand his feelings...but Liam was different. He wasn't just any outsider. He was the first person from the outside world who has ever been apart of this painting. He was the only person who knew about the the artist who created this. He was the first outsider to step into our world and join us. He was the first outsider to help us complete the meaning of my existence. He was the first person who was able...to step into my world.