Every artist needs a muse.
Oh my god. She is cute, I thought as the cutie walked into my art class. I ducked my head behind my easel, pretending to draw the subject we'd each been given at the start of class. So far, I'd barely thought about mine - plants - the most boring subject in the history of the world. How am I meant to make plants "interesting" and "inspired"?
I tilted my head so I could see the cutie around my easel. My hand flew over the paper, making a rough sketch of her. She had luscious black hair and her full, red lips made me want to nibble on them so badly. I folded the piece of paper up and put it in the front pocket of my dark red rucksack by my feet.
I'd come to terms with the fact that I liked other women romantically several years ago, after a very embarrassing crush on my form tutor. Admittedly my acceptance was after a summer of loud, angry music, but I did accept it.
My legs seemed to know where I was going because they took me there without any notice on my part. I was on the very end of campus, near the river that led up to the mountains that dwarfed campus.
I sat down on a smooth rock near the raging river and began to sketch, I'd had a brainwave on what to do for my project - a sketch of the trees, river and, in the background, mountains.
It isn't exactly what my project is, but I bet I can get my teacher to see it from my point of view.
The next day I went to art class prepared to argue with my teacher on how my current sketch in my sketchbook fitted my project, so I wasn't prepared for what did happen.
A tap on my shoulder had me turning round. It was the cutie from art class. I looked at her.
"Um... Hi. You're in my art class, aren't you?" She said, and when I nodded, she went on,"Can you show me to it? I'm new, so I don't know this place."
I nodded and motioned for her to follow me. I led her to our art room. It was down the corridor and left into room 015.
I went to my easel and completed the sketch of the cutie. I added the finishing touches - the specks of green in her stone-grey eyes; the slightly tanned look to her face; and the ruby red earrings that she had on her ears.
I tucked the finished sketch in my jean pocket and slowly began to re-sketch the drawing of the trees, river and mountains. After about half an hour, I finished and was just shading the bark on the tree in, when my teacher came to me and said that my sketch, good though it was, wasn't the requirement for my project.
I sighed, "Sir, you said yourself it's good. And isn't art meant to be about expression and thought?"
He looked stumped at that.
Congratulating myself, I walked out of class and straight into the cutie.
"Sorry." She said, bending down to pick her A3 sketchbook up.
"It's ok, I wasn't concentrating." I said.
"Well done by the way. On making Sir accept your project."
"Thanks." I smiled. Those lips are really tempting.
I walked away. It's not everyday when I get congratulated for beating a teacher with my wit by a cutie.
Today was a good day, I decided.
It was raining, the sort of rain that came at an angle, soaking everything and everyone. Including me on my way to my mums' shop. Fortunately, I had my A3 in a plastic bag and my folders in my rucksack.
With my hair stuck to my forehead, I went into my mums' shop. I shook my head like a dog, my brown hair flying around.
"Oh hello Nichole." That's Mum, she never calls my by my nickname - Nicki.
I nodded in her direction as I made my way to the back of the shop. I opened a small wooden door, revealing a set of stairs that lead up to our house.
Yes, I live above a shop at weekends.
Our house is not what people expect when they come up the stairs. Its bigger that they expect, there's one floor which has a kitchen, a dining area, a sitting room, a bathroom and my mum's bedroom, and then there's the second floor which houses another bathroom and my twin sisters' rooms. On the third floor, there's my bedroom and a small bathroom.
I have my own floor, it's cool.
I walked up the stairs to 'my' floor after stopping to say hi to my six year old twin sisters - Hallie and Callie. They look exactly alike, right down to the last freckle.
My room is awesome. Three walls are painted dark purple and the remaining wall has purple wallpaper on. The double bedspread matches the dark purple. The best thing about my room is the window, it's five foot wide by three feet high, so it gives me a great view of the mountains which make me feel tiny. I've set up an easel and sketching materials next to this window.
I only live here over weekends and holidays. The rest of the time I'm on campus, in my cosy flat. It's tiny but it's my own and that's all I care about.
I dumped all my stuff next to my bed. I checked my jean pockets for the sketch of the cutie.
After double-checking my pockets and my bag, I swore for about ten minutes. Once I had done that, I came to the conclusion that the sketch must have fallen out of my pocket and the cutie must have picked it up. Shit.
My mum called me downstairs for dinner. I bounded down, hungry.
"Hey guys," I said as I sat down, "How were your days?"
Flipping her black hair, Hallie (I think) answered, "We learned how to write the alphabet -"
"- and our teacher gave us a lollipop each for being the best." Callie finished off Hallie's sentence.
"Cool," I cut my fish up and ate some, "Mum, how was your day?"
"It was alright - I got a lot of customers. Mainly schoolchildren wanting some sweets and chocolate."
"How was your day?" Hallie and Callie asked me in unison.
"I'm telling you, that's creepy. Anyway, my day?" I paused, thinking, "It was good, 'cause my art teacher accepted my project." And cause I finished my sketch of the cutie, I added in my head.
And subsequently lost, I remembered darkly.
Over the weekend I did homework and drew everything I could see out of my window in an attempt to forget about my lost sketch. It didn't really work, I found myself drifting off into daydreams about what the cuties' response was to my sketch at odd times, like when I was eating lunch with the twins and when I was sketching the mountains through the mist at five o'clock on Sunday morning.
I took a deep breathe before going into my art classroom and going over to my customary easel. As I watched everyone else come in someone set up next to me. I glanced to my right, it was the cutie. From this close up I could see the faint eyeshadow on her eyes and the glint of her lip gloss. My fingers itched to improve my sketch, but of course I'd lost it. Damn.
As our teacher started talking, I became aware of someone saying my name quietly. I looked for the source of the noise; it was the cutie.
"Yes?" I said in an undertone.
"Nice drawing of me by the way." She replied.
"Thanks. Wait, have you got it?" I asked, insanely curious.
"If you meet me on the edge of campus by the river at the start of lunch, you'll find out." She said, a smile playing on her red lips.
At lunch, instead of making my way to my tiny flat for a Pot Noodle, I found myself walking to where the cutie - I really need to find her actual name - told me to meet her.
As I walked nearer she came into focus, her curvy five foot four figure leaning against a tree trunk. Her wavy black hair cascaded down her back and her worn out trainers tapped a beat.
"What's your name?" I asked, throwing my rucksack on the grass, "I figured it'd be fair, since you know mine."
"Lily." She answered.
Lily... A beautiful name for a beautiful flower.
"Well, Lily, are you going to give me my sketch back?" I said, watching her.
"No? Why not?" I asked, flabbergasted.
"Because I can use it for bargaining," She paused for effect, "If you come to a club with me tonight, I'll consider giving it back to you."
"Yeah, coming or not?"
"It doesn't really look like I have a choice. I'll come Lily." I answered, resigned to my fate.
I waited just outside the campus gates for Lily at seven o'clock. I was dressed for a night out: a short black dress paired with electric blue high heels and hair up in a loose bun. My make-up was simple - lip-stick, mascara, eyeshadow and blusher.
I'm going with Lily on a night out, only because she's got my sketch, but I'm not complaining, I don't think I would've got to go out with her otherwise.
Lily walked towards me dressed in a bright red dress which she had matched with a pair of four inch red heels. Her lips were red, suggesting lip-stick.
I accepted my third vodka and lime of the night from Lily, who had her third rum and coke in her hand. I'd had enough alcohol to make the world a nicer place.
"Let's dance!" Lily yelled as a song came on. She dragged me onto the dancefloor and we began to dance.
I was only aware of the alcohol and the loud music as I danced with her, rubbing my body against hers. It felt good. We rubbed against each other, unaware of anything else.
We danced all night long, until two in the morning, when we got kicked out of the club. We giggled as we slowly walked home barefoot. We'd took our heels off awhile ago, they were hurting our feet.
Outside my block of flats, I struggled to extract my key from my handbag.
Lily was sat on the low wall, giggling.
"Do you want to sleep here tonight?" I asked her, unlocking the flat door.
"Yes." She answered, slurring.
I opened my eyes and then slammed them shut again. Ouch. Hangovers' a bitch. I opened one eye slowly, carefully ajusting to the light. I looked around.
There's an arm on the floor.
An arm? Who's is it?
I peered over the side of my bed. It's... Lily. Lily?
I poked her. Blearily she woke up.
"Why are you here?" I asked croakily.
She looked around, "I don't know."
I got up and looked at the calender on my bedroom wall.
"It's Tuesday..." I said, unsure why I said it.
Lily got up and straightened her dress which she had slept in on the floor. She yawned.
"You got any paracetamol?" She asked.
After a hot shower, a cup of black tea and two paracetamols, I was feeling a little better.
I banged my head on the table, "Never getting that drunk again."
Lily laughed, "That'll happen."
Lily was sitting opposite me, sipping on her second cup of tea.
"What happened last night?" Lily asked me, "My memory's a bit fuzzy."
"Erm..." I broke off, trying to remember,"We started dancing, I think we were rubbing against each other at one point."
"I remember us trying to do headstands."
"Headstands?" I said in disbelief.
I vaguely remembered my reason for going with Lily to that club two weeks ago - getting my sketch back. But now I was going willingly, with pleasure, because, after all, she is cute and there's nothing like a drunk conversation in which to reveal my true feelings.
I relished the burn of the first alcoholic drink of the night; you can't get that again because once that first drink is drunk, you've got alcohol in your system and the world's feeling like a happier place.
I took my fifth vodka and lime off Lily, who was swaying slightly. I swallowed the first mouthful and thought maybe, just maybe I could admit my true feelings towards Lily this time. I'd been trying, without success, for the last week to tell her of my love for her.
Lily took me by the hand and pulled me outside, into the darkish alley behind the club we'd started frequenting on weekdays, apart from Fridays. She was still holding my hand when she pushed me up against the rough wall. I tried to ignore the effect it was having on me.
"Nicki," Lily said, slurring a lot, "You seemed distracted in there. Tell me why."
I dragged my finger across her chin, barely aware I was doing it, "You're so pretty." I mumbled.
"You're so pretty." I said in a louder voice.
"Really?" She tilted her head so her eyes were caught in the moonlight and shone.
I nodded confidently, "I love you."
Lily laughed, "That's why you've been distracted?"
I nodded again, still mesmerised by her eyes and lips which were tempting me by being so red and kissable.
I knew she won't remember anything tomorrow, so I gave into the temptation and kissed her.
Her lips were as soft as I'd imagined and they tasted like cherry chapstick when I licked them; to my surprise, they opened, and I slipped my tongue into Lily's mouth. I explored her mouth while she gently sucked on my top lip, making me moan and pull her towards me.
I swore time stopped when we emerged from the kiss and looked at each other. Her grey eyes stared into my blue ones as we got our breathe back.
"Nicki? All I seem to be able to remember of last night is us kissing." Lily said, who was next to me in art with a hangover.
I started, spilling my pencils on the floor. I'd thought Lily would've forgotten that. Apparently fate isn't that kind.
Picking my pencils up, I answered, "That's 'cause I did. I'm sorry."
"Why are you saying sorry? You were the only reason I joined art class in the first place." She said, looking down at me.
I looked up, my heart beating ten to the dozen, "You really mean that?"
I laid entwined with Lily after our first night together, properly, without the influence of alcohol. I was in post-sex bliss, stroking Lily's head with my hand.
"That was great." She said, while twisting our fingers together.
"Yeah." I agreed.
As I drifted off to sleep I heard Lily say, "You can have your sketch back."
A/N: Reviews are the only payment I recieve.