Kimberly Gould’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: Drawn to Love
Her pencil flew across the paper. Rushing to get her idea down, the result was a sloppy, smudged mess. Justin could make out the scarecrow, the scythe and that was about it.
“What is it?” he asked.
“You’ll see,” she promised. “Did you want to go?” she asked, closing her sketchbook.
“I’m not in a hurry,” he said, taking her hand. He chuckled at the graphite smears on the side of it.
Donna pulled her hand back, her face colouring behind her thick framed tortoiseshell glasses. They were as off-fashion as the rest of her—spiky hair, rough and worn cardigan. Justin’s friends complained she was trying to be Hipster. Justin had been her friend long enough to know it wasn’t the case. She honestly didn’t know what was in fashion and didn’t care if it was. There was no one like Donna and that was exactly how it should be. A Hipster would be trying to stand out. Donna didn’t care if she fit in or not.
A year ago, he wouldn’t be here with his neighbourhood friend. He’d be chasing the cheerleaders with his friends. Since dating one, however, he realized how infinitely more interesting his old friend was.
“Well, go on. Show me what it is,” Justin complained, pointing to her notebook. “I’ll get us more coffee.” He waited at the counter while she pulled out coloured pencils and turned the page, flipping back and forth between new and old images. He couldn’t see what she drew, but Justin could see the concentration on her face.
He set the coffee cup carefully in the middle of the table, nowhere near her hands. She didn’t notice him as she switched pencils, adding more colour to the new picture. Justin couldn’t see it, only the first rough draft.
At last, she spied the steaming cup and started in surprise. She shook her head and took the handle in her agile fingers, sipping. “Thank you,” she told him.
“No problem. Can I see it yet?”
“Um, it’s not finished.” She blushed and he thought he might have to lean across the table and kiss her if she kept it up. He hadn’t made any bold moves yet, afraid of scaring her away. She’d had a couple of brutal boyfriends, mean guys that expected her to keep up with them and ditched her when she couldn’t. One who thought she was an easy piece of tail and spread rumors when she didn’t put out. That one had been in Justin’s circle of friends, but Justin refused to be anywhere near him after that happened. Douchebag.
“I don’t mind,” he told her, brushing the back of her hand. He tried to pull it down to the table, release her grip on the sketchbook.
Looking down, she finally did as he indicated and showed him the drawing. A beautiful dark-haired woman held the scythe and the scarecrow with his feathered companions looked like an omen of what she would do next.
“Wow, Donna. That looks great.”
“You think so?” she asked, picking up one of the coloured pencils and adding a little more detail to the woman.
“Who is she?” he asked.
Donna shrugged. “I had a dream about her. It just came back to me. Thanks for waiting while I did this. I know you wanted to get home in time for the game.”
Justin couldn’t care less about basketball now. “I’m happy to spend time with you.”
She stuck her hands in her lap and looked away. “You wouldn’t rather be with someone else?”
Justin reached across the small table and touched her cheek. “No, Donna. I wouldn’t rather be with anyone else.”
Her eyes went wide behind her glasses, shocked. What the hell, why not shock her a little more? Justin leaned forward and brushed her lips with his own, the barest of kisses. He sat back down and sipped his coffee.
Donna’s hand came to her lips, covering her mouth. When she dropped it, a smile was prominent, one she usually saved for their trips to the Gallery district. She turned the page and started a new sketch. A couple.
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Kimberly Gould is the author of Cargon: Honour and Privilege and the upcoming Thickness of Blood. She can be found most places as Kimmydonn, including Kimmydonn.com
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