Her eyes were full as rain clouds as she stalked toward me, all wide and fierce. I noticed the green stone in her ring as it moved toward me lightening fast and as her fist crashed against my cheek, I wondered if I made the same face Porter had drawn.
And knew that I had.
Without so much as a word, Fiona turned her back on me, linked her arm through Lindsey’s, and the two of them walked off like they were some old married couple taking a stroll through the park.
When the shock finally wore off, I slipped back into the classroom and grabbed the offending sketch pad, along with my own, before I went to the nurse’s office for an ice pack. Mr. Spitz was so absorbed in his own drawing, I don’t think he even noticed either of us left.
Amy, I mean, Miss Kensington, the nurse’s aide, wasn’t happy when I refused to tell her who hit me. “Ryan, you know the school has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bullying,” she said, and the way she tipped her head, like I was some little kid instead of just four years younger made the whole thing worse.
“Don’t tell my brother, okay?”
She tilted her head even more and her voice softened. “Ryan…”
Great, she thought I was some scared loser. “I mean it. Just because you’re his girlfriend doesn’t mean you can tell him about my private medical stuff.”
No one needed to know I’d made an ass of myself, again. At least this time when Fiona hit me we weren’t surrounded by half the class. That didn’t make it any less humiliating, though.
I spent the night switching back and forth between staring at the same page of Crime and Punishment, to staring at Linds... crap, Porter’s, unopened sketch pad. Both were unintelligible to me. How could Porter draw something that hadn’t happened? Did he see the future? Or did he make it? My head spun with the circular logic. If he did make it happen, why would he wait ten years to get back at me?
Porter’s sketch pad taunted me from its spot on my dresser. I’d cleared a spot and carefully placed it there as soon as I got home. I didn’t want to piss it off, if it had, like, feelings or something. Just like in drawing class, I felt like I was being watched. Like somehow Fiona knew what I was doing right now and she was narrowing her eyes in disgust.
I wanted to know what secrets the sketch pad held inside its pages, but I was afraid. It was the memory of Porter’s sketches of Fiona’s face that finally made me pick it up. She smiled at Porter, laughed when he said something funny, listened earnestly when he talked, her chin resting on one open hand. It was pathetic, I know, but I wanted to see those faces looking at me.
I half-expected the pad to shock me or something when I set it on the bed and reached to flip open the cover. Nothing happened, but a current buzzed through me anyway. So many pages full of Fiona. So many different emotions and expressions that I had never seen on her face. It was like she was unfolding right in front of me. Opening up and sharing all of her secrets. I must’ve stared at the picture of her – head turned slightly away, hand brushing at tears slipping from her eye, a tiny frown of frustration or annoyance on her face – for ten minutes straight.
I was seeing the real Fiona. Not soft and fragile, she could never be that, but honest, emotional, something other than hostile.
Porter had captured her perfectly. She wasn’t pretty like the girls who always wear makeup and dresses and their hair down, but she had this energy around her all the time, this power in her eyes that made her beautiful in a way those other girls could never compete with.
The more I looked at that drawing, the more I hated Porter.
I flipped through the pages until I got to the one of Fiona clocking me and then I hesitated again. If there was more, did I want to see it? Maybe it was better I didn’t know, since seeing myself getting punched did nothing but get me punched. Not to mention, my whole plan to apologize so Fiona would stop thinking I was worthless got completely shot to hell.
What did it matter? It wasn’t like she was ever going to stop hating me now. I turned the page and was stopped short by a sudden burst of color. A green so bright against the Manila paper it seemed to float above it. My favorite shade. The drawing was unfinished, but I could tell that the two people in it were me and Fiona.
And this time things were very different.
Come back Friday to see Lacey's part 3!
Image courtesy of swan-t via Flickr Creative Commons.
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