Being Painted

Photo by Yannis Papanastasopoulos on

FLASH Writing Challenge 100 – Day 3

Being painted wasn’t what she had expected. She exhales deeply and surrenders to the sensations as he paints her.

They had been dating for six months before Josh confessed that he had always wanted to be a painter.

But he was an engineer! Darn this inscrutable man! Didn’t he know there were rules? Didn’t he know once he showed someone his conservative side, that he had to remain fixed, in that cubbyhole? Forever? How was she ever going to learn him if he continued to surprise her so frequently and so wildly?

“What kinds of things would you, or did you, like to paint?” Laurel asks him.

“People. Mostly people, figures, faces, portraits, couples dancing. Yes, always people though. I’ve zero interest in landscapes and still lifes I guess. I did them when I was in art school … “

“You were in art school!? Okay, we gotta put a pin in that. Promise me you’ll tell me that story later.”

“I promise but there’s not much to tell really. For about a year I was in art school. At some point, I decided that engineering might be a more secure career choice. I promised myself to keep art as a serious avocation. But I think I want my painting to go a different direction now.”

“But this is the first I’m hearing about art,” she says.

“Well, I was less than stellar in keeping that promise I guess. For a while, in Germany especially, I always carried a sketchbook with me. I got quite good, for a while. I played with realism for a bit, then at one point I just noticed I had the confidence to play with the image I was rendering. I tweaked it, teased it, pulled out its essential features, I began making each sketch and drawing MINE. I no longer cared about capturing something so tightly precise like a camera. Why bother? It’s neat for a while, but then you begin to think, why not just take a picture if that’s what you want?”

He smiles at her.

“Go on. I like hearing you talk about your passions,” she says.

“Well, I found my paints and I’ve decided I want to begin again.”

“That’s great,” she says. “How can I help?”

“Well, I’m glad you asked. I would love to paint you … is that something you might be comfortable with?” he asks.

She blushes.

“You want to paint me?” she asks shyly.

It had always been a secret desire of hers, but she felt admitting such a thing would be a betrayal to the smart, professional, mature, persona she had so diligently crafted and tried to always project to the rest of the world.

“Yes, I would. So?” he asks, sensing her divided mind

She considers the idea.

He smiles at her again.

“And would you want me to be … um … naked?” she asks.

She’s not opposed to the idea but she can be quite shy.

“That would be the ideal way to do it, yes,” he says.

She thinks about it some more.

“And we wouldn’t show the finished work to anyone? It would just be ours to … um … appreciate?”

He looks confused for a moment then laughs.

“Well that would be entirely up to you I guess,” he says when he stops laughing.

“What?! What’s so funny mister? Tell me. I could use a laugh,” she pleads.

“Oh, you’ll understand, after I’m sure.”

She is still a little tense but she’s starting to relax.

“May I see?” she asks plaintively.

He rinses his brush, sighs, and says, “Sure. But remember it’s not done yet. Okay?”

“Sure Picasso, just let me see. Oh, and I am trying to relax here, truly.”

She opens her eyes and looks.

The long-stemmed roses are gorgeous and so lifelike. And here he had claimed that he didn’t like still lifes! And that he only liked painting people.

She laughs as the irony reveals itself to her.

“It’s beautiful Josh. Really breathtaking,” she says, and he visibly relaxes.

As does she. She lays back and surrenders herself again to the delicious, tickling sensations his wet brush makes as it births the beautiful roses up and down her slender leg.

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