I looked at him for a moment; he seemed so...vacant recently. I don’t think he will like what I have to say either. “Luca, how do you feel about parties?” I had been invited to one by one of the gallery owners. Apparently news about my work had already spread. A small party was being held on the other side of town for all the artists and art lovers. I wanted to go, but more than that, I wanted Luca to come with me. But I knew most of the people there would be rich guys looking for a bit of decoration to show off. That was what I was there for, advertisement. I think he also said something about my mystical forest set of pictures being displayed by the new owner. The mystical forest... I loved those paintings, but I haven’t told you much about them, have I?
They were a bunch of paintings I did when I was still in the lower part of high school. I was reading the chronicles of Narnia and the images just flowed. They depict a dimly lit mystical forest with hidden creatures in each one, unicorns, fauns, giants... everything. They’ve been with me for a while and I sort of got attached.
"Yes, well, not a party as such, a social gathering for artists and art lovers. I want you to go with me."
“I won’t fit in.”
“Do you want to?” He shrugged. "Well come with me anyway. You don't have to dress smart or anything. I'll paint an illusion round you. If you wish I can make you look like everyone else will." I wasn’t going to change what he was, just changed how he looked to everyone else.
"Um... okay" His tone was a little strange; I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was so I just went with this: "Luca, you don't sound so happy."
"I'm fine." I still don’t believe you.
"Don't go if you don't want to."
"No, I'll go. It's safer than me staying alone."
"If you don't want to I'll stay home."
"Its fine, I'll go." He smiled, as if reassuring me. But I still wasn’t sure, I mean, he would hate that sort of thing. Yeah, I listened to his thoughts about people staring at him.
I never did sit down at the table so it was rather easy for me to wrap my arms around him swiftly, I thanked him and he froze. “S’ok.”
“Come on, we’ll go home and I’ll make you a fresh cup of coffee.” He nodded and rose, I grasped his hand and loosely, he returned the grip, with a quick, confused glance down at our hands. I noticed this and asked him what was wrong, he denied that anything was wrong and shrugged. “Then why did you look confused?” I replied.
"I just wasn't paying attention. You took me by surprise."
"Oh, I’m sorry." We walked the rest of the way home in silence, only when I had unlocked the door did I find something to say to break the awkwardness. "You'll have to tell me how I can pay you back for tomorrow night."
He walked straight in, flopping down on the sofa, his cigarettes floating into his hand and he gave in; lighting one up almost immediately. "You'll think of something."
"I won't. That's why I said it." Duh, I seemed as though I was pointing out the obvious. He shrugged and I sighed, locking the door behind me I took a seat furthest away from him the smell of cigarettes, I was still getting used to it. “Nothing I can do for you, at all?”
"I dunno, probably." He shrugged.
"This is helpful," I sighed, well if we were going tomorrow night I would need a dress and I brought one with me. This isn’t by chance or anything like that, it was my mothers. My mother had this black dress, it always hugged to her curves and it had no sleeves. Dad hated it because of the deep dip at the front; mum always said that he never hated it when they met. They were so sweet with each other... no. This is not the time for nostalgia.
"Sorry. I'm sure you know what I'd usually suggest, but I'm not in the mood, for once," he laughed dryly.
"What are you on ab-... oh, right? No, me either. Remember, I'm also an empath."
Pulling his feet up onto the sofa, he put his arms around his knees, looking at me over the top of them, "sorry, again."
"It's fine. I'm gonna go try my dress on, I hope it still fits." I walked upstairs and unpacked it. As far as I knew I hadn’t changed size, this was confirmed when the dress fit. I squealed slightly, ever since mother gave it to me I have only worn it once. That was to try it on. The dip in the front showed a fair bit of skin, but the dip in the back revealed my whole back. I tied the lace around my neck and smiled, turning endlessly in it. It dropped to my ankles and what girl would I be if I didn’t have a pair of heels to go with it?
I slipped them on and walked cautiously down stairs. Okay, granted I was used to wearing trainers, so the heels made me wobble a bit but it was perfect practice. I grinned, walking down the stairs. Of course for tomorrow I would still need make-up and a good hairdo. But now I was just happy in the fact that it still fit. I hung in the doorway and smiled, “so, what do you think?”