The Mouse and the Harpy

Kat gave a contented smile as she felt the bus pull into the next stop. She gave a warm wave to the bus driver as she got off into the next town, this was a bit bigger then the last few stops she's been in. Maybe she would do a little bit of shopping here? Why not, she could use a book or two, maybe a sketchpad, she wanted to do a little drawing on her trip back. 

She remembered back when she was younger, she always drew in class. She was drawing the princess from Adam's first project. Several other students had mocked her for it. Even said she had a crush on Adam, back then she denied it. Now, well, she realized she felt something deep, something true, something real about him. 

Of course, she crumpled the paper up and threw it away saying some childish babble about boys being gross. She saw Adam pick up the crumpled ball of paper and smile at what he found. She didn't realize he kept the paper near him when he worked on his stories, it was such a trivial thing to her, yet it meant something deeper to him. 

She began to wander down to the first mall in range, she found an art supply store. This was so much more, well complete then what she was used to. She ran her fingers over the pencils, the smooth sketchbooks, the kneaded erasers. She smiled to herself, she was a great artist, maybe even one day she wanted to try being an artist. Well before she met her agent, she sighed to herself as she recalled all the lies he told her. 

She didn't have a future in art? Or this town? Of course she did! She remembered the tiny gallery she had at 16. A few residents came out, but Adam was there right at the beginning. He had blown off his interview editing for the local paper just to be there for her. She remembered how he said he didn't feel the suit job really felt real to him. He wanted to write, he wanted to create worlds for his readers, not check the punctuation in the local four H clubs cattle drive. That was what she admired the most about Adam. he didn't care, he stood against the boring, the expected and he was himself. He wrote what he wanted and believed he could write his own ending. That was so long ago, she felt herself begin to tear up when she screamed at him about the PR job. 

"You'll hang yourself with that damn tie"

She was no better, she was sculpted, on a strict diet, and forced to see her personal trainer more then Adam. She was no better, she felt she was worse. Adam was trying so hard, and when he failed to get his story published. He needed her, to be there for him, instead she was in Paris; being completely and absolutely miserable.

She picked up a heavy sketchbook, it felt warm, and had a beautiful celtic design on the front. This was definitely the perfect book, maybe she would draw some of the characters she could remember of Adam's stories, or maybe just Adam. She caught her reflection in one of the reflective surfaces. She saw herself, a cute low brimmed hat, none of the designer make-up, and clothes that were, well herself again. 

She gathered a few of the remaining sketching supplies she needed. Some pencils, a few erasers, and a simple black pen to ink and proceeded to the til to pay for her merchandise. She smiled to herself as she watched the cashier trip over himself while talking to her. She reflected at the fact she never needed any of her modeling experience or fashion to impress anyone. 

Why did she let her agent make her feel so ugly? Why did she let him worm his way into her? She knew Adam thought the world of him, and she threw him to the side so casually. She admitted she let the lifestyle corrupt her too, she was selfish, greedy, and loved being indulged, at first. After awhile, she realized it was killing off that shy girl who blushed when Adam presented her with the dozen roses for the first time. How he stumbled over his words when he came to her door, How she felt her face grow red hot at his question to go out with him. The next little while in her life felt so right, she wondered what provoked her to throw it all away?

She organized the art supplies in her backpack and rubbed her stomach as she realized she hasn't eaten in awhile. Right now, out of everything, she could really go for a burger. She was never allowed to eat anything asides salad and carefully prepared meals.

Kat made her way to the food court, she ordered a simple burger, fries and an orange juice. She paid for the meal and found a seat, she took her first bite of a burger in years. It may have been bland to most, but it was the most amazing burger in the world to her. She wanted to eat it, didn't need to clear with a trainer or nutritionist or anyone. She could hear a gasp behind her followed by a complaint of eating such trash. She turned around with a curious look, she saw a young woman her age, wearing the same designer labels she abandoned a town ago and carrying a salad.

"Hi Liz, how is your day?" She gave a small grin as she popped a fry in her mouth. Liz gave her a disgusted look at she spied her food.

"Don't Hi me you mousy little runt, are you looking to get booted off the next shoot by eating that trash?" Kat took a small sip of her orange juice as her rival sat across from her. She remembered Liz from several shoots, the two always shared a rivalry between some shoots. It didn't help that Kat seemed to always be chosen because she looked "natural" as opposed to Liz's manufactured look. 

"I quit, I'm going home," Kat sword Liz nearly fainted at that statement. Then a catty little grin played across her face.

"What's the matter? Can't handle the pressure?" Liz laughed as she took a bite of her salad. Kat shook her head.

"Not at all, I just realized that I want to be home for him, and to finally fix something in my life that's been missing for years." Liz looked upset at her response, Kat finished the last bit of her burger as she stood up. 

"What are you missing?" She looked curiously to Kat as she finished the last bit of her orange juice. Liz noticed her rival had a different glow about her, and it was something she felt infuriated at. 

"Love, have a good day Liz." Kat didn't say anything else as she walked off. 

Liz looked down at her salad and thought of the burger Kat was eating instead. She forgot how long it's been since she's had a real meal. She always had to beat out Kat to be more beautiful, but instead, lost to something far greater in Kat. She wondered if she missed that opportunity in her life as well? Was there someone who always mattered even if she wasn't a runway star. She didn't think any further as she got to her feet. Walking over to the burger line she took out her cellphone, dialing a number that she realized she never called enough. 

"Hi, mom?"

Across the Mall, Kat was making her phone call as well. She chose to instead leave a message on Adam's voicemail directly at this point. Just to make sure he had something from her. She smiled as she ran her slender hand across the sketchbook. What new images would she be known for now?

"Hi Adam, it's me, I'm hoping this message finds you OK. I'm just leaving this message as I leave the mall from the next town. I-I bought a sketchbook and some supplies. I want you to see some of my work when I come to see you. Remember when I drew that princess from your story? How I got bugged for having a crush on you, you kept that drawing didn't you? You always supported my talents. I remember you were there at my first gallery too, even when there wasn't a good turnout. You were still there, you were always there weren't you? I just wanted to say thank you, for being there when even I wasn't there for you. Adam, I want to tell you so many things, but, I'm not sure how to say it yet. Please, just wait for me all right?"

She hung the phone back on the receiver, and wondered what could she draw first, maybe a princess, still waiting on that knight after all these years. 

These wasted years. 


The End

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