………in continuation of The Price #2
She tried her best to remain calm and jiggled her fingers to get his attention. He broke his stare and placed his sketchbook in her outstretched hand. His hand shook a little but he curled it into a tight fist. She raised her eyes from his hand to his face and saw him looking at the sketchbook in her hands. What look was that now? Fear? Guilt? She shook her head and put a stop to the train of her thoughts.
First things first.
She opened the sketchbook to the first page. The drawing was quite exceptional, showing a bunch of long white coloured feathers drifting towards the ground from a dark stormy sky. The whole sketch was made in monochrome shades using charcoal and graphite. No colours were used, just the light and dark shades of the pencils. It was beautiful, but melancholic.
She flipped more pages and was greeted by few more similar pencil sketches of feathers. All of them appeared depressing. There was one drawing in which only one extra colour was used along with monochrome shades of pencils. Long white feathers lying on the ground and covered half in blood. Yeah. That red colour definitely depicted blood.
Loss and despair. That was what she felt looking at that particular drawing. She couldn’t help but wonder what made him draw this.
She flipped more pages. There were few colourful paintings too which appeared normal to her. Paintings of birds, of children playing in the park, of a boy looking out at the vast ocean while holding a surfboard, of a mother holding her toddler while praying in the church. Each one was beautiful in its own way. It looked like he had tried hard to keep himself from drawing sad things like his previous sketches. Still, she couldn’t help but admit to herself that he was an extraordinary artist.
After few more pages she at last found what she was looking for. Her sketch. Commendable, the way he had poured out every detail on the paper, even in those monochrome shades of charcoal and graphite. In the sketch, she had her usual outfit on. Simple jeans and tee, with her wild hair unbound and chucks on her feet.
So accurate. Not a thing out of place.
But it was not her own sketch that made her breath hitch and her eyes transfixed to that page. In that sketch, she was with a guy. A young, tall and muscular guy. The sketch was drawn with their side profile displayed to the viewer, with them holding each other in a loving embrace. The guy appeared to have dark hair and was dressed in dark coloured jeans and shirt with combat boots. His features were not properly visible behind her hair which appeared to be flying with wind, but after taking a closer look, anyone could tell the similarities between the guy sitting in front of her and the one in the sketch. She ignored the uneasiness that threatened to creep in, because one thing in the sketch had caught her attention. The pair of feathered wings. The guy had a pair of white coloured feathered wings on his back. Beautiful and large.
So this explains the previous sketches of feathers.
They seemed so real that she couldn’t control herself from running her fingers gently over them on the paper. Of course, they were not real.
“It is beautiful.” The words were out of her mouth before she could control them.
“Thank you.” His voice, barely a whisper, made her glance at his face. His features had turned soft now and he was….blushing? She pressed her lips together to keep herself from grinning. Maybe he wasn’t used to compliments.
She cleared her throat. “So you’re writing a romance novel in which an angel falls in love with a human,” she said, even though she still believed he wasn’t writing any book. She just needed to hear him admit it.
His dark eyes met hers and she saw it, the shuttered expression; a mask he all of a sudden decided to wear so that no one could even get a sniff of what was actually running through his mind.
Did I say something wrong? Something he didn’t like?
She barely knew him but it was hard not to notice the change. It was still that handsome face but now he seemed like a different person. Keeping her composure, she tried again.
“I got that right. Didn’t I?” she asked.
He scooted forward a bit and rested his elbows on the table. “Yeah, something like that,” he said with that same shuttered face. Not even a hint of crack in that newly built shield.
* * * * * *
It was a mistake. A big mistake. To let his emotions get the best of him, even if for a few seconds. She was so close to catch him off guard. He couldn’t let that happen. There was no other choice but to school his features into a stone cold mask.
TO BE CONTINUED
©sakshi~the escapist, 2017
Image: Courtesy of Pixabay
Category: Story series