Drake and I first brushed with each other at the pantry room of our advertising company,the Silver Linings Media Group. He captured my imagination the moment he flashed his killer grin-from then on I made it a habit to reflect on his pleasing aura before I closed my eyes and said hello to the night.
I was all the more drawn in to his web because he wasn't vain. He was never even aware how
good-looking he was!From time to time, he'd ask me quite seriously if he smelled and looked good enough for a media presentation.
Yes, Drake was our Advertising Director...and very much committed.
It was a word of mouth in the Silver Linings vicinity how "rich and beautiful" his fiance was.
I refused to see her in person whenever I had the chance. I just knew her name was Heather. She was said
to be Welsh and British bred.
One lazy afternoon, Drake stood by my side and laid his head on my left shoulder. Cold spasms jolted my whole being-unsure as to whether I'd hug him back or caress his golden hair. His favorite
Parisian scent was all over him and his breath reeked of fresh mint. My boyish and lovable colleague was
fond of munching mint in his spare time.He jokingly claimed that a mint was healthier than a regular gum.
"Why not come over to my flat and I'll pay you for a task?" He stretched his Londoner teeth.
"A task? For what?!" I exclaimed in elation.
"Have you forgotten it's gonna be my 38th birthday next week?" He touched the tips of my
hair with such gentleness that I almost cried in angst.
For I knew there and then that his touch was nothing but a pure, unadulterated... BROTHERLY AFFECTION. "But of course, I never forget a special present."
He knelt before me and held my hands to his chest. "Can you paint my future bride for me?
Oh Amber,if there were one person who I'd entrust my beloved's painting to...it shall only be you."
The brush fell on my lap and it jerked downward my long, maroon skirt, splashing taint all over the cloth. Oh Jesus, Mary Mother of God, why knife my frail heart with such urgency and thrust? Why leave me bleeding, crashing,and crawling to my open grave?
"Drake, how can I say NO? You're my brother in my mind, heart, and soul." I tried to hide a
small drop of tear on the lid of my right eye.
"So you will paint her ? You will paint my HEATHER?".
I nodded in a rapture and straightened myself in a quirky manner. "I will paint her in her best
stature.Your darling, mighty Heather."
Two weeks had passed and I was amply equipped to start my well meaning assignment. I felt my fingers shivering as I rang the doorbell on 141 M.Derwood Avenue. A bubbly lady with milk skin and a summer, pink flowery dress welcomed me with zest and almost faked anticipation.
"So there you are Amber, I've heard so much about you." She directed me to her veranda, like a true hostess that she was molded to be. How could one overlook the fact that she was an Oxford alumna?
"Really? What has he told you about me?" I queried, my eyebrows in knot.
"That you fix him tea when he's tired and worn out, buy him a box of mint when he's run out of it,and how you arranged for his hospital bills when he had an emergency."
I almost choked, desperation springing forth from within my insides. I CAME HERE FOR HIM. I CAME HERE FOR THE LOVE OF MY LIFE...DRAKE, I WOULD DO THIS FOR YOU.
"It was nothing.Drake and I are like family." I snapped.
She walked briskly and showed me the blank canvass waiting by the side of the swimming pool. An ancient pool, with a mix a Spanish and Italian decors.
"Look, I'm ready!" She positioned herself in front of me. ME...the PAINTER...the DIRECTRESS...the PERPRETATOR of this whole scene.
And she...poor HEATHER...the subject of a painting grown bleak...the VICTIM...the OPPRESSED...the BETRAYED.
After the painting session was over, I removed Heather's bloody summer dress and draped her
instead with a yellow swimsuit.
Oh... my painting would sell reasonably well in the Silver Lining Exhibit next week. I had a real-life corpse for a model For sure, Drake would be more than proud of me.
At last, my one big dream would come about. Me and Drake... no longer brother or sister in bind. Enough of that crap. Enough of that fucking bullshit.
There's one problem though. How would I explain to Drake about Heather? Perhaps he'd take it that she accidentally hit her head against a railing of the damned pool.