My throat filled with fluid, reaching down my body. Keeping me down, leaving me fighting to get to the shore. In futile. Left paralysed, as my body is submerged under water. My body smothered with water, immersing deeply into the well of hollowness with no way to flee. “No. Help” I hear myself scream. The bleak darkness drowning, flooding me into a sinking void. “Please. Stop it” I hoarsely whisper, spiralling in and out of consciousness, trying to escape. My closed eyes swarming with bright light, leaving me momentarily hazed. My body tightening, seizing as I have become delirious. Feeling uncontrollable as my chest constricts with my throat compressed into knots unable to bring in oxygen. “Stop. Stop” I inwardly whisper, needing to leave this hellish trance. Beams of intense luminosity emerging in my vision. Glowing, brown eyes alighting, their breath exhaling. Yielding my body to arch, the heaviness of my chest relinquishing in sync with their breathing. Immersing me into calmness, oxygen coming back to me as my throat clears. The illuminating, brown eyes rising, providing tranquillity. Serenity washes over me as the feminine voice lulls “breathe” in a hushed murmur. “Breathe” the soft voice repeats again. My eye flashing open, unblinkingly staring at the naked walls, sweat gathering around my forehead and body. With a fast-beating heart and heavy breathing, I get out of bed and into the bathroom. Splashing water on my face, washing away the last remnants of the nightmare.
Anxiousness simmering inside my body, adrenaline bursting through my veins as I walk to my makeshift painting area. The blank canvas mimicking the end of the dream, creating the image that surfaced in my dream. Itching with dire need to be released and created. The dark sky, transforming into early morning with birds chirping. Not with the times and hours, as I sunk myself into running away from the hallucinating illusion. Turning the heaviness that is left in my body into a state of peace. Finishing the touches of the latest painting I have curated. With the rest of my paintings already in the gallery I am prepared for the exhibition. As I brush the last stroke, I step back exhaling at the wonder that my eyes lay on. As I let it sit for two hours, I begin to shower and get ready to convince the head curator to put this forward with the rest of the art.
Taking an uber to the gallery, my mind lingers on the stranger women I had the seconds with, lightly hoping I will bump into her again. Somehow not being able to forget. Walking with intention as I have reached the entrance, I see Miguel dressed in colourful clothing, an open chested red shirt, black artisan blazer and trousers with unique designs. Miguel was a European Spanish man whom I have met in New York art exhibition in my art gallery. Within seconds we hit it off, talking about the arts culture, our favourite artists and collections. Since then we have stayed in contact with each other and maintained a friendship relation.
He greets me with enthusiastic arm movements as soon as he sees me, eyeing the black bag in my hand. “I need this piece to be included in the exhibition” I demand bluntly. Miguel stares at me, piercing me with emotionless eyes that wants to tell me off for a cold welcome. But he needs to know my seriousness when I don’t have time to play nice. He signals for me to follow him, heading to his office upstairs. Once we have reached, he closed the door behind me, I lay the bag on the empty table, unravelling the painting for Miguel’s eyes. He stands beside me, taking in a sharp breath, without saying another word he turns towards me “is this who I think it is” he questions. Knowing what his underlying words mean “yes” I utter, “this needs to be in the exhibition, it completes the collection perfectly” I continue. With Miguel in deep thought, I shake away the jitters that comes with being patient, suddenly sighing in admission he says “okay, we can make adjustments. She must be beautiful, for you to be bothered like this” he jokes, but his eyes reflecting respect. Miguel was a person who embraced vulnerability, he never let the ego drive him into making his decisions, he enjoyed being in companies that think alike and who are not crippled by their ego, their identity and not being afraid of humanly feelings and desires. So, with him knowing who this was and me wanting to show this painting in public, he valued me and even more so, this friendship because of it.
Taking the painting in his hand, we go downstairs to the floor of the exhibition, placing it in the focal point of the collection, the centre wall. “Do you oppose” he prompts with one raised eyebrow.
“No, absolutely not” I affirm, feeling accomplished knowing the last art had finalised the collection.
Going back to my hotel suite, I make a start to get ready with spending the whole of afternoon in the gallery, preparing and organising the event, time flew by me. With Miguel picking me up for the evening, I pour myself a drink to remove the apprehensiveness that are rising.
Walking into the gallery, bustling with people and photographers. Grabbing champagne in the entryway, studying those who are looking at the art. The best part about being an artist and establishing your painting in art galleries is the anonymity from publicity. With painters, artists, art investors recognising you due to the close-knit community we have formed for ourselves. Diving right in as I start to talk leisurely with interested customers, negotiating prices with their likened art, positive feelings of success surging as one art had been sold. Long black hair in my peripheral vision convincing myself that it is not real and only imaginations that exist from my dream. Informing the staff that this painting has been sold, they begin to discuss buying the art with the costumers. The long-haired stranger stopping at the latest painting, moving closer and deeply analysing it. With my focus strained, I begin to watch her, her form, her skin and the stunning dress pulling me to her place. Instinctively, my feet walk towards her, eyeing the way she moves closer to the painting. Stopping just behind her inhaling a waft of her flowery, vanilla scent “No, it can’t be” I internally whisper to myself. Out of all places. She is here, knowing she felt my presence I move backwards only for her to turn around and bump into me.
Helping to balance her, I place my hand on her lower back. Silky smooth skin burning my fingers alive. Her scent engulfing me, her wide eyes blinking back at me in recognition and in shock. “We need to stop meeting like this” I mutter light-heartedly with a grin, simmering the feelings wanting to surface. “My name is Ezra” I prompt, waiting for her to speak.
She pushes back to maintain distance, “My name is Luna” she begins “you need to stop appearing where I can’t see you” she says. She studies me curiously. Looking at the person who inspired my painting, her alluring, mesmerising eyes, opening her mouth in futile as her words become unspoken.
“This painting was inspired by you” I mumble, “from the last time I saw you to now, I was not able to forget you. You came up in my dreams and you are what I painted. I want you.” I utter in hushed tone.
(Another part. Couldn’t help myself. Writing this got me excited of the prospects. I’m proud of the characters that are coming alive. Writings from a current story. Thank you for reading 😀 ).