I don’t have a plot for this, but decided to share it anyway.
“So what’re ya thinking?”
John scribbled until there was some shading in his circle and finally turned to me, looking tired as usual. “Well, Megan,” he said simply, “ain’t nothing to do now but wait till the hunger pangs are gone. We ain’t got no food. Why do you think I draw all day? Livin’ off art is an art. I highly suggest you try it.”
He sighed and turned back to his pencil box. I didn’t like seeing his young eyes so weary and tired. No wonder John fell over the other day–however badly I had it, he’d had it a lot worse for longer. And I immediately regretted having been so rude to him all this time. And I immediately wished we had time to be friends so I could apologize for it.
And he was also red in the face. I realized what a huge blow this was to his pride, letting anyone see him so vulnerable in his natural habitat where usually he came to be all alone.
“I’m sorry,” I mumbled.
“Sorry for what? Nothing’s your fault,” he replied, squinting at the number on a well-worn pencil before working on borders.
“Sorry I never deigned to ask how you were doing.” Or how your mother was.
John swallowed hard. I saw what must be flashing in his eyes–a tired woman, not in her thirties, rotting to death because there was nothing for them. And where had I been all along? Letting my parents make John shine their shoes with his already blackened hands.
“I hate when people apologize,” John mumbled at last, not looking up from his sketch. “It never fixes anything and it’s just another load to think about.”
I shook my head. “That’s not true. Apologies set people free, especially when they are accepted.”
He put his pencil down, still not looking me in the eye. “Apology accepted, then. Will you learn to draw or not?” I realized how important this was to him–if I was going to intrude on his natural habitat anyway, he may as well do something with the company.
“Yeah.” I saw no point in refusing. “Yeah, sure.”
John met my gaze, his eyes dark and sleepy. “Thanks for comin’, Megan. I haven’t had a conversation this long in weeks.”
He was hurting, and he needed to take care of someone again. If learning to draw was the way for this to happen, then I had no second thought to bother with. Besides, drawing would be fun.
I smiled. “Where do we start?”