Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday for Tuesday, 3.2

Tenacious Tuesday
Tuesday's Turmoil: Chapter 3, Part 2
by Lindsey Michelle

     Tuesday lucked out. She found a small furnished flat that she could rent for six months. When she called her friend Mindy to tell her the news, Mindy yelped with joy.
      “I envy you,” Mindy said after calming down. “I wish I could just move, spur of the moment.”
     Tuesday was surprised. Her married friend was always setting her up on blind dates and stressing the importance of settling down.
     Of course, envy or not, Mindy was still her same old self. “Did Kenneth ask you to stay?”
     Tuesday hesitated. “I don’t know,” she responded. “He suggested it.”
     “Are you seeing him tonight?”
     “No, he’s away for work all week. We’re going out when he gets back.”
     “What are you going to do in the meantime?”
     “I’m in London! There’s stores and restaurants and nightclubs…”
     Tuesday peered out her window as she clutched the phone to her ear. “My agent found me a small role. I’m going to work.”

     Tuesday and Kenneth sat in his casual dining room, eating appetizers. He had a formal dining room as well, but it felt too massive for the two of them.
     Kenneth was barely eating anyway. He seemed to rearrange the food on his plate.
     “Are you sure you don’t mind eating in tonight?” he asked for the second time.
     “We don’t have to always go to a restaurant,” she assured him. “I like coming over.”
     He nodded, running his finger nervously over the rim of his glass. “Tell me if there’s something you’d rather eat.”
     “Kenneth, what’s wrong?”
      “Buyers never come directly to my studio,” he said. “We set up a showing… I feel…”
     He trailed off. An important member of British society had seen one of Kenneth’s paintings in a studio and she was interested in buying some of his artwork. She was due to arrive at his house that evening because she wanted to look at the paintings in his downstairs studio.
     “Your paintings look great anywhere,” Tuesday said.
     Though she believed in Kenneth, she was unsure of her words. She’d only seen a few of the more famous pieces of his art. The few times she’d been to his estate, she’d never seen his studio.
     Tuesday wasn’t used to seeing him nervous. He always projected such confidence. She put her hand on his.
     “You feel vulnerable,” she finished.
     “Perhaps,” he admitted. He smiled at her. “I’d like to get it over with!”
     The sound of footsteps became apparent, and suddenly Claire appeared in the room’s doorway.
     “Kenneth, I’ve just arrived and they’re on their way,” she said breathlessly. “Hi Tuesday.”
     Kenneth stood, started to walk out of the room, and then hesitated. “Finish dinner and wait for me in the study?”
     She couldn’t tell whether it was a question or a suggestion, so Tuesday just nodded.
     She ate quickly, not comfortable enough to leisurely enjoy the meal without him. She found her way into the study, where she sat upon one of the overstuffed leather chairs. There were books of all different subjects along the walls, and an atlas was open on the table. It looked more for decoration than for actual use.
     There was a drawer below the table that was slightly ajar. Tuesday reached out to push it closed, but found herself pulling it open instead. There were two big books inside that Tuesday recognized immediately as photo albums. Curious, she pulled one out and began to turn the pages.
     There were baby pictures that looked as though they were taken in a very English house, then photographs of two young boys in Los Angeles. Tuesday had trouble telling Kenneth and Peter apart as kids, but as they grew older, their differences became apparent. Kenneth always seemed posed and ready for his picture to be taken, while Peter looked caught off guard.
     A more recent photograph showed Kenneth and a beaming Peter in tuxes, The picture was obviously from a wedding, and Peter looked overjoyed.
     “That was three years ago.” Tuesday jumped as she heard Kenneth’s voice.
     She laughed nervously. “I’m caught. I love other people’s pictures…”
     She closed the photo album and put it back in the drawer.
     “There isn’t a photo of the bride,” Tuesday remarked.
     “It wasn’t a happy marriage.”
     Tuesday wasn’t surprised. Peter seemed like the spontaneous brother. She wondered how long the marriage lasted, but she didn’t want to pry Kenneth for more information. Instead, she changed the subject.
     “How’d it go?”
     He grinned. “She bought five paintings.”
     “Five!” Tuesday was impressed. “That’s great!”
     “Would you like to see which ones?”
     Tuesday stood up and walked across the room. It was the first time he offered to show her his studio. “Of course.”

     Kenneth held her hand as they walked down the steps to his studio. The room was huge, with hard gray floors and several easels and tables.
     He showed her the paintings he had just sold, abstract portraits of people. Tuesday liked some of the paintings, not all of them, but she praised them just the same.
     She wandered along the edge of the room, looking over some of his half-finished work. She stopped in front of one large canvas. There was the outline of a woman, and the background had been painted shades of green, but the rest had yet to be painted.
     “This one’s beautiful,” Tuesday remarked.
     Kenneth put his arm around her shoulder. “I started it after I met you.”
     She peered up at him. “Why haven’t you finished it?”
     There was silence for a moment, then he pulled her close to him and kissed her.
     “Do you want to stay tonight?” Kenneth asked softly.
     Tuesday leaned her head against his chest. She nodded, but didn’t say anything.
     “Yes,” she answered, “yes.”

To Be Continued...

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