Written by Audrey Francis-Plante
Photo Art by Plaidbowties
DEAN & LILY
I try to open the message a couple of times but it’s locked. Instead of a subject, there’s a countdown to midnight, when it will open.
I throw my wristband on my night table and lie down on my bed with my art box propped on my belly.
“Lock door,” I say to the room.
I don’t open the box until I hear the click of my bedroom door. I grab a thick, black marker and a blank piece of fabric. I’m not silly enough to risk getting caught buying art supplies in black markets, so I rip canvas out of old clothes, and I make my own ink with anything I can find.
As always, I don’t need to think about what to draw. The drawing decides on its own. After a few minutes of quiet creation, I realize I’m sketching Dean.
I draw Dean a lot. Not because I’m still in love with him—not at all. But because he has such unique features; I can’t stop trying to get them right. The rough jaw lines, the scar on his lip, the messy hair. I wish I were able to recreate the same dyed-blue of it.
Halfway through the project I start hating it.
Dean is the only one who knows I draw. I told him on our second anniversary, this summer, and that night he looked at all of my creations, touching the ink gingerly, smiling at me with those beautiful grey eyes as if I’d given him the best present in the world.
He knew how dangerous it was for me to share this secret.
He knew how vulnerable that made me.
And at that time he was in the Troupe. Risking much bigger things for the love of Art, but he still kept that secret from me. I know there are serious rules that forbade him to tell me, but there are serious rules about drawing secretly in your bedroom every night too, and I still told him.
My wristband beeps and I jump out of the bed.
The message unlocks.
To be continued