by Aleathia Drehmer
“You are impossible,” Pablo shouted at her, “utterly impossible to work with!”
He stormed off to the other side of the studio, paint running down his arm, brush still wet and gripped in his palm. Pablo was so easily incensed by Kayla and her lack of commitment to his work. She never seemed to grasp the importance of composition, or how not holding a pose disrupted his flow and vision.
“Don’t be so uptight Pablo, can’t a woman breathe anymore?” Kayla questioned with eager grin spreading across her face, “if you don’t like working with me, why do you keep hiring me?”
Kayla thought this was a valid question, but she knew the answer without Pablo’s reply. She knew he liked the line of her collarbone and the way her breasts cast shadows on her stomach. He liked the shape of her lips and how they parted when she breathed, and how her near black eyes always appeared to be in a state of perpetual half-sleep. She waited for him to answer anyway.
Pablo stood by the large window watching the sun set fire to the hills and knew with each moment he was losing his favorite light. He wanted to paint her mouth shut and not have to listen to the thrill in her voice that signaled defeat, nor the knowing lilt that stated the quantified margins of their relationship. He understood his addiction to her body could not be overcome, that the paint flowed heavily and often in her presence.
“Woman, why must you incite me to answer what you already know? I will not grace you with the opportunity to feel superior!” Pablo said through his teeth as he touched the sun through the dusty pane of glass.
The studio faded. The room began shrinking as the corners were lost to shadow; the furniture and Kayla were swallowed and all that remained were faint outlines rimmed in burnt orange and decaying love. They faded until Pablo could hear nothing but her even breathing, the pounding of his own heart, and paint dripping onto the warped wooden floor. He knew this would be her last sitting.
Pablo shifted in his seat as the detective questioned him again about the young, naked woman lying lifeless in his studio. There was shock on his face as he stared at the canvas marred with blood and oils. He was lost in its beauty, and in the tranquility he felt that it was now over.
“Pablo Crane…hey….buddy, I am talking to you….”
Pablo turned his head from the masterpiece slowly, “Oh yes, where was I?