2. Back to work

I should really stop reading his books and listened to Brenton.

It was Wednesday when I was scheduled to meet the famous painter and do something with my life. And that mid-morning I decided that I was going to do just that.

"Hey, woah... you're all dressed up. Are you stalking him again? damn, you even smell nice. Did you shower?"

"Fuck you, Gemma."

She giggled while putting toast on my plate and asked where I was going, again.

"I'm meeting Brenton, he's setting me up with his friend. She owns a gallery downtown."

"Mm, that's good Ella. You should definitely meet her, I think your paintings are great. Look, know I love you right? but it's time to start rebuilding your life."

Her last words hit me on the right spot. The guilt I feel for Gwen still hangs, Gemma knows that every time I try to start my sketches I kept on seeing her face.

I didn't even get to say goodbye to Gwen. The last words I said was me telling her to take it easy and everything was going to be okay.

But I should've listened to her, I should've been a better friend.

"Yeah, I know... but I couldn't stop thinking, what if I didn't take that summer class abroad. Maybe she could still be alive?"

"Ells, don't do this to yourself. We've talked about this, hundreds of times. You couldn't have known. Now eat and get yourself out there."

She smiled and finished her toast before drinking down her cold milk. Yep, there's something off with my cousin, she drinks cold milk in the morning as a substitute for steaming hot coffee.

"And stop looking at me like a pervert." She muttered when I give her the look.

"Okay! I'm getting out there, I can do this! need to make money to pay for my honey bun bun's yearly subscription." I take a big bite of my toast and chew it with a newfound attitude.

"'re helpless aren't you?" she put her dirty dishes on the sink and grabbed her bag on her way out of our two-bedroom apartment.

"I'm going, I'm late already and I might be home after dinner, there's this acquisition project that my boss is doing..." her voice trailed off as she walked out of our place, but then laughter was heard and I was happy instantly when I saw them.

"My two favorite people!"

Benjamin was giving me the look, it was the first time he saw me dressed to go out that early in the morning. I usually greeted them in my PJs, at least until late in the afternoon.

"Should we go back later? what happened to our Ella?" the handsome man asked as he barged into the apartment with his homemade cookies.

Jacqueline gave me a quick hug and helped herself to a cup of black coffee and three teaspoons of sugar.

"You can go, I want to know more..." the half french beautiful woman set up camp when she grabbed Ben's homemade cookies and sit to my front while waiting to drink probably her second cup of coffee that morning.

"Jacqueline, babe, she's all dressed up she might be feeling ill. Are you going to a doctor?" Benjamin, her roommate who's obviously tailing her like a lost puppy, sits down next to Jacqueline.

"You two...look, I know we just known each other for a couple of months now..."

"See, I told you. Maybe she's dying?" Ben whispered in a not so soft tone.

"Ben, I'm healthy, now sit."

"Yes, mam." He shut his mouth by drinking the coffee that Jacqueline made for him moments earlier.

"I'm dressed to meet a friend, he's going to introduce me to a gallery owner. I'm a painter."

"Oh, that's how your paintings are so damn good. But, can you paint anything else besides that gorgeous author that you stalk?" Jacqueline asked after sipping her coffee again.

"We will find out won't we?"

Ben laughed, but abruptly stop himself when Jacqueline slapped the back of his head telling him to show some support.

We chat for another half an hour before they went back to their apartment and Brenton was picking me up downstairs.

"Hey, you,"

", thank you for giving me a chance."

"Ella, you're like my little sister." The famous millionaire painter ruffled my hair as if I was still fifteen years old.

"Damn it, Brenton, I was too old back then and obviously now. My hair is perfect as is."

He chuckled and put his car in gear and swiftly drive into the mid-morning traffic.

It didn't take long for us to arrive at the commercial building complex, where the gallery is situated then I was introduced to Trisha.

" me Trisha or Trish, Brenton had spoken highly of you..."

I pinched his arm when she said the words.

"Ouch! what?! you're good, you just need to paint something else!"

Trisha laughed and told me that Brenton had spoken to her about my stalking issue too.

"I don't stalk... it's just that, ehm...he's currently my muse."

"Yeah for almost a year now, or maybe more?"


"What?! it's true! you need to..."

"You both need to loosen up. How about this, let's get to know each other better at Player? Shane is waiting for me there, his driver is here. What do you say?"

"Huh? to what?"

"Forget about it, she will follow me. Come on, you need this."

And that's how things went south. I couldn't remember how it started but there was a lot of liquor involved after we eat lunch at Shane's club, Player.

One moment I was up for an introduction, the next hour I was blabbering about my honey bun bun to Trisha and her husband Shane. Shamelessly telling them how I have a dedicated wall for displaying his perfect facial features.

Brenton was not helping, he was laughing his ass off from my words but in the end, Trisha decided that she wanted me to try and put a couple of my paintings in her gallery.

"Let's try it out, I believe in Brenton's eyes for talent and I trust him when he said that you got what it takes."

I was in tears when she said that, maybe it was the midday alcohol consumption or maybe the fact that I need to produce at least two paintings in the next three months, and that realization scares the shit out of me.

"I hope that's happy tears?" Brenton asked after Trisha excused herself along with Shane for another appointment.

"Brent, you're pushing me to my maximum point. This is my desperation tears, I don't know who am I going to marry if all of this fails."

Brenton laughed and told me that I was going to be just fine.

"I've seen your previous works, with your maximum effort you should do great. Get out of town, find yourself some inspirations, go visit your parents."

"I guess it's been a while."

"Come on I'll take you back, we'll get a taxi and dropped you off first."

It took us an hour until we reach my apartment building. I thanked him after he said he'll check up on me in the next few days.

"I'm going to make sure you're following through with your words. This is a good opportunity, Ella."

"I know, and I won't disappoint you."

"There's the spirit."

He gave me his brotherly hug and invite me for dinner with his family when I'm back from my parents.

"Thanks again, Brent."

"You're welcome!"

He ruffled my hair again and I pouted when he finally gets back to his taxi.

I walked towards the elevator, a bit tipsy, but I managed to open Brice's fan page and read the newest comments on his book. It made me smile and helped me get through the moving hallway as I try to balance my steps all the way to the front of my door.

Made it.

Now I just need to find a new object for my painting.

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