It was Saturday, the training was grueling as usual, my goal keeping skills skyrocketed, I performed outstandingly in the previous group match that brought the team to the quarter-finals, so the coach stopped barking at me. There was three or so chances to see her, that was my main concern. I rushed to her place after training. She brought me to a penthouse on the rooftop, it was dilapidated, creaks were found around the flimsy wooden structure. There laid a canvas board and a oil paint board at a borrowed opening to the bird’s eye view of the London bridge.
She showed me her collection of paintings, it was a handful, but it was at utmost quality, each strokes were meticulously painted with passion, each paintings brought out the authentic intrinsic value of the scenery. There it was again, the unfinished painting, I was about to ask her about it, but she took most of her time explaining each of her paintings except for the unfinished one. Most of the time, I let her words flow through my ears, I enjoyed her pristine complexion, her nectarous voice, her messy bun that would be gone in weeks.
“What about that?” I pointed at the peculiar canvas.
“It is one of my long-term projects.” She replied with a smile, but soon faded into a concentrated look that seemed blank, “Brian, I have a question to ask you.”
“Sure. Just ask.”
“Are we going to remain as such?” Her tone was sprinkled with austereness.
I cleared my throat, no answers were in my head, I hugged her as if we were about to part ways. Minutes passed, she gently pushed me away, both of our faces were as red as the sunset. I made a promise to take her to my favourite spot in London, she nodded her head, we agreed to meet again next week, same venue, same time, but different feelings.
Our team managed to get into the semis, the coach decided to cancel the training due to unforeseen circumstances. Since the week was quite leisure, I asked Charles to teach me make pastel colours for oil painting. Charles knew what I was up to, he taught me how to do it, but I was astounded by him being a chemist could make pastel colours. The steps were tedious involving lots of waiting. Being a chemist was not easy, everything was like magic, the solutions mixing together would produce a different substance, I took chemistry in during my secondary, but I just learnt it for the sake of scoring, Charles used some terminology and explained the process, so that I could understand the steps to be able to make the pastel myself.
It took me days to produce a twelve colours. I carefully transferred all the colours in the beakers into respective glass containers which I bought from the convenience store along the street. After that, I inserted them into a box which was hand-made by me, adorned with the theme of flora.
The box was held at my back when I knocked on her door. We greeted each other, she was still radiating the enigmatic joy which captivated my heart. She brought me up to the penthouse again. I gave her the pastel I made, she received it with a smile in her looks. She started working on her long-term project, I stared at her the whole time as if she was going to be disappear. I got off my chair, stood beside her, scrutinised her. She was beautiful. Hours past, my feet was not tired at all, I hoped that this moment would loop over again and again until…
The final match was next Wednesday, I asked the coach for an extra ticket, he gave it to me reluctantly and a pat as a trust to me which was significant to me. We were up in the penthouse for one last time, I shared with her some of my theories, she listened to me attentively and gave constructive responses which were akin to mine. She also showed me some sketches based on my theories about sacred geometry, she was attracted with my concepts. We also talked about our dreams, she studied mass com, but she did not have a clear goal, I suggested her to be somebody related to social science. Sadly, this would be the end. I was glad that we met.
“The sun is going to set. We are going to miss it if we dilly-dally.” Her voice rippled across the waters of the recollection of the distant past.
“Then we need to speed up. Are you okay with me being so sweaty? Do you want me to…”
“It’s okay.” she interjected as we reached the London bridge, “a few steps away from your spot.” She pointed exactly at where I used to stand.
We went to the spot, “I shouldn’t ask how did you know, but instead is the long-term project was about me?”
She nodded, “Then, are you going to tell me something?”
“I… am going to…”
She pulled me towards her luscious lips, our tongues were gently intertwined, we did not want to leave each other. The sun garnished the atmosphere around us. I felt my face was damp by her tears, I felt like a chunk of my heart was cut out, deep down in both of us, we were not expecting this day to happen.
The sun was setting, “NASA, right?” she asked me with a sobbing tone. I hugged her once more to feel her warmth, her fruity scent of her messy bun that I was going to miss. I turned and walked away, I hate goodbyes like this. Streams of tears rolled down my cheeks, walking away to a better future, losing someone like her was a dread.
I looked back, she still had the joyful smile, pristine complexion that I would never forget, glints of refracted light from her tears were discernible.
I walked away, not looking back.
She painted my heart with more vibrant colours which broadened my heart to the world outside me.