Christine is 23 years old. She's sitting in her small apartment, on the seventh floor of a tall and grey apartment block, in Brooklyn. Her hair is dyed blonde, but in the last three weeks her brown roots have begun to show again at the scalp. This hasn't happened for a long time. In fact she's been keeping her hair dyed blonde for the last ten months.
She's sitting in front of an easel, with a wide white canves before her. She's wearing an old and baggy grey pullover, old jeans, and blue wooly socks. She's got paint ready beside her, and a virgin brush in her hand. This will be the first time it touches the world of colored expression. She's thinking about her last day on the job, as a receptionist. She had loathed this job, and for many good reasons. She dipped the tip of the brush into her red acrylic and drew it in a long thin arc across the white canves, her brush left a vibrant trail of energy behind it, it looked stark and beautiful.
Every workday had been a similar, routine, charade. She had got up, and gotten ready for work. The same outfit, which she hated. White shirt, red nametag, white skirt, white shoes. The same blonde hair, and make up. She sat in front of the computer, answered the phone to customers, talked to them across the counter, and mostly pretended to be happy every minute of every hour, so as to give the business a good image. She also organized and cancelled oppointments, and told Doctor Benedict when he had patients, and what problems they were here for. All very boring, and in absolutely no way was she working at her full potential.
Doctor Benedict ran his own chiropractic/physical therapy practice, a small, but well equiped service. He was a tall man with tanned skin, brown hair cut short, brown eyes, and a bulky frame. He walked around like he owned the place, which of course he did. He walked around like he owned his employees too, which of course he did not. All his patients loved him, he was a charmer, always smiling, making interesting conversations, asking his patients about their lives, and getting results. Christine thought he was an asshole. She was his receptionist and he really treated her like it, like she was his servant. Sure she got paid, but the way he talked to her and looked at her just wasn't worth it. Not one fucking bit.
She began painting faster, her strokes were colored with the vast aggression she had repressed, and her strokes colored the canves just the same. Blasts and trails of vibrant colors, mixing in a tantric blur where they met.
In her last weeks working there, Doctor Benedict had the great idea to start making Youtube videos tackling common issues like lower back pain or knee pain, and home exercises people could use to treat them. He told her it was a great way to build a relationship with customers and advertise the business, it would mean more patients would come to him, and better business for all us, what a good idea, right? Sure, in theory, she thought, but she believed his execution was flawed. Of course he wanted someone to pose as a patient in his videos while he explained them, and of course he choose his receptionist. She would always have to get down on one knee and one foot in a lunge, or lie on the ground before him, or sit on a massage table in front of him. He would talk through the technique and he would demonstrate, his hands always hovering just over her leg, or shoulder, or hip, or back, sometimes touching her and adjusting her position. Tilting her arm, or lifting her leg, but mostly just hovering. It creeped her out big time. Eventually she had had enough of the atmosphere and left, screw that asshole, she thought.
Christine began to breathe slower, and added calmer colors to her mix, dense shades of blue and violet.
She had had her own chiropractic training, and tried for four long months to get a job as an assistant in a practice, but it never seemed to work, everyone just smiled, saying she wasn't what they were looking for, or that they'd consider and call. This trend continued until she changed her approach. Which was easy and felt wholly untruthful to her. She dyed her hair from dark brown to light blonde, instead of a dark business suit, she wore white shirts. She dropped a button or two as well. A little more make up before she met prospective partners. That's how she viewed them, as prospective partners, not employers. Immediately she started to get a more positive response from people. But it was all without substance, none of her interviewers would speak to her, but rather to what she was showing them. Doctor Benedict showed an immediate positive response, and lead her right into the position as his receptionist, with all his charm. It felt almost like a bargain to her, she was giving him all these ridiculously meaningless things in exchange for a chance at work, having her whole life believed it was her credentials and experience that mattered.
But now she was free, and her cancvas was filling up nicely, it was a static and frozen explosion of color, an expression of her feelings the last ten months. She had loved painting all her life, and was good too. She could really express her expansive emotions through her art. And tomorrow night she would be going on a date with the owner of an art gallery. After three weeks without a job, she saw this as a real chance.
He had approached her in the local bookstore. He was just a little taller then her, with cold blue eyes that looked into hers, not just at them, and when he spoke to her, it was instantly notebly different then the majority of men she met. He had simply said he wanted to approach her, they spoke for a bit, and then arranged a date. Normally this would creep Christine out, but this guy was so honest and straightforward with her, in such a calm and confident way that she wanted to get to know him more. Plus, him running an art gallery was a great oppertunity for her. This guy had already givin her a glimpse of how different he was then most, and better then most at that, so she wanted more. She sat back and admired her piece of art, she was hopeful about tomorrow.
© Copyright 2016 WarrenRoche. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Horror
Short Story / Other
Article / Religion and Spirituality
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