I had to take a break for personal reasons. Things still aren't perfect and won't be for some time, but I'm trying my best to get back into the swing of things. I apologize in advance is this chapter isn't as long as the others or as good.
You've got the words to change the nation, but you're biting your tongue
You've spent a lifetime stuck in silence afraid you'll say something wrong
If no-one ever hears it, how we gonna learn your song,
So come on come on, come on come on...
You've got a heart as loud as lions, so why let your voice be tamed
Maybe we're a little different, there's no need to be ashamed,
You've got the light to fight the shadows, so stop hiding it away.
Come on, come on...
Read All About It, Part III - Emeli Sandé
I cherish the days that I can spend at home with Layla and focus on nothing but my artwork. Unfortunately life is not cheap and I need money in order to live and buy the utensils for said artwork, and so if someone phones in sick I'm usually the one to cover for them. I am very used to working 6 days in a row where I wake up at 4am every morning, but sometimes it can all get a bit too much, and these days at home are very much appreciated.
My current painting is so far untitled but it is all based around the transition between summer and autumn and winter - I found the inspiration last week whilst walking through the park. It holds a large mix of colors; from light blues and vibrant greens, to burnt orange, deep yellow and pure white. It held a picture of the same leaf falling to the ground, but as it dropped lower the colors began to change and the leaf weathered away until it landed on the ground with nothing but the skeleton remaining. I wasn't sure what to do with that painting - I might touch it up later on and keep it on my list to sell, or I could keep it for my own personal collection. Who knows?
I went for a much edgier genre of music than I am used to. Usually when I work I go for something soothing and calming - Einaudi is often a popular choice. But this time I listened to Placebo. Maybe I was in that sort of mood, or maybe I chose it so that I could let out my anger with slashes of the paintbrush against the canvas. Either way, it was clear to me that I was very frustrated.
I had my clothes washed and drying over the stand, I had the kitchen tidy, and I had been productive with my art work. I suppose it was only fair that I could leave my apartment for some well needed fresh air, and a chance to clear my head. I hoped that that could help me with my frustration.
With Layla dressed in her winter coat, and a coffee in hand, I left my apartment. I wasn't a fan of spending high prices for a coffee from the vendors; especially when I could make my own for a fraction of the price. I make a simple americano coffee, add a splash of hazelnut creamer and keep it all in my pug travel cup. Funnily enough I bought that cup before Layla came into my life, so it was a simple coincidence.
I had my Nikon camera hanging around my neck, just incase I spotted something which had to be captured. However my phone rang shortly into my journey and so that interrupted my viewing of the outside-world. It was my Dad, Charlie, phoning for our weekly update. Growing up under his roof we never spent a lot of time sitting down for long conversations, but ever since I moved here we cannot go a week without telling each other everything that is going on. He has always been my biggest support system, even when times were rough.
"Hi Dad." I said the words with a smile.
"Bells, how you doing?"
"I'm good, thanks - I'm just taking Layla to the park. How are you?"
"Good! I was actually phoning to say I'm thinking of coming over for a few days? Check up on my girl; make sure all is running smoothly?"
"That would be amazing, Dad! I love it here, but it's definitely not the same as back home, so it would be nice to have a bit or normality back again."
"Excellent. I'm currently at work at the moment, so I have to cut this short. But I thought I'd put the idea out there to get the ball rolling."
"In that case I'll let you get back to work, but thank you, Dad - I'd love for you to come and stay."
"I'll see which week would work best and start booking some flights. But until that day arrives keep yourself safe, and I'm always here when you need me. I love you, Bells."
"I love you too, Dad. Goodbye."
Whenever I come to Central Park I always find myself wandering around the lake. I think it's all about the simplicity of the water and how calm everything seems, and there is so much of the park I am still to discover, simply because I never venture anywhere else. But some day soon I wish to spend the entire day exploring everything. It may take me some time, but I'll never get the full effect of the park otherwise.
I was in the middle of taking a snapshot of Layla as she gazed out at the water that I felt a looming presence around me. Natural instinct caused me to straighten up slowly, but also hold tighter onto Layla's leash and my camera. I never managed to turn around before their voice broke into my surroundings.
"Hi, Bella. I thought it was you."
And just like that, with those few words, the fear had vanished. The fiery gold and russet brown hair shined in the afternoon sun.
I smiled at Edward, yet surprised that he'd even talk to me in the first place and also that he knew my name - I didn't think he'd pay attention to my name badge at work. "What gave it away?" I joked.
He pointed down to Layla, "I've never seen anyone dress their dog up in jackets before. Plus I could tell it was you by your hair."
"My hair? It's just long and brown..."
Edward shrugged his response. That conversation had ended, but a new one started easily when I noticed the coffee cup in his hand. The time was roughly two o'clock, which meant he must have made his 1:45 coffee date.
"I'm glad you went in today," I started, pointing at the cup, "Alice had been feeling a little anxious over your absence."
"But Alice knew I wouldn't be there...? Or, at least, I thought she did."
From his suddenly tense posture, I knew it was a situation that he didn't want to deal with. I wanted to help, and pushing at a tough subject was only going to make it worse.
Surprisingly enough it was Edward that spoke next. "So, do you always walk around this one area of the park?"
We continued to slowly make our way along the path. "You've seen me here twice, and yet you instantly know my daily walking routine?" I said it as a joke, and the expression on my face backed me up, but something told me that Edward didn't find my joke as funny as I had expected.
"Erm... yeah, well, it was a simple observation..."
This man! Why is he so confusing?!
"That lake makes me feel calm, and it gives Layla a decent walk."
"That's good," he said as he took a sip from his cup, "it's nice that you've found something to calm you. The city can be a hellish place sometimes."
"I grew up in the middle of nowhere, and so this is the complete opposite end of the scale for me. Have you always lived here?" I wasn't too sure whether to ask that question or not, Edward seemed like a private person.
"Er... kind of - a big city is nothing new to me, anyway."
"I know I'll get used to it in time. At least I have friends here, so I have company." When I mentioned the last part about having friends here, I specifically meant Alice, but I caught the smile that Edward passed over to me which came across as if he was saying that he, too, saw himself as my friend. This was the first time we had actually spoken more than a handful of words to each other, but who knows.
We continued walking for a short while, and spoke about nothing of importance - general chit-chat, I guess you could call it. The time was ticking on, and I could see that Layla was reaching the end of her limit, plus we had to walk home too. I turned to Edward, and smiled. "It was nice to see you today. I'll see you tomorrow at 1:45 for a cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso, and chocolate and cinnamon on top?"
He laughed softly, "it amazes me how you guys can remember everyone's orders like that. But yes, I'll see you tomorrow, Bella."
As much as I enjoyed our surprise meeting in the park, it was constantly on my mind for the rest of the day and I couldn't quite work Edward out at all. Whenever he came into the shop before today he was always standoffish, quiet, and sometimes a little rude, and then the other day when I met him at the lake with the Twins he, again, was standoffish, rude and quiet... but today was completely different.
Had he not started talking to me today, I never would have known he was there... so why the sudden change of tune? What had happened between then and now?
"I don't understand him, Layla?" I spoke down to my puppy, who tilted her head to the left in response. "Why is he so confusing?" Her head tilted to the right. No matter how much I thought about it, nothing seemed to make sense. I was adding one and one together to make three, and it was slowly driving me insane.
At nine o'clock I called it a night and went to bed, with my alarm set for 4:05, 4:10, and 4:20 on my phone. Nine out of ten times I'd wake up to my first alarm, but I set three just incase. Layla had curled up on her bed that lay at the foot of mine - I'd probably wake up to find her curled under my arm, but that didn't bother me.
I went to sleep and dreamt of nothing but fiery gold and russet brown.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts after that...? Thank you again for your patience, I hope not to be too long with the next instalment.