Disclaimer: No one is mine except the anonymous artist narrator.
You don't expect to see struggling artists in diners. We're supposed to hang out in coffee shops, museum cafes. But my mom used to work here, at this diner, and I like to come back now and then. There's always a scene to put in my sketchbook. There's always a story waiting to be captured.
Take that couple two tables down. The man with dark, close-cut hair, and the woman with long brown hair. They're both drinking coffee; since it's after eight at night, I'm willing to bet they work long hours. They've got this tough air, but that dissolves at something the man says. Both of them smile at the joke. I couldn't quite catch what it was. Something to do with a fin, I think. My pencil begins to move of its own accord.
Shadow. Curve. Catch the way the light slants over the woman's hair. Try to capture the light in their eyes. There's something about them, the way they're so comfortable together. I'm trying to get the essence of it, whatever it is. The man's phone rings. He answers, and doesn't like what he hears. He tells the woman they have to go, calls her Liv. "Elliot, what did they say?" Liv wants to know. He tells her in an undertone and suddenly her expression is as dark as his. They leave and I look down at the page. I've got the people, just the background is mssing. I can do that at home; I know this diner well.
Later that night, I'm at home in my SoHo loft, finishing up the background on my sketch. Once I'm done, I look at them again. Elliot and Liv. Olivia, maybe. Who are they, and why do they tug at me? And then I can see it, something I preserved by accident. That mysterious thing about them, it's love. And worse, it's hidden. That was the light in their eyes, the bond between them. And neither of them can see it. So how does it come out, with these simple pencil lines, drawn by someone who doesn't know the subjects? Do strangers see us more clearly than we see ourselves? I don't know. I just know that I've got something here, something magical, captured on this piece of paper.
I go back to the diner more often now. I want to see them again, just to see if anything has changed. I never do see them, though. And then one night they come in, just the way they did before. Only this time, that something is there more strongly. It's not just a hidden essence, but an electric current. They hold hands across the table, and my hand moves to draw them again. This time, it's harder to get that essence, as if the stronger it is, the harder it is to duplicate. I know this sketch will be flat compared to reality, and I'm sorry for it. But then I watch them walk out, hands still linked, and I know that it doesn't matter. Because even if I can't draw this properly, to share with the world, I'll remember, and they'll be happy together, never knowing how much they mean in one stranger's eyes.
A/N: OK, I'm not exactly sure what this was. I just wondered what the Elliot/Olivia relationship would look like to someone who didn't know them at all, and this was born. R&R!