I look curiously around the room I'm in. it's covered, every inch, in art. Renaissance, impressionist, romantic. My friend, Amee, makes a little sound as she surveys the painting we're currently standing in front of. I can't help but smirk.
"You're doing it again." I mention.
"What?" she asks, though I know she's not really paying attention to me. Amee not only enjoys art, she buries herself so far in it she can't get to reality sometimes.
"Making weird little sounds here and there. I get you like this stuff but it's a little strange going to art museums with you." I explain. She sticks her tongue out at me then returns her attention to the landscape. I have to admit that it's very beautiful. It's titled Evening: Landscape with an Aqueduct. The painter, Gericault, has amazing control over the colors. But I'm not as obsessed with the thing as Amee. Finally she lets out a long sigh and walks on to the next painting. It's a girl with a pearl earring looking over her shoulder with her mouth partly open. I remember reading a story about this one.
"She's beautiful." Amee sighs. I shrug.
"Eh. She's okay."
"Okay buzz kill. You could've said no when I asked you to come Tristan. You obviously don't appreciate art like the others here." She comments.
"I like art! It's just mom never let me really get that into it." I say indignantly. Amee rolls her eyes like I'm a kid defending my excuse of how the vase got broken.
"Yeah it's all your moms' fault. What's her problem with art anyway?" she asks the question quickly to deflect her dis to my ego.
"dunno. But whenever I talk about paintings she gets antsy and stuff. One time I brought up this portrait and she freaked. Said I should never ever look at portraits."
"Well then you should chill in the waiting room cuz the whole next room is portraits. Oh! You know that book The Portrait of Dorian Gray? They totally have the portrait here. And I've heard he's super cute." She gushes. I laugh lightly, my interest actually piqued.
"Well…I mean my mom isn't gonna know." I say quietly, although inside I'm nervous. I've never really defied one of moms' orders. Amee smiles brightly.
"Ya! Come on." She grabs my hand and we pass through the little hallway to the next room. It's a good fifteen feet tall, with an arched ceiling and four floor to ceiling windows to let in light on the dozens of portraits. I gape but Amee has already zoomed up to one. The plaque says Mrs. Wilhelmina Harker. I laugh to myself. That's my moms' name. She goes by Mina of course but her birth name was Wilhelmina Harker. Obviously my grandparents had a crush on the tale of Dracula or something. But that's not as bad as my dad. His name is Tom Sawyer. I have strange relatives.
"Dude she looks like your mom!" Amee comments, then zips away to another portrait of a large balding man. I stay and study the picture. It does look a little like mom. Her long brown hair is up in the picture. The lady has on a high necked white blouse and a pencil straight black skirt that hides her feet. While she's an unusual beauty, she's still stunning. She's holding some books and looks very sweet while being seductive. But she has the same eyes and pouty lips as mom. Hmm. Weird. Really weird.
I join Amee, who's done with the fat guy by the time I've arrived and pulls me along to the shining glory of the room. The portrait is mounted on the wall surrounded by red curtains that I'm guessing they draw at the end of the day. There's even a little velvet rope to keep people back. I'm guessing because the painting is so old. It looks like it's a hundred. But behind the cracks and stuff I can still see one of the most attractive faces I've ever seen. The sign announces that it is the true Portrait of Dorian Gray. I want to laugh a little. But as I'm observing the portrait, it seems to almost be…moving.
"Dude! Do you see that or am I tripping balls?" Amee tries to make herself sound sarcastic and snide but I can hear a tone of curiosity and maybe fear.
"Why is it doing that?" I wonder aloud.
"Tristan Sawyer what are you doing?" both Amee and me turn frantically to see my fuming mad mother. I groan, knowing very well that I'm gonna get it. But as long as I'm in a crap load of trouble, might as well interrogate her.
"I could say the same to you! What are you doing here mom?" I demand.
"Looking for you! You're note said you would be at the art museum. But I told you several times that I don't want you looking at portraits!"
"Why? Mom other kids have rules like no alcohol and don't stay out to late. I must be the only girl in all Washington to be banished from looking at painted faces!" I growl angrily. She's about to retort when her face goes white and she just stands there with her mouth slightly open. I stare her down, though she's looking past me. Amee apparently wants to see what mom is more interested in and then takes the same pose as mom. Finally I decide to peak over my shoulder and the first thing I notice is that Dorian Gray is no longer in his portrait. The next thing I notice is an absurdly hot man standing in the corner toying with a cane. He looks like he just popped out of a seventeenth century English classic. Almost like he walked right out of…the…portrait.