A Minor Incident
When I met you I was just a kid
My life has been set in stone ever since I can remember. I do everything I'm told without a second thought, I never fail, I never disappoint anybody. When I was five, I was the kid fingerpainting Picasso replicas in the back of the classroom while the other mongrels were busy throwing the paints at each other. In high school, I stayed home on Friday nights studying instead of going out and playing beer pong in some jock's backyard.
Not that I was ever invited.
Nevertheless, I was expected to go to college, get a job, maybe have a steady girlfriend or even wife by the end of it all. At least that was the plan.
Until I met Axel.
And everything changed.
I felt a bit out of place in the nightclub, to be honest. I've never really been one for crowds, and the mass amount of people coupled with the loud music and booze was a bit overwhelming. And then there were the gyrating, half dressed girls and the guys around them, all trying to get lucky.
What hormones will do to people.
I had originally tried to stay home, but I was attacked - in my boxers, no less - by Sora and Riku, who barged into my room and dragged me into some clothes. After a few protests, shot down with a "You can't stay home reading about medical shit on your eighteenth birthday!", I found myself being shoved into a taxi and next thing I knew, in Destiny Island's hottest new nightclub.
Then I was sitting at the bar, still feeling like a fish out of water.
I think it's funny that they say that your eighteenth birthday is supposed to be of the best, if not the best birthday that a person will have. It's supposed to be the birthday of porn and cigarettes, the birthday of legal clubbing. Even though most people have been doing those kinds of things since they were thirteen.
At least, most people. Me, I'm more excited at finally being able to vote.
Which is probably why I'm at the bar, elbows on the edge, instead of out on the floor dancing with all of the other kids my age.
I sighed loudly, which caught the attention of the bartender.
"What can I get for you, sweetie?" She asks me in a saccharine coated voice.
"Hm? Oh, um, I'm not old enough to drink yet." I respond, glancing at the shelves of liquor behind her. She laughed, all high pitched and obnoxious.
"Neither are half the people in here, truth be told. No one's gonna tell. So what would you like?"
"I guess a water." I said, playing with the edge of the peanut bowl. I'm hungry, and I'd have taken some peanuts, if not for the fact that I have no idea who's touched them before and just where their hands have been.
"...You're seriously going to just have water?"
This is ridiculous, I decide. Without even responding, I stand up and reach to grab my keys out of my back pocket, but then remember that I didn't drive here. So then I make my way through the crowds, looking for any silver hair - it's the most distinguishable, and where Riku is, Sora is - but don't spot any. When I finally get to the door, I pause, and consider looking around some more, before deciding - fuck it.
Outside the club were the drunk girls trying to hail a taxi, addresses written on their hands because they knew they'd be too smashed to remember. And then there were the sleazy guys around them, asking them if they need a ride home.
I was disgusted. Why Riku and Sora like this sort of thing, why they're even friends with me, continues to be a question that lurks in my mind. Pushing the question back, I pulled out my cell phone and glance at the time. 11:03. So I was only there for an hour? Pathetic.
I push speed dial #3 and it rings twice.
"Hey, Namine... listen, are you busy?"
"I've got plans, but they can wait. Why?"
"Well... I'm kind of stuck downtown. I was dragged to that new nightclub, and I really want to leave, only I don't have a car, and there are pretty much no taxis, and-"
"Roxas. Relax. I'll be there in ten minutes."
I sighed in relief. "Namine, you're a lifesaver."
She laughed a pretty little laugh, the complete opposite of the bartender I was talking to just minutes ago.
"I know. See you in ten."
The phone clicked off, and I put it back in my pocket. Namine was always there for me when I needed her. Both born and raised right here on the islands, we grew up together, although it wasn't until the middle of our senior year of high school that we started dating.
Six months later, both going to college at Destiny University, and we're still going strong. Sora and Riku always make fun of me for being in a serious relationship even though I'm so young, but I'm happy with it. We get along great, not to mention she's quite attractive, all blonde hair and long legs.
I must have been thinking longer than I thought, because next thing I knew, Namine had pulled up to the curb in her parents car. I walked around the crowds lingering outside the doors and hopped inside.
"I can see why you'd want to leave." Namine said with a disgusted look towards the girls. "I don't get why people disrespect themselves like that..."
"Thanks for picking me up." I said and pecked her on the cheek. "So what are the plans you have for tonight?"
"Well, there's a midnight exhibit at the art museum on the Southside. I figured I'd check it out for a bit... Kairi bailed on me though, so I don't know if I'll go anymore."
"I'll go with you if you want," I offered, even though art museums aren't really my thing. But Namine loves anything to do with art, as it's what she's majoring in at DI. And she did pick me up, so I figured that I owe it to her.
She brightened instantly. "Really? I was going to go alone, but it's not the same... I like discussing it, you know? And even though you're not all that into art, it's better than having nobody."
I laughed to myself. Only Namine could get that excited about a museum. "Sounds good."
Ten minutes later we had parked and were walking up the steps to the museum. I actually never knew it existed, to be honest. It was a small one, and on a side of town that not many people go to. As I climbed the steps, I wasn't really expecting much. Just a few art nerds like Namine walking around, looking at paintings and sculptures and the like, all introspective and 'digging deep into the creative mindset.'
Really, I just think that's an excuse to pile a bunch of shit together and call it art.
Anyways, this is the part where I walk through the doors and am completely surprised by what I see.
But I'm not, not at all. It's not one of those galas held at the metropolitan where all of the fancy schmancy rich people show up to buy paintings they don't even like just so that they look good to their upper class society, because the money goes to charity, and they can get their name in the local magazine. Instead, it's exactly what I expected, right down to the girl with the greasy hair kneeling next to this pile of crushed up cans and practically worshipping it like it's a masterpiece sent from heaven.
Namine, thank God, walks right on past the modern art sculptures and into the traditional art section. For the most part, she shares the same ideas about art as me, with a few exceptions. She'd never put down any artist's work, knowing full well what it's like to be rejected; instead she'll just ignore it and concentrate on the things she likes.
She stops in front of a painting of a pretty little garden with lillies in a pond and a bridge right over it.
"It looks like a Monet painting." she comments, clearly trying to strike up an intellectual conversation.
"Monet. Right." I'm really not the right person for this, but I decide to pretend like I am anyways.
"I like the greens and the blues. It's obvious that she was inspired by the original, but she has her own twist on it, like, 'Yeah this is a knockoff of a famous masterpiece, but I made it my own,' you know?"
"Yeah, exactly." I humor her, having no idea what she's talking about.
"Actually," pipes up a male voice from behind me. "She did makeshift that after the Monet painting. It's not exact, but there's just a strong enough resemblance to catch it. You must really know your art."
Namine smiles brightly. To her, theres nothing better than being complimented about something pertaining to art.
"In fact, if you liked this, there's a few more in the series. They're down that hall over there, I can show you if you'd like..." He pauses, as if suddenly remembering something. "By the way, I organized this event, if you were wondering why I know this stuff."
"I'd love to go! Roxas, do you want to come?"
And listen to tour guide's poor attempts to flirt with you? No, thanks.
"Nah, there's a painting that caught my eye over there. I think I'm going to check it out, you have fun. I'll see you when you're done looking around."
She nods and takes off to the hall where the guy directed her to.
There isn't really a painting that caught my eye at all. Instead, I decide to aimlessly wander around the modern art section which I loathe so much, just for the hell of it.
Nothing really interests me until I reach a pile of trash flowing out of a porcelain tea kettle. There are papers, food wrappers, and other useless objects glued together like a fountain coming out of the spout. I think I spot an old toothbrush thrown in there somewhere, along with the remnants of what looks like a used condom. Sick.
There are two people next to me, and one of them is practically having an orgasm at the sight of it. "It's clearly meant to show to people what society has become. I mean, the trash represents life, obviously, and how we as a culture..."
They finally move on just as I hear a snort behind me. There's a guy there, and his eyes are following the couple. Then I make eye contact with him, and raise an eyebrow.
"What do you think of it, then?" I ask.
"I think that's complete bullshit. This is the ugliest piece of shit I have ever seen in my life. I could vomit something better than this."
I try not to laugh at the guy's vulgarity and let him continue.
"I mean, when did something like this become art? A three-year-old could do it. And don't give me that society bullshit. This is just a poor excuse for art."
I still don't say anything, wondering if he's gotten all of his supressed anger out.
"Sorry about that." he smiles, and I actually look at him instead of just a quick glance. The first thing I notice are his bright, bright green eyes, even though they're hidden behind a pair of rectangular glasses. And just below each eye is a strange black tattoo, almost in the shape of a diamond. He's got a brown corduroy coat on, and plain jeans though there's some kind of stain on them, probably coffee. There's a messenger bag slung around his shoulder and he's got some kind of brown boots on. And the last thing I notice is the most noticeable thing about him, ironically. He's got red spiky hair, but it's not too bright as to be obnoxious.
"Anyways, what do you think about it?"
"I'm the artist." I say with a mock glare at him as soon as the idea enters my head.
He pales slightly, then looks a bit flustered. "Oh, I'm sorry, I. I just-"
I start laughing, and even though I intended to go on with the joke a bit longer, I can't help it.
"No, I'm kidding, totally. But the look on your face- priceless, man."
He relaxes visibly, and I break into another smile. "Actually, I agree with about everything you said."
"Good, I was a bit worried there for a second. How the hell would I have gotten out of that?"
I just smile some more. "So, are you an artist or just an observer?" I ask.
"But on any other night, you're an artist?" I inquire, a bit confused by his wording.
"Well, not exactly. I'd like to be."
"You sure look the part." I say, nodding to his attire. "You've got the whole indie, tortured soul look down pat."
He grimaces down at his outfit. "You have to dress like this if you're an artist who comes here, man. Otherwise you don't stand a chance."
I look around, and for the first time I notice that just about everyone looks the same, save a few people (myself included).
"I take it you're not an artist. Otherwise, you'd probably know this."
"Not at all. I came here with my girlfriend, though I have no idea where she went..."
Something changes in his face slightly, though he continues as normal. "Do you have any interest in art at all, then?"
"Not really. I mean, I like it, but it's not a main interest of mine. My girlfriend's an art student at DI, so I'm dragged to these things often. I don't mind it because it can be interesting, but... I have a lot of opinions about art in general that most of these people probably wouldn't like to hear."
"Kind of like my rant earlier?"
I smile. "Something like that, yeah. I think a lot of art is... pretentious and fake. Like it has to fit this certain criteria, otherwise it's no good."
"I respect that. I like art, but stuff like this here..." he gestures to the trash thing, "stuff like this, I just don't get. I'm more into realism. Portraits, actually. It's about all I can do."
"People or landscapes?"
"Both. Still lifes as well. Anything I can see; I'm not creative enough to make my own things. Not yet, anyways."
I'm just starting to get into the conversation, when "Roxas! There you are."
Namine is bounding over to me, her blonde hair all in her face in excitement. "I had so much fun! Some of the paintings were really good. Anyways, are you ready to go?"
I don't know what it is, but I study Namine differently than the last time I saw her a few minutes ago. I'm not sure what I'm looking for. All I know is, thank God Namine doesn't dress like those indie friends she hangs out with, or I'd look like the biggest hypocrite on the face of the Earth.
I then look over at Axel, who's smiling close-lipped at Namine.
"Yeah, just a sec." I get up to follow Namine, who's already on her way towards the door. "Um. It was nice meeting you.."
"Axel." he says, standing up as well and sticking his hand out.
"Roxas." I say back. "Well, see you around, then..." I say awkwardly.
"Yeah." he says, and I turn around to follow Namine.
When I reach to doors, something makes me look back, though I don't know what it is. I'm half expecting to see Axel staring after me, standing in the same spot as he was when I left a few seconds ago. It takes a moment or two to register in my mind, but I soon realize that what I feel when I see that he's not there anymore, that feeling... is called disappointment.
Authors notes will always be at the bottom, fyi.
First, let me just say this:
I NEED A BETA!
If you're interested, contact me. My e-mail is on my profile page.
Anyways, storywise... comments? thoughts? absolutely hate it?
Updates will be ABOUT every 2 weeks, but keep in mind that life tends to hold a higher priority over writing.
Until next time...