Dot stood motionless in the field, the tall grass poking her legs underneath her dress. She gave a sigh of exhaustion. The heat was beginning to grow unbearable, but she knew for George's sake, she would have to power though it. To distract herself, Dot shifted her eyes from side to side, scanning the park for any sort of entertaining scandal in the works. The usual suspects crowded the small island this particular Sunday. Yvonne and Jules watched George from afar, whispering to each other, judging his work as quietly as possible. Franz and his wife sat in their normal spot under a tree, eating from a wicker picnic basket. As usual, Franz complained of serving Yvonne and Jules, while his wife tried to calm him. Dot didn't blame Franz for speaking this way. Louise, Jules' daughter, was torturous to stand near for just a few minutes, let alone take care of her day by day. The boatman was perched up against a tall tree near the water, asleep. His dog, a large black lab, sat next to him, panting from the heat. George's mother was fanning herself, accompanied by her nurse, sitting by a tree nearby. She kept complaining of the foreigners she felt were invading France.
Why can't he speak while he sketches? Dot thought to herself. He must understand what boredom I endure posing for him, why can't he try to make it a bit more interesting for me? If I'm happy, then his picture will look happier too, won't it?
Just as Dot completed this thought, two young women flew through the field, chasing after each other like a couple of hummingbirds in the springtime. The Celeste's, of course. They were always the loudest girls on the island. The two young ladies then caught sight of the two soldiers they had been chasing after for quite some time now; Napoleon and his partner in crime, who had lost his hearing in combat.
Dot turned her head slightly, to see George contently scribbling onto the plain, white canvas before him. His eyes were so intensely focused on the drawing, not even an explosion nearby could deter his focus. But there was something behind the focus…something Dot always saw in him, but could never understand. She spent many nights contemplating it, and finally had come up with an explanation. What if George only saw her as a part of his work? What if he only saw her as a drawing? What if he was using her?
After thinking about these notions for quite some time, George abruptly stood up, put on his hat, folded up his easel and began to walk away.
"How well did I concentrate today? Am I improving?"
George gave her a soft smile before replying.
"Yes, Dot. You've done well. I shall see you back in the studio soon."
"You're not coming with me?"
"Soon, Dot, soon."
Dot sighed and walked back to the ferry. Alone.
She knew she had to confront him sooner or later, but something in her mind kept telling her she shouldn't.