Chapter Nineteen

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***

On Monday, after the first class, I decided to forgo my breakfast to go show my painting at that gallery. It was my only free time and so I had to.

"If I end up late, I'll cook up some lie so keep me a seat." I told Lucas, "If the lie doesn't work, then I'll get the lectures from you. Do me a favour, record the teacher's lesson."

"Okay."
--
I took a cab and reached the gallery.

"Hello, James." I greeted the man.

"Hello, Harlem. You have the painting or drawing?"

"I decided to paint. Here." I handed him the huge board. I'd drawn a city. New York city. In a very beautiful and representative way.

"Wow. This is wonderful. It's amazing, Harlem."

"Thank you so much, sir. Are you buying it??"

"Not exactly. I needed you to bring two."

"What?"

"Don't worry. I'm buying this particular one, ninety dollars. If you bring me a beautiful portrait, something unique, then I'll pay you sixty more so you get a hundred and fifty at the end of the day. You agree?"

Yes!

"Yeah. I'll bring two different portraits tomorrow so you chose."

"Perfect. Here are your ninety dollars."

I took the money with both hands. And grateful as ever! I'd not gone to Brooklyn the past weekend but it'd been worth it. Because on that Saturday, I'd found another means of money.

On returning to school, I told Lucas the good news. Of course he was happy for me.

*

That night, I called Megan and made a portrait of her because she was very pretty. Then I called Gina and did same.
--
The next day during my free time, I went and presented both portraits to James. Surprisingly, he refused them saying,

"They're beautiful, yes, but not enough. These portraits are not good enough. Lemme say, they're slightly vulgar my dear. I want something new. Fresh. What you have here, anybody can do. Try again."

Stress.
--
Every night I would draw new people, both existent and imaginary! I would take them to James but the man refused them all!
--
Thursday, during some free time, I sat thinking. I was already giving up. The ninety dollars I'd earned were an encouragement but I was slowly losing them again in taxi fairs! What was I going to do? I didn't want James to give up on me.

As I thought and thought on the house's front's staircase, Lucas walking by, saw me and joined me on the stairs.

"You still haven't found a solution?" he asked.

"No. And I who was happy that I'd found something."

"What exactly does James want?"

"I don't fucking know. What da hell does he mean by something fresh and beautiful? I drew all pretty girls and the man still refused!" I said, annoyed.

"And unique. He said it must be unique."

"What does he want me to draw?? An angel??"

Lucas laughed.

"Why not heaven." he joked. I glared at him.

"Lucas, it isn't funny."

He put a hand over his mouth.

"Sorry." he apologized, amusement still lingered in his eyes. I looked at them. Beautiful. And then it hit me!

"Lucas! I'll draw you!"

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