I scanned the new drawings that my student Toby had finished, taking in each and every stroke of his pencil. He was truly talented and while admiring his work, it not only inspired me, but seemed to breathe new life into me when I needed it the most. My emotions were all over the place and I was feeling so unbalanced in my life. It was incredible how healing art was to me.
When Toby finished my Comic Book Characters class, I offered him additional private lessons because I wanted to focus on cultivating this raw gift that I could see that he had. Since he was homeschooled, his schedule allowed him the flexibility to work around my daytime schedule.
"Where did you come up with the name Tova?" I asked him looking at the first trans-superhero that I had ever laid my eyes on.
"I don't know," he shrugged, "I just looked up names that started with T and it stood out to me. It means good and pleasing."
"I like it a lot," I noted picking up the sheet of paper with Tova standing proudly in all of her bad ass power, standing strong. Wearing teal leather pants and a silver multi-colored top, there was nothing stereotypical about her.
"Can I see your new drawings?" He suddenly asked me. I had shared with him that my daughters wanted me to turn them into superheroes and I did. Taking inspiration from the character Shuri from Black Panther, I made their specialty and power be rooted in STEM. I kept both girls in their normal size and made them toddler superheroes and used their favorite colors for their costumes.
I pulled my sketchbook out of my bag and turned to the page that held my new ideas. I handed the notebook to him and watched as he scanned every detail of the designs.
"This is pretty cool," he said smiling as his eyes swept across the page. "Do they have the same powers?"
"I'm still working on that. I want them to have similar powers but I want to make sure to choose something that identifies them as an individual." I expressed. "Like with your character, I can see so much of your personality coming through your drawings."
Just as he was about to respond there was a knock at the door. The front desk clerk, Deanna peeked her head inside. "I'm sorry to bother you, but you have a visitor," she said excitedly. I wondered who it could be to have her as giddy as she was acting.
"Who is it?" I asked.
Rather than answer me, Deanna moved out of the way and in walked Rashad. He was dressed in a Navy blue suit and looked impeccable from his fresh haircut to his designer shoes. Deanna excused herself and I stood up to greet him with a hug. He had never showed up at my job like this before so I was a little worried about the reason for his visit. His face was unreadable only adding to my nervousness as I thought back to the night I kissed Phillip in the parking lot, my heart began to thump inside my chest.
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