6 - Turpentine & Clay.

67 11 11

Readers, please be aware, this chapter contains descriptions of domestic violence. Always here to provide love and support if ever you find yourself confronted by the ideas presented in my writing - inbox is always open.

"So, in our last session a couple weeks ago we ended on your first real introduction to Camden," said Karen.

She had barely even touched on the usual pleasantries and greetings before wanting to dive right in. Doesn't bother me any. I hate small talk and this shit is costing me more money than I care to even think about.

I walked back into the Art room after the bell, a mixture of trepidation and apprehension. I had always felt uncomfortable around new people, especially handsome new people with outrageous talents far exceeding my own, and Camden definitely checked both of those boxes. 

After years of practice, I knew what needed to be done, so I got to work on steeping the oil brushes in turpentine and was on to pouring the half-empty acrylics into the same coloured bottles when he walked in, dropping his bag on the floor and looking around to see what he could start helping with. He didn't know the room yet like I did, having only been at the school for a few weeks, but I could tell he was obviously well enough acquainted with art rooms in general to figure it out without me saying anything. He started on the pencils, emptying them all out, sharpening them and categorising them by grading. I appreciated how much care he gave to the task, and was impressed that someone other than myself and a very select few of the others in class even knew there were different types of pencils.

I had since proceeded to soaking my beloved ceramics sculpting tools in water to remove a term's worth of leftover clay from the disrespectful dimwits who don't bother to clean them properly throughout the term. They received the most attention and care I was capable of considering clay had fast become my favourite medium to work with. Pencils, paint and brushes were cheaper to buy, so that was what I had always used previously, but clay was something else entirely. I loved it instantly and all the more because no one else ever actually liked working with it. Where they would always complain it was too messy and time consuming to set up and clean, I freely embraced the malleability and ingenuity that the cool, wet clay provided, mess and all.

Ms Stone had introduced me to the art of pottery and sculpting a couple years ago—a medium which I had previously never really had the opportunity to work with at home. I quickly developed my own style and mostly made oversized coffee mugs large enough to accommodate my excessive caffeine needs, which my boss then insisted on purchasing at an inflated price for the café after I first gifted him one in thanks for everything he had done for me. When our customers started talking about how much they loved them and wanted to buy them for home, he let me start selling them from there, too. He never even asked for a take of the profit. "Your efforts, your art, Sade. I'm not about to rip you off." With Ms Stone letting me use the Art room during my free periods, recess and lunch, and also ordering clay and sealant wholesale through the school supply store for me, I was able to make a decent profit off them, most of which went back to my mum, but some of which I saved for myself.

"I should have known that I would find you with the sculpting tools, Sadie," Ms Stone smiled from the doorway. "I got called in to cover an extra class last minute—one of my cretinous colleagues decided to feign sickness to get a head-start on the traffic towards his holiday house. So I just wanted to quickly let you guys know I won't be here until the end of the period. You two will have the room to yourselves. Sadie, I assume you'll show Camden the ropes around here?"

"Sure, no problem," I replied quickly, knowing that for the second time this afternoon I had those same unfamiliar eyes eagerly glaring at me waiting for a response.

Rise and FallRead this story for FREE!