like the flower {2}

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The first painting Daisy ever saw was Klimt's The Kiss.

It had been on a trip to Austria with her father. Most of the time in the gallery had been spent perched on his shoulders, bored out of her little four-year-old mind. If someone asked her about it now, she wouldn't be able to remember a thing except for that painting; her father had poked at her knobby knee— "take a look at this one, Dais"— and she lifted her head from the crook of his neck to take a peek. Round eyes, parted lips, her small hands gripping her father's shirt. The colors and shapes of it amazed her and all she knew was that she wanted to be inside the painting for herself.

Painting was something she could always lose herself in. That said, having her grandmother's wrinkled foot two inches from her face and a bottle of nail polish doing a balancing act on her knee wasn't exactly Daisy's idea of art. It was her first Saturday in Kent, and so far the majority of it had been spent sitting on the floor, painting Nana's nails an obnoxious shade of red.

"They look beautiful, darling," the owner of the foot herself sang from where she sat on the couch. Daisy's hand tightly gripped the cap as she swept the polish over Nana's last toe. "Having an artist for a granddaughter really comes in handy."

For a moment, as Daisy took a particularly strong whiff of whatever it was in between Nana's toes, she wondered if Gustav Klimt ever had to paint his grandmother's toenails before finally selling his artwork. Maybe it was all part of the process (or at least she could tell herself it was).

"I'm not sure if it takes a good artist to paint nails, Nana," Daisy laughed, closing the bottle. She took a proud look at her work, like she always did when putting her brush down, and then finally scooted back on the carpet to put some distance between her face and her Nana's bare, freshly-painted feet.

"Well, it certainly doesn't hurt."

She smiled wearily and wiped the hair off her forehead. She couldn't remember the last time she had gotten a normal amount of sleep.

No, I guess it doesn't.

The past five days could be summed up in four words; rain, toenails, soup, and more rain. Kent so far was nothing like the memories from Daisy's childhood, but she was still keeping her hopes up for it to turn into the sunny, warm paradise that she used to spend her summers at. Nana, however, was just the same as she remembered. She looked a little more frail now compared to the woman who used to roll around in the mud with her, and the lines at the corners of her eyes seemed to run deeper and longer— but she was still Nana, and she still made her paint her nails and watch ridiculously corny romance films with her, which now that Daisy was older, she realized were far too close to porn for her to have watched as a kid. (Nana clearly hadn't thought so, though.)

She couldn't say that the past five days had been all bad, though. Getting away from the cramped streets of London was like taking a breath for the first time; she felt as though her canvas had been washed over, allowing for new colors to find their way onto it. She wasn't sure what those colors would be just yet, or what form they would take, but Daisy was trying her best not to let her anxiety over it consume her. Of course, certain movie store employees who try to prejudge her for simply the way that she looked didn't help too much; it was mind-boggling to her that even now, a few days after the fact, his words still stuck with her. You seem like the type that'd be into it. And what type was that? she wanted to ask him. She wasn't even so sure of the answer herself.

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