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The Artist

Aria weighs the option of dating an older man or a loser. A shower head helps make her decision.
The aroma of marijuana scents the air. Sean takes another puff of his joint and gently hands his camera to me.

“Hold the camera steady, Aria. The world needs to watch the artist work, baby.” He grabs the bucket of magenta house paint and walks over to the tarp covered terrace. Sean pours the bucket of paint over his head, the magenta paint cascading down his face, picking up pace as it flows down his chest, over his genitals and pools at his feet.

“I need help with my back Aria,” Sean says as he clears the paint around his mouth.

I let out a loud sigh and put down the camera. I go to the bedroom to find the roller. It is not always like this. Sean was once warm and caring. Now it seems as if all he cares about is his artwork. I would understand this if it wasn't for the fact that Sean is not an artist. He is just a guy that got lucky.

Three months ago Sean’s poor attempt at Paint by Letters drunk was discovered by his brother, Simon. Simon thought it was a genius non-conformist piece of work and should be a part of the next showcase at his art gallery.

During the night of the showcase many of the hipsters thought the painting was “brooding” and “deep.” I spend the entire night at the snack table drinking wine. They can not be serious, it is a bad birthday gift I gave him when I was in a rush!

An older man stops by his painting. He is good looking with light flecks of gray through his jet black hair and a very handsome face. He couldn't be more than 40; but he was so damn sexy!

He chats with Sean as his gaze keeps switching from Sean to the ugly painting. The good looking male glances toward the snack table. His gaze stops when he sees me, his green eyes linger on me. The man leans towards Sean and whispers something to him. I see Sean say something to the man followed by him approaching the snack table. He does not even greet me, he just grabs my arm and says, “Graham wants to meet you.” I stumble on the bottom of my teal dress. I wobble as I tried to regain my balance.

“Get it together, stop behaving like a fool. It is about me right now, not you,” Sean hisses sharply. It is the very first time he spoke to me in that tone. I am too close to crying but I did not want anyone to notice.

“Graham, this is my girlfriend, Aria.”

“So this is the woman that started your art career. It is my pleasure,” Graham states as he kisses the back of my hand. I try my hardest to stifle a smile. He continues to hold my hand, reluctant to let go. I see him glance at my cleavage as he finally let go of my hand.

“Nice to meet you, Graham," I say lowly. Graham furrows his eyebrows at my greeting.

“Aria, that is an interesting accent you have, where are you from?” Graham asked.

I am shocked, Sean has never bothered to ask me that in the three years that we have been dating. I look at Sean and he continues to stare at his painting, mesmerized by the bright neon paints that he stole from his job at the Domestic Depot.

“Well my family is from India but I was raised in Scotland.” Graham nods his head, Sean did not show the least bit of interest.

“Well it is lovely,” Graham tells me as he returns to the painting. I drink the rest of wine in my glass and grab another as a server passes by with a tray.

He gives Sean his card and says he loves his artwork. “Very contemporary, I want in on the Sean Holster art experience. Call me when your next piece of art is ready.”

Overhearing this I become nauseous; but it is okay. Another glass of wine will steady me. I head back to the snack table; as I reach for another glass the server gives me an abashed look.

”Ma'am, I think you have had enough,” the server said.

“Bullshit, I'll tell you when I have had enough,” I slur to the server. The server leans into me making sure that no one else could hear her.

“But you have had enough glasses to equate a bottle and a half of wine.” I smile and point my glass to Sean's paint by letters on the wall.

“I am dating the guy that created that,” I slur, pointing my glass with so much emphasis that a bit of wine spills on my hand. The server looks at the painting and sighs. Someone walks over to the painting and places a red sticker next to the description; some idiot actually purchased it! She pours two large glasses of wine and hands one to me.

”Wine cures all sins,” the server says as she downs the entire glass of wine.

*****

“Aria, roller now! I'm drying up here!” Sean yells from the terrace, snapping me out of my flashback.

I retrieve the roller and head back to the terrace. Sean is trying to smear the paint on his back with his hands.

I throw the roller on the tarp and go inside. I am sick of his narcissism. He clearly does not care for me anymore. Instead he would rather douse his body in paint and grope himself on canvas.

“Thanks Babe. Wait! Do my back!” Sean yells back as I retreat to the bedroom. I plop onto the bed. I can not believe how selfish Sean is being. He did not even bother to come back to the room to see how I am doing.

As I lay here brooding I hear a loud thud. I run to the terrace to find Sean rolling around on the canvas. He continues massaging his body to “spread the paint around” but it is his excuse to feel up his wiry frame. Sean starts to stroke his cock then looks at me, seeing the look of disgust on my face.

“What? Its just for the painting.” I leave in disappointment. It seems like Sean's next artwork exhibit revolves around rubbing his phallus on canvas.

“Aria, wait! Cobalt Blue is next!” Sean yells. I hear a moan followed by silence. I assume that he is done with magenta.

I return to the bedroom and grab my gym bag, I stuff it with my night gown and toiletries and some work clothes. I just can not spend another night with this narcissistic shell of my boyfriend. I'd rather rent a room at a hotel chain on Queens Boulevard than share a bed with a magenta tinted asshole in Sunnyside. I love him dearly but he needs to get through this phase on his own.

*****

I stay at the hotel for three nights before Sean comes to my job and begs for me to come back.

“Baby I'm sorry. Having you paint my back at 2am is highly uncalled for,” Sean said blankly.

“I do not think you are sorry, I think you want me to do something,” I say.

“I did not come all the way to Aww Kitty if I didn't mean it,” Sean cupped my face and looked into my eyes. “Aria, I am truly sorry, I was very very disrespectful to you and I should work on caring about your feelings.”

“I work at Awn Kittah Awn. We make awnings, why is that so hard for you to remember?” Without waiting for a response I head back to my desk and try to finish designing the awning for Ma Po's Family Restaurant. Sean takes the hint and leaves, slamming the door behind him. If he is sorry then he should have tried harder.

When I return to the hotel four dozen white roses greet me. I lean over and sniff them. There is a card gently placed in between the second bouquet.

I REALLY ENJOYED MEETING YOU, ARIA. I HOPE WE CAN MEET AGAIN SOON ~ GRAHAM.

“I really enjoyed meeting you, Aria. I hope that we can meet again soon. I really enjoyed meeting you, Aria. I hope that we can meet again soon.” I can not help but read the card over and over again. I finally turn the card around to see that there is a number on the back of the card. I hesitate, do I call the number? What if it is him? What if he just wants information about Sean? What if he does not want to talk about Sean? I need to think about this before I make a huge mistake.

I take off my clothes and head to the bathroom. The downside to these hotel bathrooms are the narrow and freakishly tall bathtubs. I practically climb into the tub and turn the water on lukewarm. A shower would be a great way to clear my head.

I stand underneath the shower head trying to figure out what to do. Graham seemed so charming and caring but he is almost twice my age. Sean's ego has made him so immature he only has time for covering stolen paint on canvases he can barely afford.

Graham was devastatingly handsome, I could see his broad shoulders through his suit. Sean's thin frame was favored by hipster chicks; I sometimes find my self wanting to have sex with the lights off. At the moment the thought of Graham holding my hand again sends tingles down my spine. I look for my loofah and pour some of the hotel soap onto it. It barely lathers but I do not care, I am too busy weighing my current options.

As I scrub my back I come to a realization. I love Sean, but I am not in love with him. As corny as it sounds, I just do not see myself in a long term relationship with him. He is just a taker, he never gives me anything. I used to think that it was cute and symbolic but now I realize that it is just selfish and immature. I can not remember a single time that Sean offered to pay a bill. Here I am in a hotel room and he is on my terrace feeling himself up!

The loofah makes it way down to my abs where I slowly scrub in a clockwise motion. I wet the loofah to rise the soap out. I drop the loofah and detach the removable shower head. As I spray my hair, I try to get the image of Graham out my head. I lower the shower head to my abs to wash away the soap. I move the shower head even lower, to my mound. The feeling of the lukewarm water is powerful enough for me to sit down on the shower floor.

I slowly move my hand down to my shaved pussy. My lips are already dripping wet; and it is not from the water! II rub my clit until it is peeking through my lips. I set the shower head to pulsate and let it run over my dripping wet flower. I tilt my head back and allow my imagination to flow.

I imagine standing in the shower with Graham behind me. I lean against his chiseled chest as he nibbles on my ear and squeezes my breasts. He lowers his hands until they are touching my lips. He kisses my neck and whispers in my ear “I love these tight lips of yours.” He uses one hand to keep them open while his other hand traces my labia. My labia blooms in anticipation of what will happen next. His fingers move upward until they meet my button. I moan loudly as he rubs me to a screaming orgasm.

I open my eyes to see that I dropped the shower head. Juices escape down my leg from the intense orgasm. Just to think that came from thinking of Graham. I stand up and leave the bathtub and head over to the night stand, still dripping wet from the shower. I pick up the card and turn it over. I hesitate, what if he loses interest in me when he finds out that I am no longer involved with Sean? I look down at my thighs, practically sticking together from my juices. I pick up the phone and dial the number.

“Hello, Graham...”

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