The first ideas for the movie are slowly taking shape, different locations for scenes, types of scenes that we can do and work with, and ideas for some special effects and such. Luckily, we can do a lot of cool lighting and other effects ourselves, so that should reduce some of the pressure on how much the computer guys will have to do later.
It’s only been a few days since this all started, but somehow, it feels like we’ve made quite a lot of progress. I like it. It feels good to have such an interesting and diverse group to work with and to share ideas and skills. Most of the people here come from this college, some of them are even part of Tamara’s prodigies group that normally hang out in this workshop, but most of them are just normal students who are good at what they do.
We’re at the end of the first week of the project and today, we’re finally moving into the art department and our official rooms that we can use. To celebrate it, Tamara first wants to hold a drinking party, or as she calls it a ‘getting to know each other’ party.
I grab a table and dump it on the cart that we’ve been able to get our hands on. This way we don’t have to carry each table and chair and other things we need to move to the new room by ourselves. There is still snow, and the ice is kind of dangerous to walk on, but the cart makes things easier.
I was kind of glad when Tamara asked us to start moving everything. I was in desperate need of doing something physical, something to move my body, because we were just sitting around, pretty much.
I don’t like sitting still for too long. Especially not when my brain is all over the place, like it is now. I just can’t seem to get back to the person I’ve been for the last years, the easy going guy, the one who picks up girls like it’s nothing, and it really wasn’t. But now, with Lola around, I just can’t seem to be that guy, and it’s frustrating as hell. Luckily, I didn’t make the same mistake with the alcohol again since Monday. Once was bad enough. And I’m not looking forward to dealing with another hangover anytime soon…
“Yo,” Thomas calls to me. “Grab the other end.” He points to my end of the cart. “Let’s get this thing moving.”
“Sure.” I wait until he’s in place, and together we start rolling the cart to the art department. It’s a little dangerous, I nearly fall flat on my face when I slip on a patch of ice I wasn’t expecting, but we make it there safely, everything and everyone still intact.
I grab a table and start to lift it when Thomas talks to me again. “Any girl you’re gonna try to get into tonight?” He grins my way, and I hope what I’m showing him is a grin and not a look like I’m about to kill him. This is supposed to be simple, just guy talk, trying to brag about how good we are, how manly we are.
“Don’t know. You think anyone’s worth it?” I can do this, I can do this type of talk. I know I can. But my recent lack of interest in anyone but one girl makes it hard to find much pleasure in it.
“Dunno. Some of those actresses are… fine.” He shrugs a little and then lifts a table. “You know. Just for the night. Keeping you warm and everything.”
“Right.” I follow him into the building with my own table. “I guess that could be a consideration. I guess.” Since I saw Lola a couple of weeks ago, no other girl has appealed to me, and not for lack of trying, from their or my side.
“You guess? Have you seen them? I know that one of them is into all that weird flexibility stuff. The positions we could explore…” He makes some rude sounds.
I don’t answer, first because I don’t know how I even want to respond to that, but a couple of moments later because I’m faced with the one guy who I know who will kill me if he hears me respond to that at all.
Hunter is standing in the doorway to the room that we’re supposed to be moving into, glaring at me. When I pass him by, I hear the words under his breath. “Drop dead, you unworthy piece of shit.” He bumps his shoulder into the table I’m holding and pushes past me.
I stop dead in my tracks, almost dropping the table. Everything in my body goes numb, my heart stopping for a moment from the venom in his words. I turn around, looking after him, not able to respond. Too stunned to even fully grasp what just happened.
Hunter was my best friend all through high school. I know I messed up, but that look, those words… That’s a whole different level of anger than I’ve ever heard from him. I’m not even sure what really made him do that, he wasn’t this angry with me before.
“Blaze?” Thomas is standing in front of me, wanting to leave the room after having dropped off his table. “Guy bothering you?”
“No.” My voice is rough. No, I deserved that. That, I’ve deserved.
I quickly step into the room and put the table next to the other one, then I follow Thomas back out the door to grab the next table.
My heart is still beating like crazy, adrenaline rushing through my body. I can’t make one bad step while I’m here. Not one. It will be the end of me.
And I’m not exaggerating. That look in Hunter’s eyes… I’ve never seen it before. And it scares me. I know that I can hold my own against him, but not when his intent is to kill me…
After moving the tables and chairs to the new room, Tamara keeps us busy running errands like picking up drinks and snacks and things like that. It seems that she’s bringing the alcohol herself, which I can get.
As soon as we’re done with one thing, she’ll come up with something new for us to do, and I wonder if she’s trying to keep me out of the room that Lola is in. But I can’t really think about it anyway, constantly moving, and I guess that’s a good thing. Not thinking too much is good.
I sit down on one of the couches in the new room. It’s not really a classroom, but it’s an interesting combination of easels, turning tables for clay and some more home-like elements like couches and now tables. I get why Tamara wants to hold the party here. That, and I’m pretty sure she wants the workshop back for her own students instead of us being all over it. We may be her students for this project, but her art prodigies are more important than that.
I already knew it from the way that she talked to me about Hunter. She holds him in high regard, as she does with all of her prodigies I’ve heard about. It was also interesting to find that Hunter’s girl, Lola’s sister, is also one of Tamara’s prodigies. That that’s how Hunter and her met, not through Lola but through their art. I can get that. I can understand how something like that would happen, especially for Hunter. To him, his art is everything. It’s such an important part of who he is that it’s logical he’d find a girl who understood that, that he’d find a girl with just as much a passion for art as he has. And their portrets that were at the exhibition, they showed how much their art connected them, it was surreal to see.
I used to have that with Lo… Used to. Before I messed it up.
I stand back up. Okay. Let’s not go down that road again.
I open one of the bottles with fizzy and pour myself a glass. I know it’s for this evening. But I need to do something now, I need to keep moving.
“Hey, can you help me?” A girl is standing in front of me, leaning a little too close, I think she’s one of the girls from Lo’s writing group. “I need to get these garlands up there, but I can’t reach it.” She holds the end of a string up, and I take it from her.
“Sure. Where do you want me to put it?” I follow her to the other side of the room and she points at something on the wall. I stretch out to reach the hook on the wall and the girl stretches next to me, pushing up against me more, her tits against my arm.
“About there. Can you see the hook?” She puts her arm around my waist to point at the black hook which is pretty obvious against the white wall.
“Hmm. Hmm.” I nod as I hook the end of the garland on the wall, then I step back.
“Thank you so much!” The girl looks a little too excited about a simple hanging something on the wall, but then she turns her shoulders a little so her boobs become more obvious.
I show her a smile, a good one I hope. “No problem, always happy to help a pretty girl.” I can talk the talk, but I have no real feelings about what I’m saying, and after what she just tried, I’m in no way interested in seeing what else she may want to try.
The girl giggles and goes back to the pile of things that are used for decorating the room.
I quickly flee from the room, taking my jacket with me, and once I’m outside, I walk back to the workshop. I don’t really have anywhere else to be right now. I could go home for a couple of hours, but once I’m there, what am I supposed to be doing? I’d just be waiting until it’s time to leave again.
I step into the workshop, looking around as Damon, Hunter and some others are moving art supplies back into the room. Most of it is just easles and big tables, but there are a couple of big pieces of art and a whole photography setup.
I saunter over to the photography setup. I remember that Damon does photography, but I didn’t realize that they actually had a functional backdrop and everything all ready for use in here. It’s pretty cool, not having to set everything up yourself each time.
“Finished inside?” Damon pop up next to me.
“Bored.” I don’t know what else to answer.
“Fair enough. Have you done photography?”
“Taken a few classes. It works well when the person doing the lighting for a shoot actually knows stuff about photography or film.” I shrug a little. “Not my favorite thing to do, but I’m not too bad.”
“Not bad?” Tamara comes over to us too. “You’re being humble. Your photography is good, really good. I think Damon would appreciate your style.”
“Appreciate the style?” Damon looks at me.
I shrug. I have no idea. Most of the things I’ve made were… well… a little dark. Which is funny as I generally work with lights, but most of my photography is the reverse of that. Working with shadows and panes of contrasting colors.
“Can I see?” Damon now seems interested.
I take my phone and show some of the shoots I’ve done. They’re the same one that I showed Tamara when she asked me for this project, so it makes sense to show him the same ones. Though, now surrounded by people of my past, the pictures feel much more personal. Especially since I know that Hunter is somewhere behind me, and I’m really aware that I’m in his territory, and some of the themes of my shoots are a little… close to home.
“Cool.” Damon swipes between the pictures. “These are really good. Did you shoot them in black and white?”
“No. They’re shot in color. But this literally is what it looked like. I dimmed some of the lights, so you get the sensation of twilight, and it gives that black and white feeling. If you zoom in, you can actually see that it’s in color.”
“Whoa.” Damon grins. “You have to show me how you made those.” Then he goes through more pictures and stops, looking at me, his eyes now more serious.
Fuck. I’m trying to remember what pictures I have on there, which ones would make him change like that.
He hands me back my phone, stepping away from me.
I take a quick look at the phone and feel like someone’s punched me in the gut. When I saw Lola at the exposition a couple of weeks ago, I’d downloaded a picture to my phone, one I’d meant to delete again after that. It’s a picture of Lola, Tessa, Hunter and me, all dressed up and ready for the formal that our high school always held for the classes who were about to graduate, right before the two weeks break before our final exams.
Everyone’s so beautiful. Dressed up, all happy and glowing. If you didn’t know better, you’d think that we were just a carefree group of friends, ready for some fun.
I stare at the picture, choking up. This was just a week after Lola found out she was pregnant. I’d proposed to her, not even a month previous. We were happy. We were all so happy at that time. So in love.
I’ve got my arms around Lola, she’s got hers clasped in front of her, our hands both over her stomach. You couldn’t see anything yet, but we were so aware of how much our life was going to change. And we were stupid enough to think that everything would turn out alright. We were stupid enough to think that we would be able to make it all work. A baby, college, and our careers.
This was before everything broke down and went to ruins…
I turn around, and at the same time Hunter looks up at me. He meets my eyes, and I’m suddenly aware of how small this room is. His eyes change for a moment, the fury dampened by a flash of worry, before that darkness in his eyes is back again, and he turns around, walking away.
Fuck. I messed this up. I messed this all up and I can’t ever undo it. There is no way to undo it anymore.
The past is the past, and I should look to the future. But how can I do that when two important people from my past have suddenly come back into my life, even when I didn’t plan on it?
How can I move to the future when I never dealt with my past?
Next chapter is next week! <3
Please, remember, this is just cleaned up, not fully edited, so some errors may be still in here. They will be fixed before publication!