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A Close Call

By @emmaispeculiar

Short Story

I look down at the small white watch on my wrist: 8:oo am. ****, I’m late for class. I run down the corridors toward the art wing. When I reach the right room my feet skid across the floor as I come to a stop.

I inhale deeply, centering myself before I enter the room.

I open the door and see the entire class hovering over their own personal sketchbooks.

“Mr. Peters is late, everyone,” Mrs. Chbosky, the young art teacher, says as I make my way to my seat. Everyone looks up and watches me sit down.

The classroom is about the size of an average high school art room but with more expensive paints and canvases with expensive paper and pencils.

“I am only going to repeat this once so Mr. Peters understands today’s assignment.” Everyone looks from me to her: “Today we are drawing something or someone that you loved or have loved. You may be as realistic or abstract as you please.” She smiles sweetly at me and nods, “Everyone continue. Arthur, you may begin.” She sits on her desk, her long brown coiled hair touches her dark chestnut hands which rest against the edge of the light wooden desk as she watches the class.

I pull my medium sized black leather sketchbook out of my backpack. I grab my pencil case. I unzip it and take out a charcoal pencil. I retrieve my small razor blade from the pouch so I can sharpen the pencil. I swallow hard at the sight of it. It’s taken me years to hold a razor blade again; the sight of them still make me nervous.

I put the sharp edge to one side of the pencil and slice thin bits of charcoal and watch as each piece falls delicately to the ground.

Once I have the pencil sharpened, I put the charcoal next to my sketchbook and think: should I be cliché and draw my mother? No, I can’t do that. Everyone knows I love Mom. Sometimes she sends me cookies and tells me that I should make sure I bring them to class.

Maybe I should draw Keegan. That’s pretty risky, though. Maybe that’s the point of the assignment. Without thinking any further I start to draw his upturned button nose. Then I draw his philtrum, his slight cupid’s bow, his larger bottom lip and his top lip, his round chin, the little dimple between his chin and bottom lip. I move up to his eyes; his round, wide eyes, his perfectly thick eyebrows, the small creases between his eyebrows, the light dimples on the edges of his mouth, his messy brown hair that falls slightly into his dark chocolate eyes. I draw his slender neck and his broad shoulders. I draw his prominent collarbones and the little bit of stubble he so badly tries to get rid of on his chin.

“Is everyone ready to show their pieces?” Mrs. Chbosky asks.

Everyone looks up and puts down the supplies they had been using. I look at my drawing hesitantly. I feel nervous about showing the class that the thing I love and have loved is a boy.

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