Chapter 13

After a couple days, Phyllis finally recuperated and went back to school and work. The only time I saw her was in the mornings and late at night. We didn’t say much to each other just the occasional acknowledgement of each other’s existences. I was looking all week for a job but came up unsuccessful considering the thing I really wanted to do was sing with my brothers again. I missed them so much. The person I wanted to see the most it seemed was Zac. I felt like I had ruined his life. Because of me, he would never be able to walk again. Because of me, there would always be awkwardness between my brothers that had never been there before.

It was already Friday night. Phyllis had come home after classes and crashed from a hectic week of making up assignments. I really wanted to talk to somebody but I was afraid she was too tired.

I walked in the living room from my bedroom to see her working once again on an art project on the dining room table. This time it was a large rough copy of a mural in which she was doing a color mock up.
“Um…” She said, not even looking up from her project.
“What are you doing?” I asked, coming into the dining room and sitting down next to her.
“Rough for a mural.” She answered.
“Where are you doing a mural?” I asked, leaning my face on my hand.
“My room.” She answered and looked up at me.
“The landlord is letting you do that.” I asked, a little puzzled.
“He doesn’t mind as long as it’s tasteful and they can paint over it.” She said and brushed her fingers through her hair.
“Oh…maybe I should do that in my room.” I smiled.
“Maybe…uh...what color do you think the wings on this angel should be?” She asked, pointing to a section of the rough draft.
“Well, normally aren’t they white?” I asked.
“Well…I guess you would know…from personal experience.” She smiled. I rolled my eyes and looked back down at the picture. I suddenly realized that the angel was me. I let my face go flush and looked away.
“Uh…so…uh…when are you planning on starting this project?” I stammered.
“Not until next week. I’m going to sketch it out but I have to wait on the paints.” She answered.
“Uh…can I help?” I asked, intrigued with something new to do.
“Sure.” She smiled.
“Uh…I have a question…” I said to her.
“What?” She asked as she picked up another colored pencil.
“Is that…uh…angel…uh…”
“Supposed to be you? Yes. I thought it was appropriate. If you look at the other section, you’ll see me.” She smiled. I looked over, seeing a large piece of paper, around the same size, folded on the floor next to her. I grabbed it and opened it up. My jaw dropped when I saw this magnificent self- portrait of her. It, all together, looked like a story in picture form that would wrap around her room.
“This is wonderful! Have you ever done a mural before?” I asked, holding up the piece of artwork.
“Yes…in a friend’s shop I painted a mural on her counter that wrapped all the way around. Holly helped therefore it took forever.” She answered.
“Wow.” I said.
“Well…I’m finished. I’m going to start the penciling in my room.” She said, grabbing her pencils and her color mock-ups. She looked down at me silently and stood there.
“What?” I asked puzzled.
“Nevermind.” She said and turned.
“Oh…oh…let me grab a pencil…”
“I already have some.” She said and walked into her room. I noticed as soon as I walked in, all the furniture was pushed towards the center of the room.
“Where are we starting?”
“Near the closet.” She answered. She put the rough draft on the floor in front of her and grabbed a pencil. She walked over to her stereo and put on a cd.
“Where do you want me?” I asked.
“Right here.” She answered, pointing near the closet.
“Can you draw from a pre-drawn rough?” She asked.
“I’ll try.”
“That’s all I ask.” She answered.

We worked all day until we finally finished the pencil sketch. I was surprised that it turned out really good. I was sort of proud that I had managed to draw from her rough. We cleaned up our mess and headed back into the living room. Phyllis crashed on the couch and curled up. I sat down next to her and smiled.
“What are you smiling about?” she asked.
“I’m proud of myself.” I answered.
“You should be. I appreciate the help.” She said. She leaned her head against the arm of the sofa and slowly began to fall asleep.
“Tired?” I asked.
“Just a little.” She said, opening one eye to look at me.
“Why don’t you go to sleep?”
“I don’t sleep in the middle of the afternoon. It just doesn’t work.” She smiled.
“Oh…well…I think I might just go and take a nap.” I said and got up.
“You can use my bed. I’ll wake you for dinner.” She said, looking up at me.

I walked into her room and sat down on her bed, which was so much more comfortable than my own. I sunk into it and closed my eyes. I suddenly woke up when I could hear something coming from the bathroom. I got up and walked out carefully. I stopped near the door and listened. She was singing softly to herself in the shower. I smiled to myself and walked away.

She eventually emerged from the shower, fully clothed and drying her hair with a towel. She saw me on the sofa and looked puzzled.
“I thought you were asleep.” She said, standing there.
“I was…I heard you singing and I…”
“You what?” She gulped, wide eyed.
“It sounded nice…”
“I’m sorry if I woke you, I’m going to start dinner.” She said quickly and walked away, red faced.
“Phyllis…I’m sorry…” I began to apologize.
“Don’t worry about it.” She said as she came out of the kitchen.
“Are you sure…I mean…”
“I said…don’t worry about it. Now come in here and help me.” She said and smiled.

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