Thursday, July 3, 2014

Character Encounters Linkup: Graffiti

I find Jess in what we call our backyard, spray-painting graffiti on the side of the concrete wall. He doesn't hear me approach, and I stand there, watching him. I see he's an amazing graffiti artist  something I didn't know before now.

I shift my position and a stick cracks beneath my foot, alerting Jess of my presence.

our actual backyard
thank you to my sister, Rissa
"How long have you been standing there?" His voice is a mix of anger, confusion, pride, and vulnerability. But most people wouldn't see that behind the walls he's built up.

"Maybe five minutes," I answer truthfully. His steely gray eyes are on mine, harsh and unforgiving if I didn't know better. "That's really good."

He considers his work before facing me again. "What is?" he asks.

"All of it." I wave my hand towards the length of the wall. "I never knew you could paint like that."

"I'll get it cleaned up," he says, bending down and gathering his supplies into his duffle bag.

"Why? It's beautiful."

He looks up from what he's doing, confusion painted across his face. "You don't want it gone?"
she even staged it for me
she read this before taking the photos

"Of course not! Why would I want it gone? I love it."

"I just thought..." He pauses for a moment before saying, "I didn't think anyone was home."

"It's just me. Everyone else is out." I study the wall for a minute. "Are you going to finish it?"

"Nah," he dismisses me with a wave of his hand. "I'm done." He sets the last spray can into his bag and slings it over his shoulder as he stands. "I think AnnDrew's waiting for me."

He studies my face for a moment before walking past me. He's gone several yards before I stop him.

"Jess." He turns just enough to face me. "Come back and finish it sometime? Or paint more."

"Maybe," he answers as he walks away. I follow behind him until I reach the door, then watch as he walks down our driveway. He turns onto the road and out of view. I walk the rest of the way to the door and step inside before remembering I had been on my way to my friend's. I walk back outside and down the alley towards her house, wondering where Jess had gone.

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