tagRomancePainted Skies & Clementines

Painted Skies & Clementines


Indigo Fields was the love child of small town bad-ass Veronica Fields and small town mayor's son Jeffrey Silverman. Though no one outside the three of them knew that. She was born into a family of one in the back of her mother's "borrowed" pickup truck in the middle of- you guessed it- an indigo field. Her mother always said her name was destined for her. 'The stars were aligned like a good shot in pool that night,' her mother would say. Indigo was born at noon. Raised as Brimstone's star bastard, Indigo's life consisted of harmlessly wreaking havoc on those that shunned her tiny family. Her favorite past time was sleeping with the respectable men of the town. Single or not. Every decent woman avoided the Fields women, but that was not the case for most men. They could not resist the lure of the untamable auburn-haired duo. Indigo had the time of her life bragging about her conquests with her mother in their cozy mobile home at the edge of town. They would often times smoke a joint and discuss their adventures over freshly brewed cheap coffee.

That was before Veronica Fields died of an intracranial aneurysm at the age of thirty-nine, leaving Indigo alone at only twenty-two. That was two years ago. Now Indigo held three waitressing jobs just to make enough to be broke. And heartbreakingly alone. She had immediately stopped shamelessly sleeping with men and focused on straightening her pathetic life out. That was her mother's wish. 'Don't be a decent woman. Be a woman that could rattle the stars and paint the sky indigo for me.' Veronica said over ice cream just a week before violently exiting the stage of life. Indigo believed her mother knew she was going to die when she said those words.

Indigo choked on the memory as she sauntered into the neon box known as Poppy Seed's Diner. The establishment was modeled after the 1950's. Everything from its pristine black and white tiles, to its headache inducing pink neon lights, to the cutesy 50's black and pink waitress uniforms. Indigo loved it all. She greeted her boss, Mrs. Fairfax, in the hectic kitchen with a kiss on the cheek and a bag of homemade pot brownies. The older woman smiled with youthful glee as her gray eyes landed on the white paper bag. They exchanged small talk before Indigo's shift began. Tying her waist length hair into a sloppy ponytail, Indigo walked out with her signature cocky smile slipped into place.

Poppy Seed's was full as usual. The other two waitresses were late. As usual. It didn't bother Indigo. In fact, she thrived on nights like this. There were no free moments for her thoughts to wander or for her heart to remember. Someone selected an upbeat tune on Duke, the jukebox. Indigo danced from table to table like a star in a music video. She put her special status as Mrs. Fairfax's favorite to good use.

Since Brimstone was a small town, Indigo knew all of the regulars by name. Most simply knew her their favorite waitress. Others knew her as the waitress without a family. But some knew her for her shameful past. Those would usually antagonize her relentlessly. Like Head Witch Mrs. Cloverlock.

"I would love to give this diner a lovely review online, but I find their wait staff to be lacking. Dignity." The aging blonde PTA member sneered as Indigo placed her glass of cucumber water in front of her. The two blonde lackeys she brought with her snickered behind freshly manicured hands. Indigo continued to smile and placed a glass of lemon water on the table. She could ignore weak comments like this one all night long. The lack of reaction seemed to spur Mrs. Cloverlock on. Perhaps she was feeling especially vile tonight.

"But I suppose she is better than her mother would have been. Had Veronica worked here, half of the kitchen staff would be leaving her shed every morning." She said loudly. One of the lackeys gasped while the other nervously giggled. Indigo stopped breathing. A heartbeat. Two heartbeats. Then her mouth opened.

"Maybe you're right. My mother had an insatiable appetite. Your husband 'Five Inch Charlie' would agree. As for my lacking anything, perhaps your son Ian would argue in my defense. Especially after he asked me to finger his asshole once during spring break our senior year. Did you know he has a bat shaped birthmark on his left ass cheek? It's kinda cute actually." The words left her mouth with a sickly sweet voice before she could stop them. It felt like she was watching herself react. Mrs. Cloverlock turned an outrageous shade of red and looked as if she were about to shriek something nasty. After placing the last glass of water, Indigo gave a little curtsy and sashayed to another customer sitting two tables down. The truth slithered around in her belly. If anyone was the victim, it was Mrs. Cloverlock. Her only son and beloved husband really were just more notches on their bedposts.

Indigo reached her next table. It was a man that she had never seen around before. With his looks, she would have remembered him. Or at least his dick. The man was in his early twenties, though the laugh lines around his eyes made him look a few years older. His tousled ashy blonde hair and soft blue eyes seemed to glow against the contrast of his black cardigan and wrinkled navy blue t-shirt. He sat defensively in his seat, with his fingers interlaced on the cherry-red table and legs facing away from her down below. Her mother had trained Indigo to read men's body language so many times that it became second nature. Like inspecting produce at the market. This man was what the Fields women called, a herbivore. A weak willed man that would submit to almost anything with little opposition. They were not necessarily bad men. Herbivores had been some of Indigo's favorites. They were kind and gentle and always emotionally available. This one looked like a sweet scholarly one.

'He heard all of that just now,' Indigo thought with a grimace.

"Hiya handsome, welcome to Poppy Seed's. My name is Indigo, and I'll be your waitress for the evening. Can I start you off with anything to drink?" Her mask was perfectly in place as if she totally did not just risk her job over an old bitch's comment. The man bit the corner of his lip as his eyes skimmed over the checkerboard-print menu. Indigo thought of how his lip would feel between her own teeth. 'Woah slow down. You're just ovulating, girly.' She mentally chided herself. It had also been a while since she was even remotely attracted to a man. Two years in fact.

"I don't normally go out to for meals. What do you recommend to drink?" His voice was calm and quiet with a hint of a southern twang. He did not have to raise it to be heard. Indigo found herself wanting to hear more of his voice.

"Well the strawberry lemonade here is made with fresh fruits every morning. That one is my favorite. Our teas are just the right blend of sweet but not too sweet. Hmm, or if you're a coffee man, I can brew a pretty mean cup. If I say so myself." She said with a wink. A slight dimple appeared on his left cheek. 'He's fucking adorable,' her defenses were slipping.

"I'll have a cup of your coffee then. Three sugars, one cream please." He breathed. Indigo noticed his legs facing toward her as she wrote his order down. With a calculated hair flip, she moved on to the next table.

The next few hours went by in a blur. The cardigan-clad herbivore remained at his table during her whole shift, ordering another two coffees when his first one emptied. Not that it mattered. There was no time limit at the diner. As her shift neared its end, Indigo began to wonder if he was staying for her. She knew that was a pretty arrogant thought, but whenever their eyes accidently met across the diner, he would immediately look away with an almost bashful expression.

"Indi Baby, you're good to go." Mrs. Fairfax called out from behind the glossy scarlet countertop some time later. The old woman always gave her Sophia from The Golden Girls vibes. Indigo loved The Golden Girls.

"Yes, ma'am." Indigo replied with genuine tenderness. Mrs. Fairfax was the only woman beside her mother who ever showed Indigo any kindness. She treated the young woman like an actual human being. 'Mama would have loved her.'

With a pocket full of tips and a Styrofoam cup full of black coffee, Indigo exited her neon oasis and stepped into the dry June night. Her black pumps clicked on the concrete sidewalk as she hummed a jolly tune. Someone exited Poppy Seed's behind her. The nosy trait she'd inherited from her mother outweighed the desire to go home as soon as possible. Indigo turned around. It was the cardigan herbivore.

He jogged up to her, a pink blush creeping across his face. The diner wasn't that far behind from Indigo so it showed that he simply wasn't a physically inclined sort of man. The new factoid made Indigo chuckle internally. She decided to wait for him.

"I'm sorry for possibly seeming like a stalker. I swear I'm not usually this creepy. My name is Jasper Clementine, I'm an art student at the university a few miles up. I was wondering if you'd be willing to be my model for this semester's oil paint assignments. I like your aesthetics. Oh, I have a copy of my portfolio on my phone if you don't believe me." He fished out his sleek smartphone for her. Indigo waited patiently as he retrieved the photos. She repeated the aesthetics part in her mind over and over. It's been a while since she received a decent compliment, as well.

"Here." Jasper handed over the phone. Indigo's brow rose as she scrolled through the most beautiful paintings and sketches she'd ever seen. Jasper's style was unnervingly realistic with dark tones and motifs. His scenery looked gritty and his people were picturesque in a dark fantasy way. It was stunning.

"This is my student ID." Indigo glanced at the card. She sighed.

"Thank you, but I have two more jobs besides this one. I wouldn't mind modeling for you, but I just don't have the time. I'm sorry."

"I'll pay you." Indigo suddenly felt like walking away. The offer sounded like he wanted to buy her. An art student probably couldn't afford more than coffee at a diner anyways. Indigo shook her head and turned to leave.

"Wait." Desperation laced his voice. She paused. Jasper's eyes pleaded with her. He ran an anxious hand through his light hair in frustration. Indigo had a hunch that it was soft.

"Can I at least draw you while you're working? I won't bother you and I'll pay for every drawing that you approve of and I won't submit anything without your permission. You can burn the rest. Please."

Indigo sighed again.

"Fine. I work here all week except Sundays. Same hours as tonight. G'night." With that, she finally left. She had to be up for her second job at The Chrysanthemum in six hours. Indigo continued her humming and wondered if her ass looked good in her uniform.

The long walk home was filled with the sound of rushing cars and festive insects. Brimstone was a valley town surrounded by miles of domestic orchards and wild flower fields so the scent of summer blooms permeated the warm night air. Since the town was a drowsy one by sunset, the stars were rarely ever missed. To Indigo, nights like this were staged for lovers. It was on nights like this that she'd find herself in the back of a man's car with her thong around an ankle and a bottle around her painted lips. Those nights were a lifetime ago. When she was naïve and bitter and desperately wanted love from someone besides her mother. A sharp pain cut through her chest. Nights like this were the most painful. Because mornings like tomorrow's arrived with heavy silence instead of a 'greetings my sapling!'.

The Fields residence came into view. The deceptively ancient mobile home squatted atop a hill just barely within the town's limits. Indigo maintained the property exceptionally well. Since she had no social life or dependents, most of her earnings went to keeping everything clean and up to date. This year's paint color was a powdery mint-green. It made the home look like a breath mint from down below. The yard had been mowed just two days ago, with only small flowerbeds sprinkled across it like freckles. Using an old janitor's broom and special chemicals, she would scrub the roof and sides to prevent any moss or molds from growing anywhere. Not a paint chip or stain or weed anywhere. Her mother's handmade wind chimes sang a greeting on a soft breeze.

"I'm home, Mama." Indigo whispered as she reached the shell of a home. Brimstone murmured far behind her. A cricket chirped beside her. She decided to look for another job this week. Indigo hated being able to think.

That night she dreamt of someone sewing daffodils into her skin.

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