A Creative Challenge Ch. 02byPvidal©
When Jeannie died five years ago and left me to get Sally and Mike through their final year at High School – and beyond – I felt that life had been very unfair to both of us. I was without my childhood sweetheart, and she missed out on the rewards that years of struggle were just starting to bring us. All through those early years when the kids were young, I was working ridiculous hours trying to keep our software business afloat, dreaming of the day when the world had caught up with my vision and we would be on easy street.
Well, the world did catch up, and we sold the company to our biggest multinational competitor and I retired the day before my fortieth birthday, when the twins were just starting University. I'm not what you would call 'Loaded', but I don't ever need to punch someone else's clock.
I had always wanted to be an artist. When I left school, I went to Art College to do a Fine Arts course majoring in Painting and Sculpture. I had enough talent, but I was too young and didn't have the discipline to develop it, so I took the easy way out and switched to graphic design. Starving in a garret for 'Art' somehow didn't appeal to me. Designers could at least make a living. Dreams could wait.
My best friend at college was a marketing major, and a budding entrepreneur. I showed Paul some of my design ideas for software interfaces and he talked me into setting up a company with him even before we graduated. Paul was a genius at hustling investors so that we could develop my ideas and turn them into innovative products, but we still nearly went under at least a dozen times in those early years. Eventually, we got what he called 'traction' in the marketplace, and the royalty money started to roll in.
Then Jeannie was diagnosed with a melanoma, and in a few months she was gone. Without my naive enthusiasm for the future driving the company, Paul knew we would eventually slide back into oblivion, so he polished the company up, found a buyer, and we cashed in our chips.
For a while I drank too much, and probably would have taken an overdose and really cashed in my chips if I hadn't thought to turn the rumpus room into a studio so that I could learn to draw and paint again. I was so lonely, and so depressed, but having something new to focus on saved my life. Drawing seriously again was like meeting an old lover after half a lifetime – still familiar and appealing but in a different, more mature way. Some mornings I was so low I could hardly face getting out of bed, which is why I made a regular booking with the model agency for 7am, three mornings a week. I figured if a model was going to turn up, rain or shine, summer or winter, the least I could do was get up, switch on the heater in the studio in winter, or the air-conditioning in summer, and be ready to draw.
At first, it was that fixed routine that kept me going. Now I couldn't live without it. I love my work. I have a solo exhibition twice a year, and I draw from life three times a week for the same reason a concert pianist practices his scales – it's the basic skill that is the foundation for everything else. My last two exhibitions have been near sellouts, and I now have a range of limited edition prints that are being distributed by the best in the business and selling well, too. Isn't that ironic? An artist who doesn't desperately need the money is now making more than he did for all those years when he was chasing commercial success!
Amy was late coming round on Friday night. I thought she must have found some other place to stay and I was just going to bed when she finally arrived, wet through from the rain and from unloading several garbage bags full of her stuff from a cab.
She looked exhausted. I showed her where her room was, where the bathroom was, and I strongly advised her in a fatherly sort of way to get out of her wet clothes, have a hot shower and go to bed. I didn't hear the shower running after I went to bed, but then I was pretty sleepy myself.
It was after nine am on a gorgeous sunny early autumn morning and I was at the kitchen table reading the newspaper when her bedroom door opened and I heard bare feet slapping their way down the passage.
"Morning, Sam", she said as she opened the fridge door.
I looked up from the paper and said "Holy shit, Amy!" to her bare ass, which was all I could see as she was bending down with her head in the fridge.
"What on earth are you doing?" I said.
"Looking for a carrot for breakfast in this pitiful crisper drawer", she said. "Don't you have any fresh fruit or vegetables?"
"I'm more your coffee and raisin toast sort of person", I said, enjoying the close-up view of Amy's lovely rear. "Don't you usually get dressed before you have breakfast?"
"Nope. Does it bother you?"
"Not at all. I just wasn't expecting ..."
"...A naked house guest?" said Amy. She stood up and turned round to say "Hello".
Although I had seen her in the nude many times before, this was different. This was my kitchen, not the studio, and it was very different seeing her so nonchalently naked in this different context. Amy was quite tall for a dancer, almost as tall as me, and although she was slim, she didn't have a scrawny ballet dancer's body, she was much stronger and more solid than that. And she had tits. Perfect Marie Antoinette champagne glass tits, small enough to sit up but big enough to bounce just a little when she moved, with slightly puffy pink nipples the tips of which turned into snap frozen peas if the studio was not quite warm enough in the winter. She stood and turned and moved like a dancer, but she was a beautifully proportioned real woman, and I loved looking at her and admiring her, and drawing her. The difference was, in the studio, she was a nude model, she was light and shade and form and line. Here, she was a very naked and very sexy young woman. In the studio, I would never get a woody, but here in my kitchen I was aware that it was a definite possibility.
"It's Saturday, we don't draw on Saturday morning", I said.
"I know that. I just wanted some breakfast before I unpack my stuff, and then I'll go out to look for an apartment."
"Breakfast in the nude?", I asked.
"Not just breakfast, Sam, everything. I don't wear clothes when I'm at home. This is me. It's how I am, its how I live. I'll get dressed if you want me to, but I certainly didn't think it would bother you of all people. After all, you've stared at every square inch of my hide for hours, even the naughty bits."
"It truly doesn't bother me, and what do you mean 'naughty bits'? You don't have any naughty bits. Or ugly bits. Especially from where I'm standing right now, and I'm an expert."
"Why thank you, kind sir" she said, with a little curtsey. "You can't tell me that you never walk around this house without any clothes on. Now be honest, Sam."
"Of course I do, quite often. But not when I've got guests."
"Well, you obviously don't invite the right sort of guests. I know it's your house, Sam, but I think we should change some of the house rules. I think we should call it Naked City and I think you should get your gear off, too."
"No, I don't think so."
"Because, I'm twice your age."
"Because I'm not as... perfect as you are."
"More flattery. But it's not a good enough argument. Off they come."
So saying, she took hold of the bottom of my T-shirt and lifted it straight up. I could have held my arms down and stopped her, but I raised them as she lifted hers and in one movement, Amy stripped my shirt off and tossed it over her shoulder. Then she undid the drawstring on my shorts and squatted in front of me, pulling them down around my ankles, and then tugging them sideways so that I had to step out of them. I hadn't long been out of bed, and the shirt and shorts were all I was wearing. Sitting on her heels, Amy's face was level with my now semi-stiff cock, and she looked straight at it while I stepped out of the shorts.
"Doesn't that feel better?" she said, standing up and giving me a big smile.
"You're a difficult person to say 'no' to".
"I know. Infuriating, isn't it?"
She turned and walked back into the passageway to her bedroom. Without turning round, she said,
"You're in better shape than you think. For an old guy who's twice my age!"
She skipped into the bedroom and closed the door before I could reply. This is going to get interesting, I thought to myself. Although I was genuinely a bit self-conscious at first about displaying my middle-aged body to this beautiful young woman, being naked around the house was fine with me. If that's the way she wanted it, so be it.