GENRE: Upmarket Women's Fiction
The painting opposite the grill was missing. Sold. It matched the one I already owned—a homeless musician embossed over skyscrapers. Together the two works would have provided a private concert of city life dissonance, great architecture clashing with Dallas’ forgotten souls. But I owned a single piece, a hollow song of solitude. I considered the artist of both paintings my rival, only she never knew it.
Above me in the near-empty club, came the sounds of scrambling and thumping and then soft padding of feet down the unpolished steps. What I noticed when I had first met Moonrock Nick was his tangled mess of curly, blond hair. The second thing was underneath the ravages of fifteen years of continuous drug usage, he had the warm, chiseled features of a seraph. If it wasn’t for drugs, Nick’s beauty would have been painful for mortal eyes. As it was, the shame of his loss was painful for me to see.
Nick gave me a warm hug, holding me tighter and longer than was comfortable. I struggled against the urge to break free. After he let go, shyness crept across his face. He looked as though he had been caught staring at the pretty girl in class. A certain endearing innocence clung to him, but I could never love him, not in the way he wanted.
“What happened to the painting?” I asked.
His gaze lingered over what was no longer there. “I’m sorry. I tried to hold onto it for you.”