Forever Black

By: Sandi Lynn

Chapter 2

The next few days I did nothing but stayed in my pajamas and concentrated on finishing my paintings.
I called work and told them I had the flu.
They told me to take the rest of the week off, which was something I didn’t have a problem with.
I was afraid I couldn’t afford it, but I needed to get my paintings finished and off to the art gallery.
I wouldn’t have been good company to anyone anyways.
I made my third pot of coffee of the day and checked my phone to see if I had any messages.
Kyle had not made any attempt to contact me since he left.
How does a person just forget about someone after being with them for four years? A fire stirred in my blood just thinking about it.
The way I saw things I had two choices; I could sit in my tiny apartment and let my life die out, or I could suck up what happened and go out into the world and live.
I opted to go out and live.
I was not ready to die yet; I had too many things I wanted to do.
I frantically cleaned my apartment, which was long overdue, and I was ashamed that I let it get that way.
I took a garbage bag and started tossing everything out that reminded me of Kyle.
I was determined to rid this apartment of any sign of him.
By the time I was finished, my little home was practically bare.
The shelves in the bookcase that housed pictures of me and Kyle now sat empty reminding me of the emptiness I felt in my heart.
I finally showered and stood in front of the bathroom mirror.
I took my hand and wiped the steam that formed over it.
I looked at myself for the first time in days.
My ice blue eyes, which Kyle used to tell me, reminded him of the sea, looked tired with bags that formed underneath them.
I ran a brush through my long blonde hair, and then fingered mousse through it, so it dried wavy.
I put on some makeup to try to hide the fact that I’ve been depressed and locked in my apartment for a week.
I stepped into my favorite jeans and was surprised they were loose in places they never were before.
My 5’7”
size 4 body appeared to have shrunk a bit since the breakup.
I tore through my closet for my favorite pink shirt.
Once I was ready, I took in a deep breath and called a cab.
It was time to step out into the world and start my life again.
Manny pulled his yellow cab up to the curb of my apartment as I walked out the door.
Seeing me struggle with the three paintings I was carrying, he got out of the cab to help me.
“Hey Elle, let me help you there.”
“Hi Manny, thanks,”
I smiled at him.
Manny was my favorite cab driver, and I’ve known him since I moved to New York.
When I call a cab, I always ask for Manny, sometimes he‘s available and sometimes he’s not.
He stood about 5’10 with a muscular build.
He always wore his black hair in a ponytail, and his brown eyes always sparkled when I’d ask him about his kids.
He was a family man and one of the nicest people I have ever met.
His cab was the one that first picked me and Kyle up when we arrived in New York.
I sat in front of the cab with him so my paintings could sit comfortably in the back.
“How’s Mr.
Kyle doing, Elle?”
“Kyle moved out over a week ago Manny,”
I sighed.
The expression on his face was sympathetic.
“I’m so sorry Elle, are you ok?”
I looked over at him, and a light smile came over my lips.
“I’m doing ok.
I was a mess last week, but now I’m adjusting.”
Was I really? Or was I just a good actress.
He pulled up to the art gallery and helped me take the paintings out of the cab.
I paid him the fare and thanked him for his help.
“If you need anything, call me Elle and I mean that,”
he pointed at me as he got into the cab and slowly pulled away.
Peyton saw me from the window of the gallery and came outside to help me bring in the paintings.
She called the owner, Sal, and told him that I arrived.
He came down from his office and kissed me on both cheeks.
“Ah, let me see what you have done here Ellery,”
he said as he took the paintings one by one and laid them up against the wall.
I was contracted to submit three painting to his gallery as a trial.
One of the paintings was a romanticism of a man and woman dancing under the moonlight surrounded by clouds.
The second painting was of a garden with a fountain surrounded by beautiful flowers.
The last painting was of a child sitting in a field of flowers in a white dress as three angels look down upon her from the sky.
All three paintings spoke something about me.
“Wow Ellery, these are gorgeous.
I’m sure I won’t have any problem selling these,”
Sal smiled.
I felt a little embarrassed because this was the first time I was going to be showing my work to the world.
He led me over to a small wall that was sitting bare.
“This is where your paintings will be displayed.
I will call as soon as one or all of them sell.”
I thanked him and as soon as he walked away, Peyton started jumping up and down clapping her hands.
“Let’s go out and celebrate tonight,”
she squealed.
Going out was the last thing on my mind.
I was not ready to do the single girl, out at night thing, but Peyton was persistent, and I knew I didn’t stand a chance against her.
So, I hesitantly agreed.
I left the gallery and started walking down the street.
I fumbled through my large purse to find my ringing cell phone.
I grabbed it and looked at the familiar number that found its way to my phone a little too much lately.
I hit ignore and decided to walk the six blocks home.
It was not long before the new voicemail alert lit up my phone.
By the time I made it home, I was exhausted.
I threw my keys and purse on the table next to the door and listened to the message that so annoyingly remained on my screen.
“Hi Ellery, this is Dr.
Taub calling.
I noticed you have cancelled the last two appointments since our last visit.
I want to make sure you are still coming to see me.
It is vital that we talk about this.
I can help you Ellery.
Please call my office to set up an appointment A.S.A.P.”
I rolled my eyes and shook my head as I hit the delete button.
I walked to the bedroom and decided to lay down for a while as the six block walk home took its toll on me.
I had only been sleeping about an hour when I awoke to the sound of my ringing phone.

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