Dilemma 12 (Working on the Living Room)

The door bell rang early the next morning. “Hey,” she said giving him a hug and invited him in. He was one of her closest friends and a very talented painter. “It’s so warm in here, thank God, you have no idea how cold it is out there.” he said throwing his coat at a nearby chair. “It’s been such long time, since I was last here.”

“Would you like something to drink or eat?”

“Coffee and I wouldn’t mind having some breakfast and your famous French toast,” he replied with a smile.

“Sure, but unfortunately I don’t really have any breakfast. All I have is leftover potato salad,” she continued.

“Why not I’ll get that out of the fridge and make the coffee while you make the French toast,” he said. “Have you been cooped up in this apartment since new year’s eve?”

“Yeah,” she replied. “It’s been depressing. That’s why I called you. I needed a change. Also, I knew that no one else would help me paint my living room other than you.”

“Would you like a mural like the one I did in your bedroom or would you prefer a picture of the Eifel Tower instead?” he asked in a joking manner.

“Neither, I want something simple and creative and I know you can do that. I trust your taste or else I wouldn’t have called you. Do you remember that trip to Paris?” she asked as a feeling of nostalgia swept over her.

They moved to the living room and reminisced over the trip they took, with three of their other friends, a little over a year earlier as they ate their breakfast. He noticed that she had moved the furniture and laid out all the necessary supplies; paint, brushes, rollers, trays and even created a collage out of newspaper on the floor.   After breakfast each of them put on an old t-shirt and she tied her hair up in preparation for the day they had ahead of them.  They began mixing the paint in the trays and each one chose a wall that would act as their canvas for the next few hours. Her wall was going to consist of one solid color, while his will be filled with whatever he pleased. Even though it was her apartment she allowed him to experiment on her walls; a sentiment he truly appreciated, since it gave him the liberty to do whatever he pleased on an enormous canvas.

“So how’s work?” he asked.

“That advertising agency gave me another ad to design a month ago, since then I’ve been unemployed.”

“For that asshole again?” he asked in a clearly noticeable change in his tone.

“Yeah.”

“I don’t know how you can ever work for those corporate bastards, it’s so not you.”

“They pay well,” she responded.

“You are an extremely talented photojournalist/writer. Why would you waste your talent on those scumbags?”

“I just told you. Plus I’m a freelancer. Because you know, as well as I do, that I could never and would never tie myself down to a full-time job. My profession however is not very lucrative and is highly unstable, so if I do get jobs like these every once in a while; I can’t say no,” she explained.

The conversation ran on, moving from one topic to another. The hours passed one after the other and with them so did the color and the overall appearance of the walls. As the sunset over the horizon, their work was final complete and the room had turned into a piece of art. They rearranged the furniture and left the paint to dry.

“I’m glad you invited me over. This was fun. Oh, before I forget, I found this flyer about a photography contest in three weeks and I think you should sign up. You take some of the most beautiful pictures of this city and its people and I think people should see them,” he told her as he was leaving.

“Thank you. I’ll be sure to check it out, and thanks for helping today,” she said.

“This was a much-needed lift for this room,” she thought admiring their work after he left. She then looked down at the flyer her friend handed her, “I think I should sign up. What have I got to lose?”

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