Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Girl from Savannah

     Today was their first crit session, the moment of truth, and Isabelle was in a bit of tizzy.  As she looked at her photographs posted on the classroom wall she realized that they were all terrible.  Absolutely awful.

     “So you can’t decide which is your best?” asked Michael, the student from RISD, the boy who was wearing corduroys yesterday, but was now wearing a pair of stylish chinos and a tan jacket.  He looked remarkably handsome, as he stood beside Isabelle.  
     He looked at her photos.  “I can see your problem,” he continued.  “They’re all good.”
            “No,” Isabelle insisted, feeling somewhat defensive and annoyed.  What was it with this boy that bothered her?  “I’m trying to find the worst one, because they’re all terrible!”
            And with this, she felt her cheeks blush and she knew exactly what it was about this boy that bothered her.  She was developing a little crush on him.  Ridiculous, she told herself.  She was in Paris to work, not to find romance.  She was nothing like Trish, falling in and out of love at the drop of hat.  And where was Trish, anyway?  The class was going to begin in a few minutes.  Isabelle looked at Michael’s photos next to her own.  He had taken pictures of trees and flowers and grass.  Some close-up and some from a distance.  One of his photos was very simple: a red leaf on a green lawn.
            “Ooh, I love nature pictures!” This came from a leggy blonde student who had just sidled up to them and pushed her way in between Isabelle and Michael.
      The blonde was from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  SCAD for short. She was the kind of party-girl who probably owned a tiarra and glued rhinestones on her camera.  Then, Isabelle had another unkind thought about this girl.  Was she really a serious artist?  After all, her photos seemed to be all about shoes!  Shoes?!  
   How serious could that be?  But then, of course Miss Savannah would probably be the only student to end up with a well-paying job after graduation.  She’d probably work for Vogue and get paid buckets of money and get lots of free clothes.  Oh, and of course, free shoes!  Stop it, Isabelle! She told herself. 
 “Thanks,” Michael said, lowering his eyes, smiling slightly.

            Isabelle stared at Michael.  She had just met him the day before at the Tuileries.  They had only had a brief conversation and when he tried to help her with her tripod, she had shooed him away.  So why was it she that now felt this sense of propriety?  It was the SCAD girl.  What was her name?  Charlotte.  That’s right.
            “I just love your photos,” Miss Savannah cooed.  “Mine are just so trivial by comparison.”
            Yeah, right, Isabelle wanted to say, but instead she let Michael comfort the southern belle.  “Not at all,” he told her.  “You photograph what you see.  I see trees and grass and leaves.  You see shoes.”
            Oh please!  Isabelle couldn’t stand it.  He was so nice.  In fact, he was too nice.  He was a niceness-slut, she decided.  I mean, he was nice to her, and now he was nice to the girl from SCAD.  Clearly, he was nice to everyone, so why should she like him?
     She decided she wouldn't like him.  There, she would just ignore him!  He could have Miss Charlotte Savannah and her shoes and her buckets of money for all she cared.  
     But then, she realized, she did care.
To be continued.....
P.S.  What turns Isabelle around again again into liking Michael?  Any suggestions?


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