Cammy took a deep breath and let it out easy.
This was not what she’d signed up for when she saw the words “Art Class” plastered above her fifth period classroom. At first the sign excited her. Any new art class, she readily ran toward it!
However, here, in the actual class, where she’d been asked to strip down to her bra and panties so the big-time artist could paint her whole body…
She’d not been opposed to the project, and especially not that she’d been forced against her will, the uneasiness came as she sat there in front of her peers in nothing but her underoos!
The statement she’d made, though, that’s what bolstered her drive. Each time she thought of what this meant for people like her, she held her chin a tad bit higher.
Her Suffragist attitude faded as the paint dried and itched her skin, bringing her back to reality and the eyes gazing past her walls.
“You look fabulous, don’t let them make you feel any different.”
She snapped her eyes to the artist as he painted her belly button.
“I can almost feel your battle as I paint you.”
Oh great, that meant everyone else could too. Artists have a way of seeing past the “paint” to the “pain”. And she was surrounded by artists.
She knew he meant well, but she sank a little more.
“Let yourself go and enjoy this”, he whispered, “You had the gumption to do it in the first place. No one can take that away from you, but you are letting them steal your happiness.”
As he brushed, the bristles tickled her belly, and she couldn’t help but laugh.
“See?” His smirk, his kind, clear eyes, and his honesty made her realize something: She was the beauty in the artist’s eye. It almost took her breath away. Not the artist, but the realization. He was right! She would be beautiful to whomever loved her, to whomever saw her as a masterpiece.
She finally had the courage to look up into Trevor’s eyes. He was staring at her, granted, so were the other twenty or so artistic students that attended her high school, but he was not just looking at her, he was seeing her!
Trevor stood and moved toward them, never taking his eyes off her, bent down to the painter and whispered something in his ear. The painter stood up with a strange look in his eyes and another smirk on his face. She watched as the painter handed Trevor his brush. Cammy felt her eyes bulge out of their sockets, and was almost begging the painter not to leave them as he walked to the teacher’s desk.
Her attention slowly gravitated to Trevor who stared at her, and in his sweet, deep voice, that she’d memorized, he asked if she minded him touching her skin with the paint brush.
Where was her voice! Instead, she motioned for him to continue.
The brush took on a whole new meaning! It felt as if Trevor himself were touching her skin. He locked his eyes on her though he still moved the brush across her belly. “I never knew-” He stood, dipped the brush into more paint, and leaned in to get her neck, “I never knew how beautiful you were. I mean, I like you, and I have for a long time.”
He got adorably tongue-tied. “Not that I think you’re beautiful just because you took off your clothes, and I’m not saying that your body isn’t beautiful, I-” He took a deep breath, and Cammy watched as his face burned redder and redder.
He cleared his throat, “What I’m trying to say, is that I see beyond your body. I see you, Cammy. You’ve made an Impression on me. I’d like to take you out. Would-would that be okay?”
A. Masterpiece. This is what she felt like. She felt not only beautiful in her own skin for the first time since being a little girl, but she felt as if others finally saw her for who she was, and not because she was almost naked, but because she let down the walls that she’d built to protect herself. They never protected her, they only kept her from being who she was meant to be.