[oasis][stories]

The Painting

by Matthew Bullard

The warm sunlight fell through the windows, making lazy shadows in the room. The blank canvas stared at him from it's easel. The artist picked up his brush and tried to concentrate on the painting, but all he could think about was Michael. 'I miss him', he thought. It had been almost a year since they had met, and fallen in love.

They lived in different cities, so they weren't able to see each other often. He smiled as he remembered the first time he had seen Mike; his heart had skipped a beat. Since that skipped beat, they had found every opportunity to be together. They had canoeing one weekend. He had leaned back in the boat , resting his head in Michael's lap, and, for a while, forgot anything else existed but them.

Then the artist frowned. They had had their share of arguments. Probably more than their share. 'But we always work it out.' he told himself, and once again smiled at the memory of making up. He looked out the window, and hummed a little tune under his breath. "What Is Love?" was the name of the song. Michael had sung him to sleep with those words. The artist sighed.

He looked down at the brush in his hand, and ran his thumb along the handle. His memories of Mike twirled around in his head. Looking into his lover's brown eyes and seeing a reflection of his own love there. He remembered how it felt to kiss Mike, to hold him. "I love you, Michael.", he said to himself softly, as he dipped the brush in the paint.

As the artist poured his love, his longing, his need for Michael, into the painting, the brush whispered across the canvas, 'I love you too.'



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