He looks up at me. Brown eyes wide in shock. And teary. I want to brush the one tear away that clings to his lower lash. Restrain myself.
Scowling at me now. Asking, “What are you doing here? Going to buy more of my stuff so you can do your good deed for the week?”
“Would you have taken the money any other way?” Asking. Answering my own question. “No you wouldn’t have. You made that very clear.”
“I don’t need charity. Not from you or from anyone. Get that through your thick head, Trev. I can take care of myself.”
He tries to pull away. I won’t let him. “It wasn’t charity. You’re damned good. Why shouldn’t I own them instead of someone else?”
“You lying bastard. You said you didn’t like my paintings. They ‘weren’t your style’ were your words I think.”
I shrug. “They aren’t. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them for what they are.” I let go of him. Seeing the clerk eyeing us warily.
Del stands his ground. Not moving though he can now. Staring up at me. “And just what do you think they are?”
“Pictures that show how you feel about life. Just like your sketches. Which by the way I bought most of, so you better get busy and do some more.”
“Where are they now Trev? Decorating the walls of your room? I so doubt that.”
I smile wryly. “You’re right, they aren’t. Except for a couple, now that you’re gone and can’t see them there.”
“Glad to see the back of me I suspect.” His words hurt. But his eyes tell a different story. There’s something deep down in them. Like maybe he’s glad to see me. But he won’t say it. Admit to it.
And me? I’m not about to admit that I’m really happy to see him, either. Cause it wouldn’t change anything. So I tell him, “Things are easier with you gone. My time’s my own now. Again.”
“Thought so.” He turns away. Goes over to the clerk. I hear him tell her that she’s not to sell any more pictures to me.
“The hell with that.” Striding over to them. “I’m a customer just like anyone else. Besides,” I smile slightly, “if I can’t buy them I’ll send someone else in to do it for me. She can’t turn every sale down.”
“You’d do that wouldn’t you, just to make me more beholding to you.” Del shakes his finger at me. “I’m going to pay back every cent if it takes me a life time.”