This is a story about Adam Robins. An ordinary name for such an unusual boy. As a kid Adam rarely talked. Instead, he drew. When he had access to pens, paint, markers or anything that could leave a mark on paper, he created art. At first his parents Tom and Melissa saw his passion for creating as a good thing. They often bragged about their son’s artistic abilities and encouraged Adam to continue. He became quieter and quieter as time rolled by and more obsessed with his art for every day that passed. Tom and Melissa were of course gravely concerned about their son’s lack of interest for communication with them and the other kids in his class, but they couldn’t take away the thing that made Adam the happiest. They were torn about what to do. One day they decided to have a real conversation with him, he was six at the time.

“Adam … me and your mother have talked a bit about how you don’t really talk to people in school, and it worries us. Is there a reason why you don’t hang out with the kids in class?” Tom gently asked directly after Adam had finished the last carrot stick on his place. Adam shrugged flippantly. 

“Are they mean to you?” Melissa asked and her eyes wided and became glossy with sparkling tears. Adam lightly shook his head while longingly glancing over to the corner of the room, where a small table with all his pens and papers laying in neat piles, was placed. 

“Would you like to have a friend to talk to?” Tom continued, his face crumpled with anxiety.

“Not really,” Adam replied, his first spoken words of the day. His slightly sunkissed face was unreadable. Not sad, not angry and not happy. It just showed an expression of neutrality. Then his mother burst into tears, the salty drops leaking from her eyes like tiny waterfalls. 

“Oh oh da-darling! P-please, tell us how we can help you!” she stammered and grabbed his slim fingers in a tight grip. 

“Mommy, I’m okay.” The Robins’ house went completely silent for a few moments, before Adam spoke again. 

“Can I go to my table please?” Melissa's eyes started to water again and she covered her face with her plump fingers. Tom momentarily released his gaze from his son to supportingly pat on his wife’s back. Adam caught the moment and slipped out of his chair and noiselessly strolled to his corner. 

The years continued to roll and Adam continued to draw and paint. His art was spectacular, every single piece he did had a story and was executed beautifully.  People around him described him as a prodigy, a wonderchild. He had decent grades although his favourite activity during classes was to sketch on the papers that the teachers handed out. Between the age of six to fourteen, Adam didn’t have any friends. All he had was a huge passion for creating. His classmates admired him and were frightened of him at the same time. Adam didn’t really know how to speak with fellow humans, he always prefered talking with his pencil as a voice. And when he rarely did utter a few words, they usually weren’t nice ones. Adam felt a wondrous euphoria every time he stroked his pencils and brushes on clean canvases, a feeling of peace and belonging. He wouldn’t trade it for anything in the entire universe. To Adam, relationships didn’t mean that much. They were generally more distracting than helping. But all of Adam’s beliefs gradually began to change one day in eighth grade. 

It was an ordinary day. At least, that was what Adam thought. The pupils were sitting in a classroom with bad air conditioning, and sluggishly resting their faces on the desks while reading a boring text about the first world war. Then the door burst open and a girl walked into the damp room, with her head held high and her arms swinging beside her in an effortless stride. The teacher raised his eyebrows which disappeared behind his orange mess of a fringe. 

“I’m pleased to inform you all that I’m starting in your class today and you will be seeing my face until the day you start dreaming nightmares about it. When this occurs, you’re free to tell me and I’ll gladly punch you in the face. And yes, did I forget to mention? I’m Jacqueline. No surname, just call me Jacqueline,” she said in a powerful but melodic voice and then took her place next to a guy Adam had never learned the name of. Adam had never met anyone quite like her. He strongly doubted anyone had. Not only did she just talk about punching people right in front of a teacher, but her appearance was also entirely unique. She wore one shockingly turquoise sneaker and one high heeled boot on her other foot, and her jeans had oddly formed holes everywhere so you could glimpse a lot of brown skin underneath. And her lower body wasn’t the weirdest part. She was also wearing a t-shirt with dussins of mirror-pieces glued to the front, and on the back of her shirt was a picture of two black wings. Jacqueline also had a long golden chain around her neck that stretched down to her belly button, and to top the outfit off - a bubblegum-pink beret was seated on top of her shoulder-long jet black hair. Adam completely forgot what he was doing before Jacqueline came through that door, but he was certain of one thing - this girl needed to become a painting.

During lunch break, Adam sat down under a tree and began to excitedly sketch out all the different elements of her outfit. 

“You’re drawing me,” someone suddenly said and squatted down beside him to get a better view of his sketchbook. There was no hint of anger in her voice, she merely sounded intrigued, but Adam quickly shut the sketchbook hard and laid it on the soft grass. With his greenish eyes he looked into hers, a stunning pair of glowing fudge-brown ones. He made a mental note of the exact colour, to later use in his painting. 

“Ah … you’re that freaky boy everyone has been talking about. The boy with an eye for true art, but also the one who is constantly on his own watching everybody like a creep. Adam, right?” He slowly nodded his head in agreement. He wasn’t offended by her words, only fascinated.

“Well I guess you’re my perfect match - another weird misfit! But if you ever dream about me, I’ll have to punch you. Sorry, it’s a rule.” Jacqueline sounded truly insane, but that didn’t trouble him at all. 

“Those sketches were really cool. I’ve never been able to draw, it’s just not my thing. But I actually really enjoy modelling,” Jacqueline said with an enthusiastic voice and she laid down. And when Adam didn’t do anything but to sheepishly stare, she burst out “Well, come on, you’re an artist! Draw for god sake!” He hastened to pick up his sketchbook again and frantically continued on the sketches he had started before, now with a live-action model laying right in front of him. 

“The fact that you’re drawing me is really cool and all that … but if you’re not gonna speak, this will become incredibly boring. And all of a sudden, Adam Robins was in a full fledged conversation with Jacqueline, and he had never felt so exhilarated to talk to someone in his life. The minutes flew past while Adam perfected his sketches and got a clear idea of how he wanted to execute the painting. When the bell rang, Adam felt an odd sensation he had never yet experienced. He didn’t want to be separated from her.

Jacqueline’s and Adam’s conversation wasn’t just a one-time-thing. They held each other company all day long, even after school had ended. They grew a strong relationship, Adam even got to know her surname, but what that was, he didn’t share with anyone. Everyone in school saw them as a pair of complete insane people (which for the record, wasn’t a totally untrue statement), but Adam and Jacqueline couldn’t care less about what they said, because they had each other. Adam, who never in a million years would’ve thought he would value something higher than his art, changed his mind. Now, his relationship with Jacqueline had grabbed the first spot on that list. 

And no, only because Adam was a guy and Jacqueline was a girl, they didn’t fall in love. Adam never felt that way about her, and Jacqueline was more into girls anyway. But he had found a form of stability in her. A home. And that was all he needed and more.

January 31, 2020 16:59

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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