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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Art (01/18/07)

TITLE: Artistic Destiny
By Theresa Lovell


Moving again, hurmph. "Lord", I prayed out loud, "I hope I don't have to move again for at least five years." I never understood why my life had to unravel as far as it did. My high school sweetheart, the father of my two boys, started the ball rolling. I still can't believe he changed as much as he did. He was of average height with wavy, coal black hair and a deep bronze suntan that sculpted his muscles. He was as talented as he was handsome. "Look," I thought to myself as I picked up a picture packed away a long time ago, "his pencil drawing of a buck is so beautiful. It even shows the sleek contours of the animal."

Now the more I think about it, I think I was more in love with that idea that he was a Prince Charming. But, he was no prince. Shortly after we married he became abusive and irresponsible. The bills mounted as the kids wailed; it all came crashing in when he came home and announced that he had to start reporting to the brig. His short career in the Air Force was coming to an end. Still to this day, I'm not quite sure I ever knew the real story of why he was court marshaled and discharged. Three years later, another night, another arrest, I had enough. He wouldn't work or help me take care of Joshua and Nathaniel. I felt he was getting more dangerous by the day, so we had to leave him. "Right, Lord, we HAD to leave?" We had already moved several times as it was, now I had to start over again--alone as a single mother.

Wow, I think this is the forty-second move I've made, I thought to myself. I started packing again. All the memories flooded back as I went through all the mementoes. Odd, the things I saved the most were Joshua and Nathaniel's art. I particularly enjoyed seeing Nathaniel's art again. He was so talented. Each year as he grew the pictures became more defined. He surpassed the old "finger painting' and detailed his emotions and life in each drawing. The bright reds and yellows filled in the square vehicles to portray Nathaniel's dreams of being a fireman or a cab driver like his dad. But then the drawings changed. I really blame myself sometimes. I made so many wrong choices. Moving them around. Remarrying and divorcing two more times. Failing at marriages. Failing at careers. I tried to so hard to bring laughter and good memories into their lives, but I could never stop those dark clouds from chasing us. Although, I have to remind myself that Nathaniel made his own choices too, and no matter how well I could have read his precious drawings, things still may have turned out like they did.

I let out a deep sigh, as I heard the sleet pelt the windows. It took all I could muster to keep from slipping into a deep depression when I thought about the art gallery where Nathaniel's drawings were showcased now. He called collect again last night. In his teenaged excitement, he told me of his discovery. I picked up an old journal of his out of a dusty box and turned to the first page. There it is again. A beautifully drawn, intricately detailed marijuana leaf. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. I started thinking about Nathaniel's discovery. Amazing, he figured out how to use pen ink and a pencil point to make tattoos. He has always been highly intelligent and it showed in his G.E.D. scores. Sixteen, handsome with a muscular physique that made him look a lot older, didn't have to study, and was at the top of his detention center class. The staff had never seen scores that high. Two years, gone. He could be taking science lab in college. I shook my head as I recalled Nathaniel's statement, "This is cool, Mom, 'coz I can trade tattoos for Raman noodles." I heard the sleet again. I shivered and prayed. "Lord, maybe someday Nathaniel's art can be seen in the Louvre and not walking around in the county jail." Who knows, maybe he's right where he needs to be right now. After all, he chose to tattoo a cross on his calf.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 01/29/07
Sad but well written. You definitely brought out her character clearly and portrayed her frustration very well. I like the small but realistic spark of hope at the end. Keep writing!