Romantic Artist Part I : Carmen Meets Gabriel

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I was asleep in Lily’s bed when Manuel, my boyfriend who I met at Rochester Institute of Technology woke me up. My eyes were still closed when I heard, “Carmen! Carmen! Are you okay?” I opened my eyes and replied, “Yeah Manuel, I’m fine.” He said, “Oh good. I was really worried about you. You were puking all night at the club.” I replied, “Yeah, I know. I remember.”

Manuel said, “Carmen, sorry about last night. I shouldn’t have gotten you all of those martinis to drink.” I replied, “It’s okay. I asked for the martinis remember.” He said, “But I said I would only drink if you were going to drink so technically I peer pressured you into it.” Ugh, Manuel can be so annoying sometimes. I replied, “Look, Manuel, stop apologizing. It was my choice to drink all of those martinis. It’s over now. We’ve learned our lesson. We won’t drink too much again.”

Manuel then hugged me and said, “I know I said I loved you last night, but I was drunk and I think you might have thought I didn’t mean it, but today I’m not drunk and I still love you. I just wanted to let you know.” I then remembered Manuel saying I love you last night. It was the first time he had said it to me. I replied, “I remember you saying that. I said I loved you back and I meant it then and I still love you today. Sorry for puking all over you.” “That’s fine,” he said.

I was still somewhat drunk, but nevertheless, I got out of bed with Manuel’s help. We both went to the kitchen and Manuel made us breakfast. Manuel didn’t know how to cook so he prepared cereal for us. He got out two bowls and poured in Special K cereal and some milk and voila breakfast for the two of us. While eating Manuel’s phone rung. After Manuel got off the phone he explained to me that his best friend growing up, Gabriel from Fort Lauderdale just called. It turns out Gabriel was staying at a friend’s apartment for the summer in the upper east side. Gabriel’s friend was out of town so Gabriel is apartment sitting and wanted us over to have lunch with him.

So we took a taxi to the upper east side to a high rise apartment building. It was a really fancy apartment building. There was a concierge on the first floor who verified who we were. We told him we were Gabriel’s friend and we were going to the 7th-floor apartment 737. The concierge staff called Gabriel and told him there was a Carmen and a Manuel to see him and asked if that was correct. Gabriel must have told him, yes so the concierge led us to the elevator and pressed the 7th-floor button. We got out of the elevator onto a nice plush maroon carpet and headed to apartment number 737. We knocked three times on the door and Gabriel opened the door.

Oh my goodness, Gabriel was the most handsome boy I had ever seen. He had light brown eyes, dark hair, and was muscular. He was wearing a t-shirt and shorts covered in acrylic paint. It turned out he was an artist just like Manuel and I. Manuel hugged Gabriel and said, “Hey Gabriel! Long time no see. This is my girlfriend Carmen.” Gabriel reached out his hand for me to shake and said, “Hi, nice to meet you, Carmen.” I shook his hand and replied, “Likewise.” Gabriel eager to have lunch said, “That’s cool. You guys want to come sit out on the balcony with me and have lunch?” Both Manuel and I replied in tandem, “Sure.” Gabriel replied, “Uh oh you two must be double trouble. You must hang out all of the time to be replying at the same time.” Again, Manuel and I spoke at the same time, “We do.”

So we went out to the balcony and had lunch. Gabriel had prepared turkey sandwiches with Caesar salad for us. It was delicious. I had a marvelous time getting to know Gabriel. He was a lot of fun to be around. Very carefree. He gave off a surfer vibe. It turned out Manuel and Gabriel were very close and had known each other since they were in kindergarten because Gabriel used to also live in Soho where Manuel’s family still lives. The two of them went to the same school up until high school when Gabriel moved to Fort Lauderdale.

Once we finished lunch we chatted some more and watched a movie on Netflix and drank some wine. After a few glasses, we all got tipsy and Gabriel started flirting with me. He told me, “You have very beautiful eyes. They are so blue. I love them.” I replied shyly, “Thanks.” I wasn’t sure what Manuel thought of all of this, but why not accept Gabriel’s compliment graciously. He was just making a comment about my eyes. Everyone notices my eyes and compliments me. Then Gabriel added, “And I love your lips.” Then oh my God, Gabriel touched my chin, tilted it up and then he touched my lips so I looked at Manuel to see what his reaction was and Manuel just laughed. So, of course, Gabriel thinks it’s okay to flirt with me because Manuel is so amused that Gabriel continued by telling me, “Get up. I want to see your figure. Turn slowly.” And I was like oh my God, what is going on? I didn’t know what to do. I looked at Manuel with a look like what on earth is going on, but Manuel just smiled and said, “Get up and show him your figure.”

I got up and stood in front of Gabriel who was laughing. Then he touched my hips and turned me around slowly. Then he said, “You’re perfect. Will you pose for me? I want to paint you.” I replied, “Sure if it’s okay with Manuel.” Manuel laughed some more and said, “Yes, of course, that’s fine.” Gabriel then looked at his schedule and said to me, “Great I have free time Saturday afternoon. Can you come by yourself then? And can you wear a dress?” I replied, “Sure, I would be honored.”

Once Manuel and I left Gabriel’s I punched him on the arm. He said, “Ouch. What is that for?” I replied, “You don’t care if he flirts with me like that?” He said, “Look, Gabriel and I have been friends forever. I trust both you and him. Plus he’s a really great painter and you’ll make an awesome model for him.” I replied, “Fine as long as you’re okay with it”

On Saturday afternoon I went to the apartment on the upper east side where Gabriel was currently residing. I knocked on the door and Gabriel answered the door in clothes covered in paint once again. I said, “Hey Gabriel, long time no see.” He replied, “No kidding, it’s been days since we’ve seen each other. I missed you already.” I giggled thinking here we go the flirting has started already.

I didn’t have a dress so I borrowed one of Manuel’s sister, Lily’s dresses. Lily had died in a car accident a few years ago, but Manuel’s family had kept Lily’s room just the way she had left it. All of her clothes were still in her closet and Manuel helped me pick out the dress I was wearing. It was a long red, rosy dress with a low neckline. It was beautiful.

Worried that my dress wasn’t what Gabriel wanted for his painting I asked Gabriel, “Is my dress alright?” He replied with a sly grin, “Yes, I love your dress. You look stunning in it. Is that Lily’s dress?” Surprised by the fact that he knew it was Lily’s I said, “Yeah, it is. How did you know?” With a look of despair, he replied, “We dated a little bit before she died. She wore that exact same dress when she and I went to a formal dinner once at the Russian Tea Room.”

I didn’t know exactly what to say so I just said, “Oh that’s cool. So you guys were close?” He replied, “Yes, we were. We grew up together. We were close friends before we started dating. I used to always visit Manuel at his apartment in Soho and Lily was always there. Lily was only two years younger than Manuel and I so we used to let her play with us when we were little and then as we grew older she used to go to parties with us.” I said, “I see so you must really miss her.” He replied, “Yeah, when she died I had a hard time getting over it, but I am getting there.”

Gabriel then led me into the room where his easel, canvas, paints, and paint brushes were. It was the apartment’s library and he had transformed it into his studio. He had arranged a place for me to sit and had set up the room with a white sheet draping the background, a potted plant was situated in the back, and there were white roses next to the stool where I was going to sit. Gabriel draped the stool with white sheets and asked me to sit. Then he put his hand on my chin and turned my head, moved my hair to the side, and pulled down the straps of my dress so my shoulders were exposed. He then caressed my neck. I didn’t know how to react. His touch made me quiver and I wanted to take his hand and kiss it, but I decided to just ignore him.

He then started to paint with hurried strokes at first covering the background in mauve and white and then later more detailed slower strokes when he started to form my figure. For a moment all that could be heard in the room was his brush making marks on the canvas because both of us were silent. Gabriel was concentrating on the painting and I was daydreaming of someday perhaps having Gabriel visit me in Rochester where I lived. I know we had just met, but there was something about him. We just instantly clicked. I had a feeling we could become best friends.

After his painting was almost finished Gabriel started asking me questions about Manuel and I. He said, “How did you meet Manuel?” I replied, “At Rochester Institute of Technology. We are both fine art undergrads and we were in the same drawing class freshman year. The teacher had taken us outside to draw koi pond by the photo building and Manuel was hung over that day after a long night of drinking so he laid down on one of the benches and fell asleep. I woke him up and when the class ended he gave me his number. I called him and we went to dinner. We’ve been dating ever since.” He said, “Are you in love with him?” I replied, “You could say that. We were just friends, but we’ve gotten very close lately.”

After interrogating me about Manuel, Gabriel came up to me and moved some strands of my hair that had gotten out of place. Curious about what his chances were with me he asked, “So if I were to kiss you, you would be mad and Manuel might be upset with me?” Unsure of what to tell him, I just said, “Yeah, us kissing would be a bad idea. Manuel might be a little jealous.” Gabriel was very handsome and it was tempting to just reach over and kiss him. You could feel the friction in the air between us. I could sense this was not going to go well at all. Gabriel stopped painting and waited for me change my mind about kissing him. When I didn’t say I changed my mind he just got up and walked over towards me, bent down and kissed my cheek. I ignored him and said, “What are we in middle school?”

With a tinge of despair in his voice, he said, “You know you remind me of Lily.” I replied, cautiously making sure not to upset him. “Yeah, I hear that a lot. Manuel often tells me I look and act like her. We apparently both have the same blonde hair and blue eyes and always happy.” He said, “Yeah you’re a lot like her. I still miss her a lot and having you here makes me feel like she’s here with me.” I replied, “That’s cool. She seems like she was a nice girl. I’m flattered that I remind you of her.” Gabriel then started to talk about his memories with Lily and he told me childhood anecdotes of him and Manuel when they were growing up. Both Manuel’s and Gabriel’s parents were often busy so the two got into some mischief in Central Park after school smoking cigarettes before they were 18 years old.

A few hours had passed and Gabriel finally finished his painting. I got up to take a look at it. It was a masterpiece. Manuel was right Gabriel was an awesome painter and I’m glad I posed for him. I told Gabriel, “The painting turned out beautifully. You’re a gifted artist.” Gabriel then replied, “Thanks. Umm… can I paint you again?” Excited about getting a chance to hang out with Gabriel alone again I replied, “Sure, I would love that.” He then said, “Awesome can you come back tomorrow afternoon?” I replied, “Yeah, that would be cool.”

After Gabriel finished his painting I didn’t know if I should hang out for a bit or go home. I did love his company so I decided to stay for a bit. Unsure of what to do, I paced around the room nervously making small talk about college and my favorite artists. I then walked over to his easel when I noticed his guitar. I picked it up and strummed the strings and asked him, “Do you play the guitar?” He replied, “Yeah I do. Do you want me to play something for you?” I sat back down on the stool and said, “Yes, I would love that.” He then grabbed another stool and sat next to me and played the song Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. He sang the song as he played the tune. What a beautiful voice he had. I was impressed.

Afterward, he said with a naughty grin, “Now that I’ve played the guitar for you can I kiss you?” I replied, “No, Manuel will seriously be mad at the both of us if he ever finds out.” But Gabriel kissed me anyway on my lips, a deep, long sensuous kiss. I felt really guilty, but the kiss was so soft and tender and he was so handsome so I kissed him back. After we kissed I got up in a hurry. I became nervous about the situation and I didn’t want it to get out of control so I told him, “I have to go home. Manuel is waiting for me.” He replied with a disappointed tone, “That’s fine. I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

Here is a video of me acting as my character, Carmen from my short story Romantic Artist Part I: Carmen Meets Gabriel. 

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The Myths and Truths About ADHD

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What is ADHD?
 
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Children, teenagers, and even adults are affected by it. ADHD is a mental disorder that is diagnosed. It is the most common children’s mental disorder that is diagnosed.
 
Children with ADHD
 
Kids with ADHD tend to be hyperactive and they cannot control their impulses so they cannot pay attention very well especially in school. The behavior caused by ADHD is not limited to affecting the school life of children, but their home life as well with their family and friends. The disorder can be more commonly found in boys than in girls, but girls can have it too.
 
ADHD is often diagnosed when the child is just beginning school and is having problems paying attention in school. Usually, teachers can spot whether a child has ADHD and they talk to the parents about it. Other times parents can detect that their child may have ADHD and they then seek psychiatric help.
 
Adults with ADHD
 
ADHD is also present with adults. When ADHD manifests the adult may have trouble organizing, goal setting, time managing, and even keeping a job. Adults who have ADHD may see their relationships deteriorate, they may have addictions and self-esteem issues.
 
Myths About ADHD
 
There are many myths about ADHD. I will be outlining two. They are ADHD is not a real mental disorder, which is the most commonly held thought by the general public who are unaware of this medical condition. The other common misconception I will be talking to you about is that supposedly ADHD is caused by bad parenting. This is also not true.
 
ADHD is Not a Real Mental Disorder
 
ADHD is a real mental disorder that is recognized by The National Institute of Health, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Different types of research have focused on ADHD and have found that ADHD is a real condition that can affect families and even ruin it. ADHD can have a big impact on children, teens, and adults and their way of life.
 
ADHD is Caused by Bad Parenting
 
Sometimes when a child shows symptoms of ADHD, people may think it is due to bad parenting. This is not the case, but people outside of the immediate family may see the child’s actions caused by ADHD as a result of lack of instilling discipline into the child by the parents. People may see that the fidgeting actions and bad comments are due to a mental condition.
 
ADHD is a disease that can be crippling so make sure to spot it early. If your child or teen or even adult children and spouses are starting to show signs of ADHD make sure to seek professional help. It can help you in the long run and you will be glad the condition is treated.

Your Friendly Eyes

I love looking into your eyes. They are friendly. They gaze at me with love. When I look into them it seems as if we’ve known each other forever. It’s as if we met in another lifetime. Perhaps I met you thousands of years ago when I was a different version of myself.

Your eyes are kind and thoughtful. Your eyes go well with your musical voice that echoes you care at every note. When I look into your eyes and hear your voice you make me want to be a better version of me.

You make me want to change for the better. Your eyes beg me to please just be shy, to be pleasant and obedient. Hearing your voice makes me want me to walk with a demure gait, taking little careful steps instead of long strides with my hips swaying side to side flaunting my femininity. Your voice makes me want to darken the flame in my eyes.

When you look into my eyes you make me want to change my voice to that sweet, chirping pitch instead of my deep smoky voice. You make me want to not laugh so loud that it causes a stir in the room. I know. I know. For your beautiful eyes and musical, the rhythmic voice I will change. Promise.

Waiting for Ten Years

 

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Time is fading.
I was promised you would be back.
It was just a lie you’re gone.
You still have not returned.

Then now perhaps just an accident.
It was not an accident.
You’re gone.
Forever lost.

Time has healed my heart.
To accept the worst.
Just watching the clock now melting.
The time now standing still.

Forever you live in my heart.

Killing My Heart

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Where are you now?
Wandering aimlessly.
Not by my side.
Killing my heart.

Or do you wander Earth.
Cause you killed my heart.
Tormenting me with thoughts.
Of what could have been.

Guilt makes you wander the globe.
Trotting from country to country.
Going from city to city.
Still can’t escape your guilt.

Of having killed my heart…

The funny version of the poem above:

Okay, so where are you?
I stalked your Instagram
And you haven’t posted in awhile
You’re not by my side
But I sort of don’t care
I’m too entertained on Facebook

So you’re wandering all over the place
Kind of definitely not tormenting my thoughts
I’m actually kind of glad you’re gone

Are you globe trotting cause you’re in trouble with the law
Are you hiding from the feds
LOL my poem above says killed my heart
I don’t even know what that was supposed to mean
It kind of just popped into my head
And I was like this sounds poetic

Check out this video of me reading the two versions of Killing My Heart:

The Girl with Green Shoes Part IV

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Gemma and Ryan Exchange Christmas Gifts

After the Halloween party, Gemma and Ryan started hanging out more often. The two met up at the gym in the mornings and then afterward the two would go back to Ryan’s apartment where Ryan would cook breakfast for the two of them. Often times he made scrambled eggs with spinach. He found the recipe from Men’s Health Magazine. The ingredients were six egg whites, two full eggs, ham, cheese, and spinach. According to the magazine, it was the perfect breakfast food because it was fuel for the body and could help you build muscles.

The holidays were coming up so the mall had Santa Claus. Gemma’s mom had called her and asked her to take her little brother to the mall to see Santa. Gemma called Ryan to see if he would come and he said he would so Gemma, her little brother, and Ryan went to the mall, stood in line to see Santa and after a few hours all three got to meet Santa. Afterward, they went shopping for gifts for each other. They went to store after store in the mall to get an idea as to what to get each other, but they did not buy the gifts that day in order to keep the gifts a secret.

The next day Gemma and Ryan went back to the mall separately to buy each other gifts. They hung onto the gifts until the day before Christmas break started when they presented each other the gifts because Ryan was going home to North Carolina for Christmas break. Gemma opened her gift first and she saw that it was a beautiful gray sweater with a blue stripe across the chest. She absolutely loved it. Then Ryan opened his and it was Cool Water cologne. He sprayed it and it smelled amazing. He too loved his gift. After exchanging gifts and ooh-ing and aah-ing over their gifts the two kissed for the first time.

The Girl with the Green Shoes Part III

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Gemma and Ryan’s Halloween

It was Halloween and Gemma and Ryan were going to a party. Gemma dressed up as an alien and Ryan dressed up as a pirate. Ryan drove them to the party, they found a parking spot near the house where the party was going to be held, got out of the car and were walking towards the house. “I can’t wait to play beer pong. Will you play on my team?” said Gemma. “Yeah, I’ll play on your beer pong team, but I’m not drinking the beer,” replied Ryan. Gemma laughed and said, “You dork. You need to drink.” Ryan said, “No thanks.” Gemma didn’t want to peer pressure him so she said, “Yeah, okay that’s fine you don’t have to drink.”

As the two neared the house they heard someone yell, “Gemma get in the car right now.” Gemma turned and saw it was her ex-boyfriend James. He was in his Nissan Altima and driving closer to them. Gemma turned to Ryan and said, “Umm, that’s my ex-boyfriend. He’s drunk. He wants me to get in the car. We need to hide. Run with me to the next street over.” The two ran until they could not see James anymore.

Ryan unsure of what just happened asked, “Who was that and why was he yelling at you? Are you two broken up?” Gemma replied, “Oh that was James. We didn’t exactly break up, break up. I just sort of stopped talking to him because I think he was cheating on me this past summer. It’s not a big deal we’re over. He knows we’re over. I have not picked up his calls, but I think he’s drunk right now and is under the impression he can yell at me to get me back.” Ryan said, “Uhuh. He seems really rude. I can’t believe you were with him.” Gemma said, “Yeah, tell me about it. He yells at everyone. We were in a restaurant in New York City this summer and he yelled at our waiter. And I mean yelled at the waiter, not just be rude to the waiter, he actually yelled.” Ryan replied, “Yeah, maybe he was not a good boyfriend for you after all.” Gemma said, “For real, yeah, no, he’s not a nice person to be dating.”

Instead of going to the party Gemma and Ryan ended up walking around the streets just talking, laughing, and having a good time. Gemma turned to Ryan and said, “Hey, I’m having a lot of fun just taking a walk with you and chatting. I think we should skip the party.” Ryan replied, “Yes, great idea because your psycho ex-boyfriend might be there and try to pick a fight with me.” Gemma found out that just being with Ryan was more fun than playing beer pong at a party and getting trashed. And that was the start of Gemma turning sober. She realized she didn’t need to drink alcohol to have fun. She just needed to be hanging out with the right person.

To be continued…Part IV: Gemma and Ryan Exchange Christmas Gifts