Margaret and Isabel were both quickly sketching the scene as the boy stood at the bridge staring at his reflection.
“Looks like we figured out what our drawings were missing, huh Madge?”
Margaret agreed. The water churned a bit, making her wonder what the boy was really doing since the current was making reflections difficult.
“Ready for our lunch?” Margaret asked her. She nodded and pulled the wicker picnic basket over to their little folding stools. “Mind if I look at yours while you get lunch together?”
Belle was always agreeable and nodded as she pulled out the ham and cheese sandwiches, potato salad and some fruit. The final item, a jar of pickles, proved difficult. She strained against the lid as Margaret flipped through her rough sketches.
“These are beautiful, Belle. I still don’t know why you didn’t finish art school with me.”
She gave up on the jar and handed it to Margaret, who easily opened it. “Musta loosened it for me, doll.”
Belle took the jar back and pulled out a pickle. “You know I loved Mitch. He found a job so fast and wanted to get married and all, I couldn’t say no. And who says I can’t create art without that piece of paper? An artist doesn’t need it, necessarily. Did Van Gogh have a degree? Did Rembrandt?”
“I’m sure I don’t know. Did they?”
“You’re the one who finished art school, you tell me!” Belle said with a laugh as she took a large bite of the pickle she’d been holding. “Now let me see yours, then we’ll dig into these sandwiches!”
Margaret handed over the sketchpad. “Now don’t go getting pickle juice on them!” A quick wipe of her hands on her long pleated skirt took care of the juice and she flipped through.
“These are just beautiful, Madge. A bit dark for a nice day, but lovely. Will you paint them?” Margaret nodded. “Watercolors?”
“No, I think oils, you know how I love to paint in oils.”
“Think the boys are having fun at the game?”
“Only if the Red Sox are winning, darling. Otherwise we’re going to have two grumpy gusses on the ride home.” The women giggled and ate their lunches. They both looked up at the boy, who was still standing on the wooden bridge.
“What do you think he’s doing?”
“Why looking at his reflection, silly!” Belle said.
“But look at the water, no way he could see his reflection! I’ve seen that look on a man before. That boy is deep in thought about something.”
“Probably a lovely girl he wants to ask out,” Belle said with a smile.
Margaret shook her head in disagreement. “I dunno…he doesn’t seem to happy to me.”
“Really? He seems downright amiable to me. Isn’t it funny how artists see things so differently, even from one another?” She smiled and pulled an apple out of the basket. “Apple or banana? We have one of each.”
“Apple, dear. Bananas are always bruising, and I can’t stand that.”
Belle handed her the apple and started peeling the banana back. “A few little bruises never hurt anyone, I’m fine with this banana.”
At that a loud crack could be heard coming from the ballpark, and the women turned to look in its direction. Cheering could be heard from the crowd, even from where the two artists were sitting.
“Sounds like a home run.”
“The boys will be happy then, hopefully.”
“Yes,” Margaret said as she picked up her sketchbook. She stared at the dark charcoal sketches she did of the boy.
“Well I’ll be, our subject!” Belle said, forcing Margaret to look up.
The boy had gone.