He had the full payment folded inside of his jacket and the signed and notarized lease
agreement to the studio was in the glove compartment of the limo. Now, all Alex had to
do was to find a way of getting across town and back with enough time to close the deal
before the real estate agent backed out and without being late for his scheduled pickup.
Another round of giggles flew through the air and drew Alex’s eyes toward the
source of the playful sounds. As he turned his head, a splash of hot pink shuffled across
the corner of his vision. A little girl with flapping pink shoelaces ran toward a woman in
a belted cream-colored wool coat sitting on the other end of the bench.
“Ms. Jasmine, they came untied again,” a tiny girl with a puffy white coat and two
braided ponytails breathlessly huffed out.
When she pushed her small foot forward to seek help with her wayward laces, a
pair of feminine hands reached down to rescue the frustrated child. A young woman,
close to his age, was the owner of the silky brown hands. Before she dipped forward to
tie up the girl’s sneakers, Alex caught a glimpse of her side profile and found a muse for
his newest painting. He silently wondered how he had neglected to notice such a
beautiful face sitting so near to him until now. As Alex imagined the brilliant earth tone
mixture of tan, brown, and bronze he would use to capture the stunning woman’s image
on a fresh canvas, his artistic vision switched on and temporarily blocked out the
impasse he had been struggling with a moment ago.