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Bloom For You

Episode 8

The man sitting across from me was, inarguably, my best friend in the world but my patience with his bullshit had been gradually wearing thin over the course of the evening.

“Look man, all I’m saying is that I think you should do it.”

“I already know what you think, Cam.” I calmly took a sip of my beer, annoyed at how shitty it was. “You haven’t shut the fuck up about it all night.”

“Dude, fuck you!” He leaned closer to me across the table, his face getting serious. “You have a major opportunity here and I don’t understand why you won’t take it.”

“I don’t expect you to understand, man.”

He ran a swift hand through his dark hair. “Just because I’m not some artsy pretty boy like you doesn’t mean I can’t understand artistic integrity and shit.”

Cam tried to play it off as sarcasm but I knew this was a touchy subject for him. 25 long years of friendship had made us extremely close, but my more recent success and big bump in socioeconomic status had rocked the foundation of our camaraderie a bit.

“You know it’s not about that, Cam.”

“So what the fuck is it about, then?” He raised his hand, signaling our waitress to bring us another round of drinks. “You’re turning down a quarter of a million dollars because of your pride.”

I sighed, staring down at my foamy beer. “It’s not about pride, man. It’s about dignity. What the fuck would I look like making some commissioned piece of shit for some rich asshole who couldn’t give a real fuck about my art?” My voice raised a little, making some of the hipsters at the table next to us to sneak a few glances our way.

“I get it man, I do. It’s just that the Dex I knew five years ago would have sold his left nut for twenty-five G’s.” He laughed, shaking his head at me.

“The Dex you knew five years ago was a couch-surfing dickhead who lived off cigarettes and instant noodles.” I thought back to those days somewhat fondly. “I would have sold my left nut for a turkey sandwich.”

Cameron lit up a cigarette, offering it to me after a couple puffs. I declined with a shake of my head. “I can’t become a sellout this early in my career, Cam.” I chuckled. “You’ve got to wait a couple more decades for that.”

Seemingly, he got the hint, saying nothing else on the subject. Instead he leaned back in his chair looking behind me, presumably checking out some woman seated at the bar. I didn’t even bother to turn around. There was no use. It didn’t matter who the hell she was, if her name wasn’t Rosaline Reed I couldn’t force myself to give a shit about what she looked like.

“Stop being a fucking creep, dude.”

“What? A man can’t look?” Cam’s eyes lazily wandered back to me, not even bothering to look ashamed.

I didn’t reply. “Let’s get the fuck out of here,” I said, standing up and pulling two twenties out of my pocket. Just enough to cover our shitty beers and a healthy tip for the waitress. “This place blows. Why the hell did you want us to come here?”

“Some guy at work told me this place was running rampant with hot yuppie girls.” His eyes wandered back toward the bar one more time before we headed towards the door. “And he was not wrong.”

Saturdays and Sundays were Rosie’s days off. I never forced her to dry clean my clothes, go pick up my groceries, or do any of the other ridiculous shit people forced their assistants to do. I also couldn’t seem to find it in me to force her into the studio on the weekends either, even though those were still workdays for me. While I couldn’t help but crave her calming presence, I hoped she was out exploring Miami, taking full advantage of the amazing culture and history present in the city.

A part of me knew she wasn’t, though. I had the feeling she was cooped up in her little apartment “reading and watching Netflix,” just as she said were her plans before she went home on Friday.

I couldn’t quite figure out if I loved or hated that. On one hand, I loved the thought of Rosie, sweet and comfortable, enjoying her innocent entertainment. It made me think about being with her, curled around her sweet, warm body, watching her bright eyes light up as she scanned the pages of her favorite novel.

The other part of me, though, a much larger part, wanted to see her flourish under the fluorescent lights of the Miami city streets. I longed to see her dancing and laughing and loving, simply reveling in the pleasure of being alive. I wanted to see her brash and infinitely open to the world, and to me.

In the few weeks since our first meeting, Rosie had yet to offer me more than mere glimpses into the inside of her mind. We had conversations, sure, many of them discussing art and life while imparting little nuggets of unexpected wisdom unto each other. And while I could easily distinguish her true nature, good and pure and beautifully inquisitive, I still knew next to nothing about her, a fact that I was doing my damnedest to change.

I couldn’t help but be shocked about my recent revelations. I’d never felt so strongly about anyone so quickly before. I’d definitely had my fair share of women— some in short bursts of lust, lasting only long enough for a quick fuck, and a few longer, slightly more passionate affairs— and I appreciated and respected all of them for what they were. Many even proved to be great muses, sources of inspiration that got me through ruts of inactive imagination, but the majority of them were simply a means to an end and the desire to know them as anything other than temporary flings was almost completely nonexistent.

My interest in Rosie was completely different. While I still desired nothing more than to have her naked and wanting, spread out under me, the desire to know her and have her know me in return, was just as strong as the unflinching lust.

Thoughts of Rosie with all of her carefully placed walls and hidden desires I desperately wanted to bring to fruition filled me with something that had been severely lacking from my life for some time.




One sleepless night after my sudden burst of inspiration and I was left with a mostly finished painting and a deep, abiding urge to see Rosie. It had been two days since I saw her last and my need to set eyes on her, to take in those bright, expressive eyes and her supple body was beginning to overwhelm me.

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