Every Thursday, Amy sits on a bench in the middle of the museum where Jon worked while waiting to go out for lunch like they always did. She would walk around, sometimes read, but mostly she'd just sit and watch people wander around. She figured that if she wasn't allowed to monopolize the bench someone would have come up to her and have scolded her by now. But, no, so far no one's noticed, so that's what she's been doing every week.
The funny thing was, Amy used to hate going to museums and art galleries.
Well, no, that was a lie. Her earliest memories of her childhood were of her parents and their trips to museums, art galleries and the like. And she always loved walking around and seeing every thing laid out before her, observing everything in silent awe. It was almost like travelling in time.
Museums, in particular, had a magic to them. They were a placeless place in a timeless time. Dinosaurs, Ancient Egypt, other forgotten civilizations, world wars and everything else it had to offer. What she did hate was the feeling that she was never doing it right. Especially after she met Jon Arwell: walking human encyclopedia, history nerd, infinite source of other useless obscure trivia, and the human incarnate of hey, fun fact, did you know that
And, yes, it was pointless to even be thinking about this, she was aware, how does one go to the museum. But, especially now, she's always seen people standing for minutes, hours even, looking at the same painting and she could just never understand why. She always felt like she was missing out on something so important, so profound, that she wasn’t somehow experiencing or doing it the right way because she always moved on from one painting to another. And that somehow, even though no one was looking, and that honestly, she really just needed to get over herself, people were here for the paintings and not for her, she couldn't help but feel like people were thinking about how uncultured she must be by skipping through the exhibits. Whenever she’d be looking or be reading the story behind whatever she was looking at, she couldn’t shake the feeling like she was being watched, singled out, that everyone was looking at her. And like a nervous tick, every five minutes she’d look over her shoulder and see everyone minding their own business and end up feeling ridiculous.
There was probably an art to it that she was frustratingly unaware of, and one that Jon’s most probably perfected.
It was a lot better when she’d started going with Jon. Or, rather, when he started dragging her along. Whenever he’d ask, she'd always sigh exaggeratedly with a resigned and annoyed look on her face, but, secretly she loved it. Not that she would ever admit that to him. She loved hearing all the extra things he had to say and all the things he knew that weren’t there, and the way he’d point out inaccuracies and the arguments they’d get into because no, Jon, what the fuck, Night at the Museum is a terrible idea.
But, yes, sitting in the middle of the Van Gogh exhibit, surrounded by the great painter's works of art, she knew they were special, of course, that much was obvious. Each painting was different and unique in their own way. But, they were all the same lines and colors and shapes put together, just in different unique ways and she doesn't know why, but it’s so typical of her that she's let herself get worked up about this, but it's bothered her for the longest time.
Jon finally appears, and walks over to her, singling her out in the crowd easily, with this blinding smile, the one where he grins like a mad man, and hugs her like he hasn't seen her in 20 years and not the four hours they were apart like he always does, when it hits her.
And it's strange, because out of nowhere, she remembers what one of her many (useless) psychiatrists used to say about how we never see what hits us and how it hits us, and yes she was talking about dealing with grief, but maybe, just maybe she was also talking about ...
Well, it wasn’t love either, she wouldn’t allow herself to even think of that right now, even though thinking about it, somehow she always knew, but it hits her where her heart is, and it squeezes it in the most uncomfortable way and she cant breathe.
Suddenly, she understands. She just gets it now.
She understands why people would stare at a painting for minutes, for hours, for days. Because, people are the same. How cliche is this but, maybe it's just the art major inside of her talking, people are works of art. People are the same flesh and blood and bones and brains put together in different ways, but she understands and she can't take her eyes off of him. Even though she's drawn him countless of times before, she's practically got one whole sketchbook of just Jon, and the fact that she's practically memorized the plane of his face, and the thick of his hair, and the curve of his jaw, all the colors and shapes and lines have captured her, she realizes he is the most beautiful work of art she's ever seen.
The Amy ten minutes ago would have laughed at the thougt. However, she envied the Amy ten minutes ago, because she was ignorant to the earth shattering development that she had just made herself aware of, and idly wonders if time travel was possible, because ignorance is bliss, dammit. And he's just standing there, and she's on the verge of a mental breakdown.
Belatedly she realizes he’d asked her a question and laughs.
“I said, are you okay?”
He’s still holding her by her shoulders, and looking at her like he’s looking for what might be bothering her in that frantic habit of his, like he could somehow make it go away. Stupidly, she wishes that he was one of those artworks or exhibits that she could just walk away from for a moment, because it’s just all too much. He was just way too close she just wasn't in the right head space for this. For a split second, she almost lets herself say No, I just realized that I’ve been in love with you all this time, and I’m an idiot for not noticing till now, but hey guess my lot in life was to be a walking cliche, instead she shrugs it off and says.
“Yeah, ‘course I am.” She faces away from him, and grimaces, as she looks up and prays to anyone that's listening for the strength to endure the most awkward lunch in the universe, grabs his arm and drags him away before he can ask any questions, but he tugs back at her, stopping her in her tracks.
His head is tilted, forehead creased and she almost tells him. She decides and makes a promise to herself that she will. When she's ready. This was the one thing that she wasn't going to walk away from.
She squeezes his hand, and slowly smiles. "I have never been more okay."
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