Oct 2007

Chapter 56Where Pictures are Taken

Hitori simply smiled and moved aside to let me pass. "Come on in, top floor."

I walked past him and up the stairs. It was surprisingly clean here despite the age of the building. The light fixtures on each floor at the respective front doors didn't give off much light, but it was enough. I made my way to the top floor and smiled, only a single front door instead of two.

He walked past me and opened the door. "Welcome to my humble abode." He winked playfully.

Walking in I took some time to look around. We came into the living-room and noticed the kitchen was largely build-in. It was a double apartment though, with large double doors leading into another area, painting and photography at a glance. On this side there were two doors, bathroom and bedroom probably. Briefly I wondered if the other side was identical.

Dark wood mostly prevailed in furniture giving it an old warm look. A bookcase was filled with many different types of books. I also noticed a piano and guitar against the side wall leading to the other side. In a way everything was very mixed. Only two simple plants, some interesting paintings on the wall, not much stuff lying around and no TV. That was curious.

"Sure you've seen everything?" Hitori's voice cut through my thoughts.

"Eh, yes, it's nice. Those paintings, are they yours?" I blushed as I said this.

Hitori laughed. "No, I couldn't hope to paint that well, my father painted them."

I smiled. "They're beautiful."

"Come, I'll show you the studio. Well, the other room. It's not like it's a proper studio or anything."

We went through the double doors and into the studio. It was filled with.. No wait, I'm saying this wrong. It wasn't filled as much as there was simply space for things. An easel for painting and another for drawing. And a few large move-able lights. Some newspapers on the floor below both of the easels. In the corner next to the door was a small table with an expensive looking camera on it. And the same two doors as the living room in the walls.

"Pity it's evening.", he said softly, as if speaking to himself.

I suddenly remembered. Taking pictures. Suddenly I wasn't so sure I wanted to be here. "Eh... Hitori?"

He looked around to me. "Yes?"

"I'm not sure about the pictures and stuff. I'm not looking nice or pretty and I didn't really think about it anymore and... and..." I stuttered.

Hitori giggled. "I think you look pretty, but try that door there." He motioned to the door on the right.

I didn't know what to say so I entered. It was a bathroom with all kinds of makeup, brushes and other stuff. It was kind of cute in a simplistic way. I picked up the brush and looked in the mirror. I half-heartedly brushed my hair but it was hardly needed. It still looked as healthy as yesterday. My eyes were looking bluer than they'd ever done. Alright, I said to myself, I'll see where things go. Maybe it'll be fun.

"I'm ready." I walked out of the bathroom.

Hitori smiled, camera in hand. "You still look pretty." He had turned one of the larger lights on, slightly blinding me.

"Stand still for a moment." He raised the camera to his eye and pressed the button. I could hear the click of a shutter but that was it. He walked to me and showed me the back of the camera, showing a picture of me looking slightly surprised at the camera.

"See, you look pretty."

I blushed and nodded silently."Thanks."

"Come, we'll try something." He grabbed a fold-up chair from a corner and put it in the middle of the room. "Here, sit down in any way you like."

I sat down and smiled, still blushing slightly. At first I sat a bit stiffly, hearing the click of the shutter a few times, but slowly I loosened up. I moved, sat more teasingly and smiled, feeling a little crazy. Acting surprised with my hand in front of my mouth, looking innocent, playful. Just having fun. It was fun.

Something strange though... At certain times it was as if I heard his voice in my head. 'Raise your arm a bit higher' 'could you look at the door behind me?' They weren't whispers or words on the wind, just impressions. I had a very distinct feeling they came from Hitori though. They weren't just suggestions either... Some of them were cute compliments, all sweet and proper, that made me blush. I recalled Valeries words about his self-control. Was this what she meant with 'something else'?

"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" Again his voice interrupted my thoughts, but I didn't mind.

"Yeah, it's weird, but in a good way. And I don't feel as super-conscious of my every move anymore." I smiled brightly, hearing the click of the shutter again.

"Hey, stop that!" I giggled. Another picture.

"Not fair!" Swatting with my hand to the camera and hearing another click. He put the camera away after that though.

"I think we've got a few really nice pictures in there." Hitori smiled teasingly. "And a few crazy ones, which is always good."

I suddenly wondered. "What time is it now?"

"Just after midnight I think" Hitori shrugged.

"Oh wow, time has gone by much faster than I'd thought." I smiled. "Eh... I hope you don't mind but I kind of have to go. I'm sorry I can't stay longer."

Hitori smiled kindly. "It's alright, it really is. I do need some sleep some time, though I'll probably check out all the pictures first."

I felt a bit awkward here in his home and didn't dare more than a hug and a kiss on his cheek.

"I had fun. Mind if I come by again?" Looking as innocent as I could.

Hitori smiled. "Of course, I'll be home tomorrow and Friday. Just come by when it's convenient, alright?"

I smiled and nodded. "Alright. Maybe Friday." I turned toward the door. "I really have to go!"

Hitori grinned. "Go already!" He held the door open while I went down the stairs.

Downstairs I slowed down and went outside. I wasn't exactly sure what had happened before. I had the feeling I was missing a few hours of memory. Odd. But, since I knew it was after midnight, Khuna was probably waiting for me. Let's not keep her waiting too long. The streets were my friend as I walked toward the park.

As I arrived, not long after I was surprised to see light in the park. It looked like a circle of people singing around a campfire. The lyrics seemed a bit foreign, as they were sung in a language I didn't recognize. I walked around them respectfully to the tree that should be Khuna's current residence.

"Busy night tonight."

I smiled as I heard her voice. "Yeah, I wonder why they're here."

"They're Gypsies."