A Painter’s Job
By Maxine Babb
John, an excessive, narcissistic, painter, finds himself liking Allisa, who just happens to be the girl whose house he’s painting, but just how far will he take this liking?
For three days we’ve been painting this wall white. Oh, I’m sorry, Marshmallow White, because it’s so important to Duke that I include the “marshmallow” in that sentence. We are literally painting white on top of white.
Honestly, I would do anything to see pretty Lisa, though. Her real name is Allisa, but I like calling her Lisa. Everything is perfect about her—perfect eyes, perfect smile, perfect lips, perfect age. She is twenty-six and living by herself. Lisa needs a man to stay here with her and protect her. I’m going to be that man and I won’t let anybody else take my job. For now, though, my one and only job is to take as long as I can with painting this room and find out as much as I can so that I can be that man she clearly wants. If only you could see what she wears in the house knowing there are men in her new house; she wants a man’s attention.
“C’mon, Johnny. You’ve been working on that one wall for almost three days. If I can finish a whole house in two days, then you can at least finish this room by the end of this week,” Duke says, interrupting my daydreaming.
I hated Duke. You haven’t really worked at Junior’s painting business until you’ve heard Duke’s record-breaking painting story. I honestly should be Duke’s boss. I’ve been working at Junior’s Painting Company way longer than he has, but instead I’m known as that weird guy who barely anybody associates with. They don’t think I know, but I know. I guess I’m okay with it. I was always an outcast back in grade school. Sometimes I wonder if this was the right business to work in. Don’t get me wrong, I love painting and it will always be my passion, but jerks like Duke make me want to become an accountant or something. Whenever I see Lovely Lisa, though, I feel completely different, like God sent me here to come sweep her off her feet. Angels like her make me love my job. Today she’s wearing pink and grey leggings with a grey spaghetti-strap tank top that says “Sunshine Away.” Lisa has her earbuds in with music already blasting. She’s going on her daily run. She’s perfect.
“I’m going out for a run. Everything good here, Duke?” she asks, screaming over her music with her thumbs up.
Duke replies, “Of course, pretty lady. We’ve got you covered.”
Lisa giggles and then runs out while waving to him with her music still on one hundred. If I was her boyfriend I’d tell her to not run with her music so loud. Sometimes I feel like I’m invisible to her. I don’t think we’ve ever had a full-blown conversation (unless the conversations in my head count). I don’t know if she’s ever even looked my way. I’m pretty sure Duke is trying to flirt with Lisa. I mean, even if I would let their relationship happen it wouldn’t last a week. Being a witness of Duke’s last relationship, I can tell that out of all the things Duke is toxic at, he is the most toxic in relationships. His girlfriend of three weeks just dumped him, and he’s trying to use my Lisa as a rebound.
I look at my watch, and it’s finally 5 o’clock. I could go home to my cozy, lonely apartment, just the way I like it. I have a bunch of unread books waiting for me. Ever since I was a kid, my wackjob mom could not stress enough to me the importance of books. Since I was ten, she made me read half of a novel by myself every night before I went to sleep. I actually ended up developing a love for reading. Every night as soon as I get home I make dinner and then read a book. Right now I’m reading The Hedevil. Currently I’m at the part where Stanley is at Heilda’s house watching her, and any second now he’s going to pop out and declare his love for her as she sits at the fire and longs for a lover of her own. When he pops out, at first she’ll be startled and reject him, but he won’t take no for an answer. As she resists him and tells him to leave her house, she suddenly realizes that she needs him and starts to embrace him. As you can tell I’ve read this book about a thousand times. I love the romance of it all.
As I’m preparing for my dinner, I realize that I don’t have milk and I need milk. It’s a simple necessity.
As I’m driving around, all I can think about is Lisa, wondering if she has milk in her house considering she just moved in. Stupid of me, I know, but when you’re in love like this you want to make sure your partner is secure. When I finally stop my car, I find myself in front of Lisa’s house AGAIN!
Maxine Babb is a 16-year-old African American girl who was born and raised in New York City. She is very proud of where she came from. She lives with her younger sister and her two parents. She has always shown a deep love for writing and fashion for as long as she can remember, there's nothing that excites her more. She's a passionate and driven writer. She doesn't plan to stop making the people around her proud and sharing her voice with the world.