She came out of her reverie as if she had surfaced from the depths of a silent lake. Her ears filled with shrill chatter and her eyes were overwhelmed by the vibrancy of the paintings and sculptures around her, the designer clothes, the make-up; jewellery sparkling.
Someone put a glass of champagne into her hand. She looked into the rising bubbles:
two, three pop,
four, five, six pop.
She didn’t drink from it.
“I didn’t realise it was you at first,” said the man who had given it to her, “I didn’t know your married name. Can you believe how long it is since art college? You’ve hardly changed a bit.”
He paused to sip. She smiled at him, trying to focus on his name badge without too obviously staring at his chest.
“Great pieces,” he went on, sloshing champagne as he waved his arm to indicate the paintings behind her, “your style has matured. There’s a kind of… mystery about them. What was your inspiration?”
She turned to look at the huge canvasses, their drowning blues and tangling greens, the hint of silver just out of reach. She yearned for silence and shrugged.
“Sorry, sorry, I should know better than to ask a fellow artist to talk about their work, it makes you cringe doesn’t it?” he hooked his arm into her elbow, “but I’ve got to ask, what do you think of my stuff? I think I’ve grown out of that self-absorbed young man you probably remember. This one is called..”
His voice blurred as she gazed at the sculpture he was drawing her towards. The people in the room moved in a misty stylised dance, their voices becoming incomprehensible as if a radio was picking up a distant foreign language broadcast.
Champagne slopped over the side of her glass.
Who is he? she thought.
Then she thought: for that matter, who am I?
Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission