Maria woke up in the embrace of semi-darkness, barely illuminated by the faint light of the city at night, which seeped through the curtains. She glanced out the window, where the autumn rain mixed with the glow of street lamps. Raindrops slid down the glass, and each lightning flash illuminated her room.
She lowered her feet to the floor and felt a chill, like an electric shock running through her entire body. Maria sniffled and wiped away a tear from her lashes. Her hands slid through her long, straight hair, which she then gathered into a bun.
With her gaze, she swept across her room, where the silence was permeated with the scent of old books, the paint from unfinished artistic masterpieces, and the melancholy of past creative inspirations. The creaky wooden floor bore the marks of time in the form of dusty tomes, scattered newspapers, and paint cans, creating an atmosphere where each object was a living witness to her creative journey.
The table by the window served as the altar of her creativity. Brushes and palettes lay in anticipation of their time. Only a stack of bills reminded her of the harsh reality. "Curse... I need to find a part-time job urgently," she muttered, realizing that even art did not free her from earthly concerns. Taking a deep breath, she felt the weight of unpaid bills on her, like a burden on her soul.
The sparkle of lightning, briefly illuminating the room, involuntarily made the girl glance to the far corner of the room, where an easel with a covered canvas stood. Maria approached it, reaching out to the canvas, and froze. After standing like that for a few moments and taking a deep breath, she decisively tore the fabric, revealing an unfinished painting.
"Why can't you sleep? Did that dream haunt you again?" a sleepy female voice spoke behind her.
Maria startled and turned around to see her friend Anna lying in bed. "Sorry, I didn't notice you..." Maria admitted with a slight regret. "Weren't you supposed to come back only in the morning?"
"Yeah, but something went wrong, and Robert and I had a little disagreement. So the date ended earlier," Anna said, getting out of bed and approaching her friend. They stood side by side, silently staring at the painting.
"You've been trying to finish it for so many years... Wouldn't it be easier to take a handsome guy and a model from the internet as a prototype?" Anna joked. Maria smiled and shook her head.
"Well, you know me. I just wanted to help you. Alright, I'm going to bed, and I suggest you do the same," Anna said, heading to her bed.
Maria glanced at the painting once again. The painting depicted an old room with walls adorned with dark burgundy wooden panels. They were decorated with exquisite carved elements that added mystery and luxury. The curtains were dark, with a subtle sheen, reflecting the light of ancient candles. In the center of the painting was a chair, adorned with winding patterns and covered in a rich burgundy fabric. Every detail of the interior seemed meticulously drawn by the artist. However, the splendor of the interior only emphasized the inadequacy of the pencil sketches remaining in the center of the painting. A girl sat on the chair. Her posture expressed grace and tranquility. Her hair framed her face in soft waves. The fabric of her dress clung to her figure, accentuating feminine curves. In front of the girl, kneeling on one knee, was a man. His silhouette was shrouded in mystery, and only vague outlines gave an idea of his presence. The man's face, like the girl's, was indistinct, as if hidden in the shadows, and only his forehead, touching the back of the girl's hand, and the long, slender fingers of his hands, gently holding her hand, remained clearer and more expressive.
Maria turned away and headed to her bed. Lying down and resting her head on the pillow, she stared at the ceiling. "I hope someday I'll be able to see your features..." With these thoughts, she surrendered to the embrace of Morpheus.