Liza watched Bruce disappear up the street and wondered again where he lived. She glanced down at the clock on the dashboard. It was ten twenty-four. Casey would be asleep by now, so she circled around until she found a parking spot. She grabbed her bag and headed into the square. Adams Square was a big park that took up a city block. It was meticulously landscaped with various bushes, trees, and flowers. Cobblestone walkways dotted with benches cut through the vegetation. Statues and fountains were scattered throughout. The trees were strung with big round Christmas lights that gave the square a festive atmosphere at night. It reminded Liza of a wedding she’d been to as a child. It was at an apple orchard in the country. The trees were all lit up, and she had spent most of the reception wandering up and down the rows, mesmerized by the lights.
She sat down under a tree and pulled out a pencil and the parchment. Liza began to sketch Bruce sitting on the bench in the garden at night. He was leaning slightly forward, arms out, palms flat on the marble. His long legs were bent in front of him. He looked like he might be getting ready to stand up. She had him wearing shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt. Between the tattoos and the setting, at first glance he looked like someone you would cross the street to avoid. She spent a lot of time adding subtle details, more details than she usually included in her sketches. Each brick was a book cover. The ones closest to Bruce were books that had inspired his tattoos. If you didn’t look carefully, the words just appeared to be shading. A slim object was intertwined in the long fingers of his right hand. It could be a knife, until a second glance showed that it was a quill. Around the bench, Liza drew some of the bushes and flowers that she could remember and then added ivy. The ivy grew every which way, snaking up the sides of the bench, around a tree, and across a few of the brick books. When she finished with this, the bench was almost completely ensconced in ivy.
Liza dug around in her bag for the black fine point pen she used to ink in her drawings. She carefully went over the sketch, spending extra time on Bruce’s face. She wanted to get his high cheekbones and dark, heavy-lidded eyes just right. As an afterthought, she sketched a full moon partially hidden from view behind a tree. Its light cast most of the left half of Bruce’s body in shadow. She slid the pen into her hair and held up the parchment to inspect her handiwork. She was happy with the way it had turned out. At first, Bruce looked somewhat menacing, but the details revealed themselves the longer you looked. The knife was a writing tool. The scuffed bricks were works of literature. The cocky sneer was a tentative smile. He wasn’t getting up to attack, but to greet. She had added the shadow to represent the mysteriousness of her new friend.
She smiled and looked around, willing him to come marching up the path. Liza wished she could give him the drawing now. Class wasn’t for a few days and she realized that in addition to not knowing where he lived, she also didn’t have his phone number. His office number was probably on the University’s website, but that seemed too stalker-like. She sighed and carefully tucked the drawing into her bag. It would have to wait. “Mysterious bastard,” she said under her breath.