Nathalie Blossom kept walking, trying to run from her thoughts, but it wasn't working, she was not sure where to go, but since she was no longer employed, she felt that maybe the afternoon should be spent trying to make some decisions on how to move forward. She needed a distraction, she needed a miracle, given the current circumstances, and where that miracle might come from was a very stressful thought.
She thought of her youth and how much she had liked pictures and photographs and thought to the last time that she had been able to enjoy any beautiful paintings, it would have been nice to have her walls at home decorated with many beautiful pictures from faraway places and of beautiful things, she hadn't seen any of those for some time and it was such a relaxing luxury that had been unaffordable for quite a while. As she continued to walk, she assumed that the right way to flood her senses with some new ideas on how to move forward might be precisely that – inspirational pictures.
She did not have much but immediately hailed a taxi to take her to the Chicago Museum, Nathalie spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out what she should do next. It was clear that she would have to find a job for one her rent would be due any time soon, and then she would have to figure out which community support options she had to help pay for Jessie's medical care and life support if necessary. Thinking about all that was lost to take care of her baby, Nathalie couldn't fathom losing her. She had been hoping and praying for the best but had to admit as to her constant worry if things got worse, if Jessie never got out of the coma, ever!
Charles Morgan waited until Diana came back; he could see that she had been crying when he tried to calm her emotions. She averted his eyes and his conversation, and she had only asked to leave. He paid willingly and escorted her back to the car, it was a solemn and gloomy drive back to her apartment, and she left him with no words, just a nod of her head indicating goodnight.
He had since been unable to sleep, knowing in his heart that he had hurt her by not inviting her into his tremendous yet straightforward experiment, but knowing in his heart that it would be hurtful to lead her on any more than he already had, he needed some time away from boardrooms and mergers, secretaries and gray walls, he required some color that would remind him of times past and of a love and happiness that he had lost so long ago.
After a twitchy night of tossing and turning, he awoke hassled and felt that he should not address the office today, or Dianna. Like him, she did not usually wear her emotions on her sleeve and who knew what beast might appear after the evident disappointment that was displayed last night, and his current feelings might also not respond in the most dignified gentlemanly manner. Instead, he decided to spend some time looking for decorative ideas for his photo studio.
Charles had done a few photography courses in college and had loved them, so, if not for his parents, he might have pursued a career in photography, but the family business needed his full attention. Being a man that loved the more beautiful things in life starting from scratch was not something he wished to peruse in his tender years, however, now given his parents non-existent involvement in the business of the Morgan Empire and the excellent position he had placed the company in after just under twenty years at the helm it left plenty of room for him to peruse his passions.
He decided to avoid his office for the day, he took a nice long shower to cleanse his head and thoughts and dressed casually in blue jeans and a crisp white shirt with black loafers. He informed his security patrol that they weren’t required for the day and gave the kitchen and wait staff the day off hoping that the house would be empty by the time he got back from his roaming, the fewer people he saw today, the better, it would give him time to center his thoughts and calm his nerves before the leap.
He had loosely looked into a property for opening the photo studio but needed to decide between Clyburn Avenue and 143rd Street. 143rd street seemed to have a better image, but he liked the rural feel of Clyburn and felt he might get more creativity there. In either case, both leases were up before the month ends, at which point he would make his decision. Until making it, he had to begin putting ideas down to decorate the spot he chooses, hence the shopping spree. Charles took the Range rover from his garage as it was not a short drive into the city and he wanted to be comfortable, space would also be suitable should he see anything that caught his eye and he bought immediately.
After checking several photography stores and art galleries, he began to wonder if this was a good idea, nothing he saw matched the ideas which he had in his head, and no-one had laid his thoughts out on paper or print. He wanted people to be the focus on his art, and he wanted his pictures to show laughter and careless spirits floating over white cotton blossoms. The word 'blossoms' sparked an old memory, which he quickly pushed to the back of his thoughts as it brought both good and bad feelings.
These ideas were so dark he thought, maybe he was looking in all the wrong places. Growing up in Chicago, his associations had kept him away from the fun of the city, so perhaps he did not know where to look. The museum might have more options, he thought, he would not be able to buy, but maybe he could find a picture that would steer him in the right direction.
Charles pulled into the valet parking at the modern wing entrance on Munroe Street, when he arrived around midday the halls were still empty as most working people did not have time to wander the halls of the Chicago museum during the day.
He took his time and wandered into the dinosaur hall and the cafeteria where he helped himself to lunch – not gourmet but satisfying, he continued on his journey into wars, books, and space, by the time he got to the art hall he was quite relaxed and felt all the more informed.
He was watching a picture entitled 'Black Cross' by Georgia O'Keeffe that had some new strokes, but he found it to be very dark and became absorbed as the image grounded him to the spot in which he stood. The meaning was wholly lost when he felt someone else enter the hall behind him, he looked over his shoulder and then back to his art, moving on to the next picture.
'Day of the God' by Paul Gauguin, the tag said. He did not read the description, but it looked like they were all dead on the beach, but it also looked like they were supposed to be having fun, so why where their souls in the water he thought, strange, and he again became lost in his thoughts.
Charles became bored with these pictures, which more than likely carried some sad but exciting story about the artists. He began to glance briefly over each painting until he stood close to the lone other patrons in this part of the empty museum.
Charles felt her aura, and she seemed to be so absorbed in the portrait before her, he stole a glance at her and then a glance at the picture that captivated her. He looked at the image before him again and then stepped back so that he was just behind the patron and could get a good look at the picture in front of her.
This one was a portrait of a woman or girl looking out of a window by moonlight, or maybe she was praying, he was not sure, her back facing them the image was turned to face the window in her nightgown and the light shown into the room. There was not much description, and he could not determine if she was praying to be free from the darkness in the room behind or to let the light in from outside; it could mean a million meanings, but what held his interest was the patrons' interest.