Sketch for Rebecca
HB Pencil & Acrylic on Cornwall Aquarelle Matt Cold-Pressed 450gsm Watercolour Block.
Sketch for Rebecca
Rebecca is the daughter of a neighbor a few doors down from my house.
She lives with a younger brother and her school-teacher mum.
Dad is a Maintenance Supervisor in a Plastic Injection plant a few villages away from, Zejtun, the Village I live in. Dad also moonlights in one of the local bands playing the clarinet.
He is not very good but neither is the band and truth be told he might even be one of the better band members, God help us all!
Mum is a sweetie. Quiet and reserved but she has a lovely shy smile when she whispers “Good Morning” to my greeting whenever we momentarily meet.
Son is a live-wire, loves cars and I had him by the ear last year when he snuck into my car and honked the horn repeatedly. He might be 3 or maybe 4 and has a missing tooth that slurs his speech. Talks incessantly and unintelligibly and exhausts me to the point that I try avoid him when I can. But Rebecca, well Rebecca is another kettle of fish.
Pretty like her mother with large eyes that are as deep and as black as space. Tousled hair pulled and tied back with ribbon, individual clumps of hair escaping the restraint and pointing in every which way. She is that type of girl that would be a father’s princess and will soon, if not already, have him twisted around her little finger.
She unfortunately stammers, just slightly, but enough for her to prefer not to speak.
Last year, in summer, I sometimes would sit on my small veranda and sketch or paint in the long, warm quiet evenings. Whenever she’d see me she would run up with flailing arms then stop suddenly some 6 feet away and just stare unblinkingly at the sketch or painting I was doing.
One had to coax her with questions and tempt her with sneak views of the work to come closer.
Just like a sparrow reluctant approach, taunted ever closer by bread-crumbs, it would take 5 minutes to have her swaying on the balls of her feet standing by my shoulder… but I never got more than a shake or nod of the head in response to any of my promptings.
Then suddenly her mum would call from her door and in a quick burst of energy she would run off with no goodbyes… no words having passed between us.
On my way to the airport last October I noticed Rebecca with her blue Unicorn lunch-box, waiting for the school-bus with her mum. Her eyes followed my car coming past her. I smiled and waved to both of them. Unblinking eyes looked up at her mum’s face then I caught her hand making a discreet hidden finger-wiggling wave.
I have since been back 2 weeks to the island. This morning I saw Rebecca with her mum waiting on the bus. Having no urgent projects awaiting my attention I decided she will be my next project.
I shall wait till summer to give her the painting; I hope to get at least a smile from her this time but I will settle for a sparkle out of those eyes.