Status: Active :)

The Warrior


Irene's life had quickly become surrounded by the 24x8ft wall. The busy schedules of Dayna and her mysterious husband that Irene had yet to meet only allowed her once a week- if that- to work on the mural.
Irene and Dayna had sat down and worked on the specifics of the painting. It would be a frozen pond, painted with mostly grays and steel blues. The perfect ice would be marred with blades of skates and there would be a hockey goal in the foreground, stark with red poles and a hockey stick leaning up against it.

Irene personally disagreed with the choice of pond hockey for the theme of the room- especially because it's future inhabitant would be young and impressionable. Hockey was a violent sport and shouldn't parents encourage children to be creative? Irene was close-minded. She saw beauty in art and nature, not..violence.

The mural was moving slowly, and Dayna's belly remained flat. Irene knew that the marriage was less-than perfect. Sometimes while she worked, humming quietly and embracing the smell of the oil paints, she could hear their voices raised in arguments. They were normally very short and ended with a door closing and a loud truck pulling out of the driveway. Irene had yet to meet the husband, but from these occurrences, she wasn't sure she wanted to meet him. What she really wanted to do was finish this mural so she could receive the second half of her payment and forget this large perfect house with its imperfect inhabitants.
One night when she was painting and the sky turned dark, she heard a loud group of women in the house, laughing and being cheerful. It made the atmosphere easier than how it usually is, tense and silent. Irene enjoyed painting while the women laughed downstairs, glasses clinking together and jokes exchanged. Irene's watch told her it was inching closer to ten o'clock when she heard someone call her name from downstairs. She wiped her hands off and capped her paints before she descended the stairs.
"Irene!" Dayna called, patting the seat next to her. Irene tilted her head and narrowed her eyes suspiciously, but sat next to the woman nonetheless.
"I want you to meet some of my friends. This is Abby and Maria-" She pointed to the two women sitting across from them. Maria was clearly the darker one, with long dark hair and an ethnic looking face. Abby was the generic beauty, like most the women were. Long hair, (Abby's was blond) perfect shape and a gentle face.
"Carmen and Carli over there-" These two looked similar, like sisters, and Dayna finished, "and this is Julia!"
Irene allowed the information to soak in while Dayna introduced her to all the women.
"So Irene, what do you do while you're not painting?" The blond one, Abby asked.
"I uh, I work at a Moroccan restaurant." Irene was uncomfortable surrounded by all these women that were dressed in expensive clothes and drinking expensive red wine.
"Where? I love Moroccan food." Maria inquired, taking a sip from her glass.
"Ravenswood." She quickly replied, knowing full well that these women wouldn't have a reason to be in such a neighborhood.
"I'll have to check it out sometime. Wine?" Maria offered, holding up the bottle.
Irene shook her head and replied, "No thank you. I don't drink." The silence that ensued was louder than the unspoken anymore.
Maria just smiled and nodded, putting the wine down on the table.
Conversation came easier and Irene was shocked that she could openly talk to these women with the ease that she was. She learned that they were all wives and girlfriends of hockey players. Including Dayna. So that explained the theme of the mural. The men played for the Chicago Blackhawks. Irene knew who the Blackhawks were because her apartment was near the United Center where they played. It wasn't a good neighborhood and she was surprised that the UC was so popular.
Carli had gotten Irene a glass of water and her paint stained hands wrapped around the clear cup. The women had quickly allowed her to join the group and accepted her.
"So, you're kind of like a modern day hippie?" Carmen asked, true confusion on her face. Carli quickly elbowed her and looked shocked. All Irene could do was laugh and reply, "I guess. Except I have a job, I don't do drugs, and my personal hygiene is fantastic." The women laughed at her joke and Julia added, "I'm really jealous- you have so much dedication to the vegan lifestyle and pursue your dream of being an artist."
They were more intelligent than Irene could have ever imagined and she was pleasantly surprised. She was enjoying their company and was about to express her thanks to Dayna before leaving, but the door opened and two men entered.
Both were tall and looked like they could hold their own. They both were handsome by any standards, but Irene noticed that the shorter of the two with the longer hair resembled some of the men she made eyes at during concerts- except that he didn't look emaciated. Irene looked down into her cup when the taller man with widow's peaks made eye contact with her.
"Dayna." One of them said and she stood, exiting the room with the taller man.
"Hey Duncan!" Abby called the other man over.
Maria leaned over to Irene and told her, "That's Brent's best friend...He's single."
Gears turned and Irene managed to make the connections. Brent- the taller one was Dayna's husband and Duncan, the scruffy man was his friend, both were hockey players. Duncan approached the group and sat in Dayna's vacated spot.
"Hey ladies." He greeted the women and then glanced over at Irene before doing a double-take.
"I don't think we've met. I'm Duncan." He shifted in his seat next to her to face her.
"We haven't. I'm Irene." It was quiet and Maria finally spoke up, "She's the artist that Dayna hired to paint the nursery."
He made an 'o' with his mouth and said, "I've seen what you've started. It's really good- you've got talent." Irene thought quickly to what she had up on the wall already. The background of the background. Mountains. Detailed mountains. She smiled and replied shyly, "Thank you."
"How're the boys?" Julia asked.
"Well you know, John's been trying to-" Duncan's reply was cut off by Julia.
"Never mind. You know I don't care about him."
Irene sensed the tension in her sentence and looked over at Carmen. She met Irene's gaze and just shook her head subtly.

Dayna and Brent entered the room again and Duncan stood, saying goodbye to the women and Irene before following Brent out. She noticed that the taller man's movements were jerky and angry.
Irene saw the state that he had left Dayna in and waited until she heard the car leave before she said, "I'm going to have to call it a night, I have work tomorrow." She thanked everyone for the night and left quickly, leaving Dayna to her friends.
♠ ♠ ♠
Oh shiiit! It's about time we finally see Seabs. Oh, AND DUNCS TOO! WHY? BECAUSE THEY ARE THE DEFINITION OF BROMANCE.
Comments? Love you guys!