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I look at the sketch book in my hands. Before I left for California, I tore out my mother's picture and set a match to it--for what she did to me and my stepfather. Some days when I'm a little home sick, I stare at the sketch of my stepfather and trace his craggy jaw with my fingertip. I hope he is doing well. When my mother left us for a new lover, we somehow managed to help each other get through the anger and pain. Me, a scatter-brained high school kid. Him, a drunk. I think I love him more than my father because he did his best to save me from my mother.
And then one day I found myself in California living with my aunt and uncle. It was like God finally decided to give me a break. I filled my sketch book with pictures of my aunt and uncle, my cousin Melina. I collected sketches of Armando the gardener, the maid, and all the people in the new world in which I found myself. I'll admit to an obsessive need to capture people in my sketch book. It's how I attempt to understand them and hold them in my life.
My sketchbook is sacred. It is only for my eyes. I would not want to give anyone the advantage by revealing too much about myself. I trust no one. My sketchbook gives me power. When I first met Collin, I was not so sure I liked him, but then things changed between us. I knew he had to be in my sketch book, but I didn't want him to know the power he was beginning to have over my heart. I could not risk being so vulnerable but I could risk taking his photo from his office credenza. It helped me capture him on paper. He caught me in my little game of hearts. I don't know what I was thinking about that beautiful face of his--his icy blue eyes, the blond hair, the square chin. I was lost in the dream of him. He seemed to have all the right words to feed my hungry soul.
The one person I did not want in my sketch book was Mark Laughing Hawk. Not because my cousin Melina warned me, but because he made me uncomfortable. He did not need to see my sketchbook to see right through me. He called me a liar. I did not want those hawk eyes staring back at me. Hungry eyes hunting. His face was hard, his mouth too sensuous. There was nothing I could say or do to discourage him. In the end, I could have sketched his face and thoughts from memory. And he always knew it.