A Blank

“You’re drawing me again,” she said. A simple, flat statement of fact which remained unacknowledged. She continued to stare out of the window and his pencil continued to drift across the paper, settling down to create borders around the soft off-white, shaping her face.

“I can never get it right,” he said after a while, reaching up to scrunch the paper from the corner. “Your face is impossible.”

She looked away from him, indifferently amused. “Maybe,” she said to her reflection. “Maybe you’re just bad at drawing? You never let me see your sketches. All I have is a bin filled with balls of paper.”

“You’ve never looked?”

“I don’t want to see my face crumpled and torn. I don’t want to know how I will look when I am old.” He said nothing to this. Swooped another silver-grey streak of graphite around her hair. Threaded pearls on the long strings around her neck. Crosshatched the shadow at the line of her jaw. The face on the page was blank. The face on every crumpled piece of paper was blank. He had reached the limits of his ability, and it was her.

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