Chapter 47

 Henry’s big gala event was on a chilly Wednesday evening. He appeared very excited as the crowd bombarded him with questions.

Both Sandy and I were happy for him. He obviously had a gift, and now, even more, people will get to know about his work. Henry’s agent had invited most of the art world’s elite. I’m surprised he was able to invite us, but he was adamant about bringing his friends to the show.

Sandy and I asked if Henry’s parents would be there. Henry said it was unlikely because his parents didn’t really have the money for the plane tickets. Unfortunately, his father was recovering from the slow economy. Henry really wanted to bring them to the event but he was a new artist and did not have the money required to pay for all of them.

“They live in the countryside. They’re hardworking, middle-class people who decided to move to North Yorkshire from London after they were married because of its beautiful landscapes and historical sites. I was born and raised in the city of York, which is right by the wildest plain in England.” He grinned.

I really liked how Henry spoke of his parents with so much respect in his voice. It reminded me of the way I was raised and how hard my parents worked to give me all I had.

“My younger brother, Adam, goes to prep school there in the city. I really miss seeing him, and I hope to go back and visit them maybe after this year.”

“I sure hope you get to see them soon, Henry.” His eyes widened. “Maybe soon.”

Later that evening, Sandy and I got dressed for the big gala. “Oh, Mia. I am so excited about Henry’s big gala event.” “Me, too,” I said.

I’m just glad I had Sandy. I wanted to make sure to fit in with the people at these events. After all, I’m kind of a shy person, and the only time I feel like breaking out of my shell is when I’m dancing. It’s nice to have friends who motivate me to be more social and I’m grateful for them.

I know I had been very outgoing, but that all changed when I lost Leo. So, I needed to make sure I blended with the new crowd. I also recently heard my dear friend Keyla was applying to my school, and this made me really happy. I’ll have somebody else on my side to help me deal with people like Miranda

Strolls and her crew.

Goodness! I know I was not supposed to have bad feelings toward others, but Miranda and her minions really make it hard for me to be nice. For example, the other night while leaving Alona Neal’s class they all passed right by me and rolled their eyes at me. Well, enough talk about them— got to finish getting dressed.

Sandy comes out of her bedroom. “Mia, are you ready?”

I quickly glance at the mirror hanging on the living room wall. “Yes.”

“Oh, Mia, you look lovely.”

“So do you, Sandy, and thanks for letting me borrow one of your dresses.”

“It was my pleasure, Mia.”

It’s just now 7:30 in the evening, and the gala is scheduled to begin right around 8:30. We want to show Henry our support, so Sandy and I leave early. But when we get there, there’s already so many people there. It almost seems like a red-carpet event.

I started to wonder if I really belonged here. “Sandy, I’m not so sure about this.”

She sighed.“Mia, Henry wanted us here.It’s going to be okay.” “You are right; we are here for Henry.”

I pulled back my shoulders and stood a little straighter. “I am ready if you are.”

“Let’s do this, Mia!”

There were many people there to see Henry’s paintings. I’m happy for him. Most of his best work is decorating the walls and standing on easels around us. I recognize some paintings from being in his loft the other day. Soft classical music plays as we walk into the large hall of the Museum of Art to see “Henry Watson’s Inspirational Art.” I love that title.

I don’t expect to see Henry, since I know he’s got to be very busy. However, to my surprise, it’s not long before Sandy and I encountered him at the reception area, talking to a large crowd.

He looks very dapper in his nice suit and tie. He sees us immediately and called out to us, “Mia! Sandy!”

“Oh, hey, Henry,” says Sandy.

“Hi, Henry,” I said while trying not to bite my bottom lip. “Ladies, you both look smashing.”

I blushed.

“You don’t look so bad yourself,” I said.

“Yes, you look very handsome,” added Sandy.

He gave us a big grin. “Ladies, I am going to blush. Stop.” I could see his cheeks get a bit rosy.

We all began to laugh.

Suddenly, a blonde woman approached us and placed a hand on Henry’s arm. “Henry, I needed you over here.”

“Ah yes, Trina. Say hello to my friends, won’t you?

Sandy and Mia, this is my agent and friend, Trina Michaels.” Trina glares at both of us. “Hello.”

Immediately I see her glaring at me when she noticed how Henry is being so attentive to me.

“Mia and Sandy attend the New York Dance Academy.”

“Well that is nice, ladies, and I wish we had more time to talk, but Henry must come with me now.”

“Oh, okay. Sorry, ladies. I will try to be back soon.”

“No worries Henry.”

“Mia is right, Henry; we know how important this is for you.”

“You both are amazing.”

When he stepped away, I could not shake the uneasy feeling about Trina. Her entire demeanor reminded me of the way Miranda acted. Trina Michaels looked a bit older than Henry. I’d say she’s about in her mid-twenties, with light blonde hair and brown eyes. Also, she was wearing a very tight dress, and I guess she’s made it a point to show off her cleavage. It seemed like she was trying to get Henry’s attention in a non-professional way.

Goodness, what is wrong with me? Why do I care who Henry spends his time with?

“Mia, can I get you a drink?” asked Sandy.

“Sure, Sandy; I would love a pop.”

“Okay, that’s a soda, right?” “Yes.”  I smiled.

“No problem, Mia.”

As Sandy steps away, I see Henry coming back.

“Hey Mia, what’re you doing, luv?”

“Oh, I am loving your art, Henry.”

I started to feel myself get nervous. I worked hard not to bite my bottom lip.

I could also see Henry grabbing his hair.

“Well, Henry seems to lose his focus when he’s spending time with you,” said Trina.

He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “Ah, Trina, as a matter of fact, Mia inspired much of the work you see out here today.”

What was he talking about? Once the words came out, I was in disbelief.

I also see how Trina’s eyes roll. However, she tried hard to cover it.

“Well, I am only saying what I see, Henry.” Man, she sounded just like Miranda.

“Who does this witch think she is?” whispered Sandy, who is fuming beside me as she hands me my drink.

“Ah, I wouldn’t worry about her,” I reassured her.

Sandy won’t let it go. “Trina, there’s no need to be rude.” Trina raised a hand to her chest. “Rude?”

“Yes, you are being rude to Mia, and I think you should apologize.”

“Apologize?” She laughed.

“Trina, apologize to Mia,” ordered Henry.

She pouted and glared at me again. “Fine. I am sorry.”

“Excuse me, Mia and Sandy. I need to speak to Trina for a moment privately,” said Henry in a very low tone.

I could tell from his voice he was not happy, and quite embarrassed.

I nodded “Okay, Henry.”

“Wow, Mia. That Trina is a piece of work,” said an angry Sandy.

I was upset. “I am shocked.”

“Well, I hope Henry lets her have it.” “Oh, Sandy, thank you.”

“Hey, did you notice some of the paintings look like you?”

“Actually, now that I am looking at them, yes.”

“Well I am jealous,” teased Sandy. “Sandy stop now.”

“I will be back; I am going to talk to Gail Stanton for a moment.”

“Oh, sure, no problem.”

Twenty minutes passed and then I saw Henry return. “Hey, Mia, I am off to mingle with the crowd. I talked to Trina, and I need to go and speak to the rest of the crowd.

“Sure, Henry. No worries,” I said.

He leans forward slightly. “Mia, I also talked to her about her behavior and it won’t happen again.”

“Oh, no worries, Henry.”

I could not help but grin from ear to ear as I imagined Henry scolding Trina. I knew it was bad when she walked past me and pretended to smile.

Well, I am sure that was fun for her.

Henry obviously had a busy night ahead of him. It was nice to see how much of an impact his made on everyone. His art is so well defined, and it’s wonderful to see the different aspects of it.

I still can’t believe I inspired his art. Was he for real?

Sandy and I stay for a couple of hours, and then we decided it’s time to go.

“I am so happy for Henry.”

“Me too, Mia. He is going to be on the map now.”

“Yes, he is.”

We are almost to the exit doors when we hear Henry calling to us. “Ladies!”

Sandy nudges me. “Mia, it’s Henry.”

I turned “Yes, Henry?”

He ran up to us. “I am sorry I had to leave you both.” I shook my head. “It’s okay.”

“Yes. We knew you would be busy,” said Sandy.

He hung his head slightly. “Well, I am sorry I was not a better host.”

“Henry, you were fine.”

“Mia and I are so happy for you,” Sandy chimed in. “Yes, Henry. We enjoyed your show tonight.” “Thank you, ladies.”

As we walked through the door, we see Henry waving at us in the distance. It was his night to shine. Neither Sandy nor I could be prouder. Now, as far as the matter with Trina, that’s a topic for another time. But all on my mind is Henry and me being his muse.

I wonder why he would do this.

Oh! I need to stop this. I am sure it is fine.

 

 

 

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