Katerina Vorontsov
Trying to start something new (Art Club).
Mon Oct 22, 2018 15:21

Katerina had spent much of her holiday writing.

Some of this had, of course, just been the convention of the holidays - cards for Rozhdestvo and New Year for all the family, polite notes (since all the cards she’d been able to find had had Russian on them somewhere and it seemed rude to give those to people who couldn’t properly read everything on them) to her school acquaintances. These last had taken a long time, as she had had to write in English, German, and French and had needed dictionaries and grammar books to make sure she was in fact wishing them happy Christmases and New Years in their proper languages. Some of the writing had also been journaling, as usual. The biggest part of it, however, had been goal-oriented.

At the beginning of the year, Katya had thought that the clubs Professor Xavier had mentioned had sounded interesting, but had assumed she’d have to wait some years to even think of trying to reestablish one. For one thing, there was her English, and for another thing, there was her status. She was a first year. Who was going to follow her lead anywhere?

Just before midterm, however, things had changed. That pig Julius Astley had started something and people had signed for it. To add insult to injury, it was even something Katya would have liked to have been part of, had it not been led by an utter pig whom she would not lower herself to grovel before. Clearly, there was only one thing to do: risk creating her own thing and throwing it into public, too.

So she had spent midterm - or at least as much as she could around obligations and avoiding Tatiana’s curiosity, or at one point ignoring Tatiana’s pounding on their bedroom door after Katya locked her out - preparing to do just that. She had written invitations to the first, second, and third years, signing those for people she knew personally, and then had created multiple signs, bold dark letters inked onto sheets where she had done very pale pencil sketches of various flowers, to put around the school advertising

Le Nouveau Club d’Art

Painting • Drawing • Sewing • Sculptors • Photograph • Other

A new club for artists is created. It will meet in the Art Room of MARS on [date]. Please come and learn about the new club

Back at school, she had figured out how to arrange a date, inked that in on her invitations and signs, dispersed the signs, sent her invitations, had a fight with her sister when Tatiana had recognized her handwriting and confronted her about being secretive, and hoped for the best.

Now it was the date she had reserved and she thought she might well be sick on her shoes at any moment. Her heart was pounding irregularly, her eyes felt blurred, and she was sure her face was a shade of pink far less flattering to her pale skin and blonde hair than that Mama liked to dress her in. She had dressed in pale blue and put in diamond earrings because she had been afraid of turning excessively pink and had not wanted her face to match her dress and jewelry, but at the moment she was not soothed by the thought of how clever it had been to prepare. All her preparations felt completely inadequate. She was going to fail. She was going to fail.

Ya ne mogu sdelat’ eto. Ya ne mogu sdelat’ eto. Ya ne -

Net. She would not think that. She looked around the room which had appeared when she opened the door, cataloging the details so her thoughts would have no room to spin through her head.

The room was nothing like her mother’s boudoir - the place where she had learned to paint and sew - but at the same time, she could see things she had clearly borrowed from that room: the length and width. The way paintings of painters from around the world were spaced, and the fact that each had a lamp directly beneath it, flames flickering inside crimson glass holders. The off-white walls and neoclassical pattern of the molding. Most noticeable of all, the velvet-covered corner sofa and colorful rug in the area for the initial meeting, aside from the neatly arranged art stations on the other side of the room. How many hours had Katya spent curled up on a similar sofa at home, reading in a corner, even napping? For herself she had an armchair - similar to Papa’s, but scaled to her size - but present too was a little ottoman, such as she might sit on to paint at home....

She could not fail. She couldn’t. She had done all of this. There was nothing she could do but move forward. Too late to look back now.

When the clock chimed, she put on an American smile and looked at people. She was surprised to see her sister there, but it strengthened her resolve not to throw up - at least not until later. She couldn’t let Tatiana see her blink.

“Hello,” she said, her hands clasped tightly in front of her. “I am Katerina - I made this.” Was that the right way to say it? No. She couldn’t think. She just needed to keep moving. “Welcome.

“I like arts - I paint watercolor, I sew,” she continued, reciting rehearsed words now. “My idea is, we can show each other how to do arts. We can go around now and say names, and what you like to do, or want to do?” she suggested.

    • Fake it til I make itJasmine, Tue Oct 30 14:55
      Jasmine had been a bit surprised to receive a personal owl inviting her to join the new Art Club Tatiana’s little sister was starting. She wasn’t sure if she merited one due to her friendship with... more
      • Likewise.Tatiana Vorontsova, Fri Nov 30 21:15
        Tatiana had never thought of herself as particularly artistic, which meant it had taken a different kind of creativity to fabricate a reason for attending her sister’s attempt to start an art club at ... more
  • Click here to receive daily updates