Short Story Fiction
For the Love of Art

A young artist in Paris, the City of Love, must make a crucial choice that will affect her life for years to come.

For the love of art imageSvetlana Pochatun/Unsplash

At the young age of twenty-two, Julia Richards moved to Paris.

She knew no one, spoke little French and had no money of her own. What she did have was a dream and parents willing to support her financially until she got on her feet.

As a small child she had visited Paris with her parents. It was an extended business trip with her father.

From that time on, Julia knew she would someday live there. While attending art school, she planned her move. She conversed with several American expats and through them, found a small loft apartment which she rented sight unseen.

Julia stepped off the plane with nothing more than a suitcase, some paint supplies and a freshly minted Art Degree.

A small slip of paper with her new address was handed to a taxi driver who took her to the Montreuil area of the city. The second floor loft was above a quaint little bakery.

She woke each morning to the most amazing aroma of fresh baked bread and pastries.

The city possessed her. Painting it, was a full time love affair. Her subjects included architecture, landscapes, still life, street scenes, whatever struck a chord with her at any given moment.

She didn’t socialize much so the language came slowly. It was hard to communicate at first. There were many embarrassing and a few humorous moments as she learned.

She befriended the young couple who owned the bakery.

It became a regular habit to spend time each morning sipping espresso and eating pastry as they helped her decipher the morning paper.

The first year flew by. She had made several connections with local art galleries who were interested in seeing some of her work. When she felt she was ready, she let them take a look. They were highly impressed and one offered her a showing of her own.

Julia Richards was about to enter the world of art on a whole new level. The showing went well and a few of her paintings sold at top of the market prices. A young man who had bought one of her paintings was impressed with more than Julia's art. He introduced himself and after some small talk asked her to dinner. Julia was intrigued and accepted the offer. His name was Jacques. The dinner went well, and Julia was quite enamored with her new friend.

As the days and weeks went by, they began to spend more time together. Julia was spending less time with her brushes and soon realized this was becoming a problem.

She had come to Paris to paint, not fall in love.

Early one Summer evening, as the couple strolled the Grands Boulevards, Julia told Jacques she needed more time with her paints and less with him.

He was crushed, but Julia was firm. She had made her choice. As time passed, they grew further apart until they stopped seeing each other altogether.

Art would become Julia's one and only love. It consumed her.

Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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