Chapter 5-Study buddies and romance consultants
“Y’ know Trent, I had a feeling that your room was pretty big,
but even I didn’t think it was this huge.” Ethan remarked as he took a look around Trent’s room.
“Yeah, it’s definitely very spacious, that’s for sure.”
Trent said as he sat down by his desk. It was Sunday, the day after everyone had helped Katherine fix the apartment up and
Trent, Ethan and Conner hooked up early in the day and decided to go to Trent’s house to study for the midterms that
were slowly drawing near, seeing as how they hadn’t really found much time during the week to do so. Trent had already
called his dad about his little study group and Anton gave his okay, saying he would be late getting home from work anyway
so Trent and his friends could take as much time as they needed. Kira wanted to come along too, but since she and her band
had an audition at the cyber café she had to reluctantly decline to go.
Conner whistled. “Spacious? That’s putting it delicately.”
he said as he scoped out the room. It was definitely pretty big for a bedroom, with movie posters of Spider-Man and X-Men
adorning the walls, along with a very cool John Romita Sr./Alex Ross poster of all the Marvel characters near his bed. Next
to it was a bookshelf containing “How to draw” books ranging from Disney characters to Anime to Graphic novels/Written
novels of almost all comic book characters along with the few sketchbooks Trent had finished. On the other side of the room
were what looked like three painting easels with large sheets of paper on them that were covered. “You could almost
stick a quarter of a soccer field in here.”
“Don’t I know it,” Trent agreed. “But the good
thing about it is that at least I have plenty of space to do my drawings and whatnot.”
“But wait, don’t you have sketchbooks for all your stuff?”
“Yeah I do, but it’s a whole other story altogether if I want
to paint something.” Trent replied.
“Wait a second, you paint too?” Conner asked.
“Yeah, every now and then when I have an inspiration. Where do you
think the drop cloths we used to paint Kat’s apartment came from?” Trent asked as he saw the confused look on
his friend’s face.
Conner for a moment looked a little confused, but when he heard Trent mention
Kat’s apartment he then got it.
“Oh yeah, those.” Conner said as he remembered.
“Yeah, I keep them in my closet when I’m not using them.”
“So Alex Ross, have you had any inspiration lately?” Ethan
Trent shrugged. “Well, sort of.” He answered as he reached
into his backpack and pulled out his class books. “If we have some time after studying I’ll show you guys what
“Cool.” Ethan said as he and Conner did the same and took out
their own school books. Conner sat on the floor while Ethan studied sitting on Trent’s bed. Aside from their academic
classes, namely Dr. Oliver’s, the trio didn’t all have the same class at the same time. However, despite that,
the guys were pretty sure that between the three of them, they could nail the material without much trouble, or at least as
much as they could that day.
“Okay, this isn’t working.” Conner said as he put his
textbook aside 15 minutes later.
“What isn’t?” Trent asked.
“The dead silence, man.” Conner said as he gestured to the
air around them. “We need some music here.”
“You need music to help you study?” Ethan asked.
“Oh, and you guys don’t?”
Trent and Ethan looked at each other and gave the other a look that said,
“Well, when he puts it that way…”
“All right, let me see what I’ve got here…” Trent
then got up from his desk and walked over to where his stereo was and turned on his radio. Suddenly Ambrosia’s “Biggest
part of me” started to blare from the speakers.
“Oh, come on! No more old-school!” Conner protested.
“Uh, excuse me; are you making fun of one of my favorite bands?”
“No, it’s just…” Conner began. “Look, I’ve
got nothing against Ambosia or Redsnake or hell, even Michael Jackson’s music from his old albums, but can we at least
hear something a little more modern?”
Ethan sighed. “Like what? Green Day?” he asked with a questioning
look on his face. “And oh yeah, it’s Ambrosia and Whitesnake.” He corrected.
Conner then looked at his two buddies for a few minutes and threw his hands
up in surrender. “All right, all right, I give up! Trent, put whatever station you want dude (hell, it’s your
stereo), but try not to put a station that isn’t too vintage-esque.”
Trent sighed. “I’ll try.” he said as he adjusted the
knob and searched for a good station. After passing a few stations (of which neither could agree on) he finally got to 91.3
FM, a variety station.
“Now this I can go for.” Conner said as Five for Fighting’s
“A hundred years” started to play.
“Amen to that.” Ethan and Trent said in unison as they went
back to their respective studies.
After an hour and a half of studying (or trying hard not to stare at just
one whole page in Conner’s case) the guys decided to take a breather for a little bit so Trent took them to the living
room where they could relax and just hang.
“Y’ know, just out of curiosity I’m wondering just what
our good ole’ doc is up to today.” Conner said as he reclined on the sofa.
“What makes you say that?” Ethan asked.
“Well, just before we left Kat’s apartment yesterday I could
have sworn I saw (or maybe heard) the two get pretty chummy, if you know what I mean.”
Ethan laughed lightly. “You don’t miss much, do you?”
“Hey, it’s a talent.” Conner replied.
“Well, seeing as how her apartment’s already fixed up, all
they would have to do now is…” Trent said, but then he stopped himself in mid-sentence.
“What?” Conner asked.
“Oh, nothing.” Trent said quickly.
“Dude, come on. Spill it.” Conner said.
Trent sighed. “Well, I don’t know if I should tell you guys
“Trent, come on! Out with it, man.” Ethan said.
“Okay, okay.” Trent said. “I spoke to Hayley earlier
today just before we got here, and from what she told me, it’s my understanding that Dr. O went with Kat today to look
for some furniture for her apartment.”
“Furniture, eh? Hmm.” Conner mused. “Well, somehow I
don’t think Dr. O and Katherine are going to have much trouble decorating her place.”
“Okay, Conner, could you be anymore perverted?” Trent asked.
“What?” Conner asked densely. “Oh, come on! Am I the
only one here who senses the sexual tension between those two?”
“Okay, if you want the truth yeah, we can sense it about as much
as you can, but we don’t go bragging about it.” Ethan supplied.
“Look, Conner, I’d like to see Dr. O with a girlfriend as badly
as you do, but whether he does or not isn’t really our business.” Trent said.
Conner just sighed to himself. “Guys, look…I don’t mean
to steal Ethan’s line, but Dr. Oliver is our friend as much as he is our teacher/mentor, therefore whatever he does
or whatever affects him, good or bad, affects the rest of us too, whether it’s our business or not.”
“And seeing as how he’s got a woman (who looks like a cross
between Princess Zelda and Kylie Minogue) hanging around him now, that gives you something to needle him with, right?”
Conner shrugged. “Well, I wouldn’t put it that way,
but…” as he then looked at Ethan and Trent the trio then unexpectedly burst into laughter.
“So, just out of curiosity who wants to go back and study?”
Trent asked rhetorically in an attempt to change subjects.
“Well, I’m not sure about you guys, but I think I’ve
saturated my brain with enough stuff for today.” Conner said as he slumped back on the sofa.
“I’ll take a look at my stuff again when I get back home.”
Ethan said as he looked at his watch. “But you know, as long as we’re here…Trent, how about if you show
us some of those drawings of yours?”
“Why not, I’m a little tired of studying myself.” Trent
said as he got up and led the others to his room/art studio.
“Y’ know, I may know diddly squat when it comes to drawing,
but this is some really cool stuff you’ve got here.” Conner remarked as he skimmed through one of Trent’s
“Thanks, man.” Trent said as he handed Ethan a sketchbook for
him to look at. “I’m still trying to get my technique down though.”
“Why? The stuff in here looks great.” Ethan said.
“I know, it’s just…I don’t know, I guess sometimes
after I draw/paint something, and even when I think it’s good I still think, can it be better than this?”
“Well dude, from what I’m seeing in this book, there’s
no need to improve yourself.” Ethan said as he read through the sketchbook. “You’re already there.”
He concluded as he handed Trent his sketchbook back.
“So what’s with those three things you have over there?”
Conner asked as he finished looking at one of the sketchbooks and gestured over to the covered papers on their easels.
“Oh, just something I got started on about two weeks ago.”
Trent replied. “I’m still working on the penciling and the outline but once I’ve got that down, I’ll
“Can we see ‘em?” Ethan asked as he stepped over to them.
Trent hesitated. “Uh-I don’t know, it’s just that all
three of them are about as rough as an animator’s drawing before clean-up. And I emphasize rough.”
“Trent, Ethan and I just got through looking through some of your
sketchbooks and again, while I don’t know anything about drawing, I know that what I saw was anything but amateurish
(hell, I have a hard enough time drawing stick figures), so try us.” Conner said.
Trent sighed. “Okay, all right. Come on.” He then walked over
to the paintings and lifted the covers off the ones on the left and right so Conner and Ethan could take a look.
“Whoa,” Ethan said as he looked at the picture, which was a
rough drawing of all five of them doing stuff: Conner looking like he was about to shoot for a goal; Kira playing on her guitar;
Ethan playing on his GBA; Dr. Oliver studying a fossil; and Trent in the middle of the picture drawing something. “Now
that’s tight. That is really tight.” he remarked. “But what’s up with this?” Ethan asked as
he looked to the bottom center of the drawing which showed an arrow with a caption that said, “Add Kat”
“Well, when I first got started on this it was way before we met
Katherine, so I only had the five of us in mind originally, but then after we met her I was already finished with the first
draft so I took a look at it and made a note to add her when I draw the final pencil draft so it’ll be more complete.”
“Hey, that’s fine by me.” Ethan said. “Although,
how come Hayley isn’t in here though?”
“Well, the thing is this one’s a sort of Ranger Montage
picture so sadly I couldn’t put her in there, much as I wanted to. Fortunately though for the other one I didn’t
have to worry about not putting her in.”
“Is this one a portrait?” Conner asked as he looked at the
other uncovered picture.
“Yeah, it is.” Trent replied as he and Ethan stepped over to
where Conner was. As Conner was seeing, it was a rough portrait of himself, Ethan, Kira, Trent, Dr. Oliver, Katherine and
Hayley standing and posing much like the way a music group would be in a poster.
“Luckily though I hadn’t gotten started on that one until last
Sunday, so I didn’t really have to make much edits to my first draft.”
“Isn’t this your first draft?” Ethan asked.
“No, that one’s the final one.” Trent answered. “Even
though I couldn’t avoid having to make an erase here and there, but it wasn’t as much.”
“Can’t even tell.” Conner said as he looked closer.
“Uh-yo, Trent, how come you didn’t uncover this one-?”
Ethan asked as he looked at the middle painting that hadn’t been uncovered. Curious, he then walked over and started
to raise the cover off it.
“Whoa! Ethan, wait! Don’t lift that one-!” Trent exclaimed
as he stepped between his friend and the concept drawing.
“Dude, relax, I wasn’t going to tear it or anything.”
“I know you weren’t, but…look, I just don’t think
it’s a good idea if you guys took even a peak at it right now.” Trent said.
“Why not?” Ethan asked.
“It’s just…just trust me on this guys, it’s not
ready for anyone to look at yet.” he then walked over to the covered drawing in the center of the three and carefully
took it off its easel so he could put it in his closet. Once he put it away he then walked back to the others.
“Is it a person?” Conner asked, getting suspicious.
Trent sighed to himself, then nodded. “Yeah.” he replied.
“It wouldn’t happen to be a portrait of Mary Jane Watson or
one of the ladies from the Dead or Alive games, would it?” Ethan asked with a sly smile on his face.
Trent gave him a sly look. “You wish,” he replied.
“Just thought I’d ask.” Ethan said as he shrugged nonchalantly.
“It’s Kira, isn’t it?” Conner asked, fighting hard
to keep a smile from forming. Though he could see his friend trying to act like it wasn’t, Trent’s body language
confirmed Conner’s claim. Trent, on the other hand felt like he had just been floored, but as he saw the knowing smile
on Conner and Ethan’s faces he knew he couldn’t hide it.
“Yeah…it’s her.” Trent answered.
“Well, that explains you going semi-AWOL on Ethan when he wanted
to take a look.”
“Look, Ethan I’m sorry if I went crazy before, it’s just
that…that drawing, it’s…it’s a special one, more than the first two you guys saw.”
“Well, obviously.” Ethan remarked. “But come on, where’s
the harm in showing us a sneak peak? We won’t tell her.”
“Trent, a lot of times before you’ve asked us (though not in
words) to trust you, and in the beginning it wasn’t exactly easy for me to do that, but you proved yourself.
So now I’m gonna ask you: Will you trust us now?” Conner asked.
Trent sighed again. “Believe me, I trust you guys more than I do
myself, it’s just that…I wanted that one to be a surprise, namely for Kira, since-”
“-since it’s a Christmas gift for her?” Conner asked
with a semi-knowing grin on his face.
Trent looked dumbfoundedly at Conner once again, but then he nodded solemnly
and sincerely. “Yeah.” he admitted.
“Well dude, me and Conner lookin’ at it isn’t going to
jinx the picture, in fact if anything we could at look at it and tell you right away if she would like it. And if that picture
you drew of her in the cyber café isn’t proof enough that she likes your drawing skills, then…”
“I know, it’s just that…I really care about Kira, you
guys. A lot.” Trent said sincerely.
“Yeah, I think we already know that.” Conner said with a knowing
“It’s just that seeing as how Christmas isn’t too far
away, I just thought I’d do something special for her. Something not over the top but yet not too simple, something-”
“-From your heart?” Ethan asked.
Trent nodded. “Yeah.”
“Well Trent, then all I have to say is your heart’s definitely
in the right place, man.” Conner said as he placed his hand on Trent’s shoulder. “So if you ask me I say
go for it; the ball’s on your side of the field dude, so you can either take the shot or you don’t.”
Trent smiled. “Thanks, Conner.”
“Hey, no problem.” Conner replied. “Besides, girls and
soccer are two subjects that I do happen to know a lot about.”
“You’re still not going to show us the concept drawing though,
are you?” Ethan asked semi-rhetorically.
Trent thought for a second and then as he looked at Ethan and Conner a
small smile spread on his face.
“What the hell?”
A long while later, Trent stepped back into his room stretching out his
arms a little bit. After he had decided to show the guys his concept of his Kira painting Trent went into his closet and gently
pulled out his template. Once he came back he set it up on his easel and unveiled it to his friends. Needless to say, Ethan
and Conner were impressed, to say the least. Trent then said that it was only a concept and that he might make some changes
to it before he could get to work on the final piece. Ethan and Conner both told him to keep at it, for the concept looked
very cool and that if anything, it would indeed be something Kira would love, even more than the one he made for her at the
As the afternoon began to fade Conner and Ethan had to take off to their
respective homes, telling Trent once more to keep at it and if he needed some help in the romance department (as Conner put
it best) to let them know. Trent chuckled and said that he would.
Now here he was looking out the window to his room admiring the sun as
it set over the horizon, completely lost in thought. Almost unconsciously an image of Kira and her infectious smile began
to pop up in his mind.
Man, now I think I’m beginning to get a sense of how Dr.
O feels whenever Katherine’s around. he thought.
Smiling as he pondered this Trent then walked over to where his easel was,
lifted up the blank page which covered the concept drawing of Kira and spent the next few minutes staring at it, trying to
see if there was anything else he needed to edit and whatnot. Upon seeing there wasn’t for the umpteenth time (since
Trent had always taken a look at it even prior to today) Trent clapped his hands on his knees and sighed to himself.
“…the ball’s on your side of the field dude,
so you can either take the shot or you don’t.”
Making his decision Trent got up and walked over to his closet and pulled
out a drop cloth, which he laid out in front of the easel, which he then moved (without the drawing on it, of course) to where
it was on top of the cloth completely. Then he went to his drawing desk and pulled out some paintbrushes, color palettes,
and his painting apron. Then he took off his shirt and substituted it for an old t-shirt that he used to paint. Then he went
to his bathroom, took out a bucket and filled it halfway with water which he then took to his room. After putting on his apron
Trent then looked at the blank sheet of paper he had set aside on his easel and then looked at the concept drawing of Kira
on another easel to his right.
Well, here goes nothing. he thought to himself as he took
one of his paintbrushes and with the concentration of a surgeon, Trent got to work.