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”$175” She replies and I hand her two hundred dollar bills.
”I believe it’s worth at least $200 don’t you think?” I smile at her and she blushes as she takes the money and stuffs it in her money bag.
”Let me get your change” She says digging around in her money bag but I wave my hand in front of her motioning her to stop.
”No. I guess I didn’t make myself clear. I am buying the painting for $200. Although I feel I should pay you more for it. It’s really extraordinary..Which brings me to a proposition I have for you if you are interested” I say and she looks at me perplexed and I realize I haven’t introduced myself.
”Oh God. I’m sorry. Here I am trying to proposition you and I haven’t introduced myself” I joke and smile as I extend my hand. ”I’m Bette Porter”
She chuckles and places her hand in mine and our eyes locked. For a moment it seemed that time stood still until she pulled her hand away and I snapped back to reality.
”Tina Kennard. Nice to meet you. And I must say you are the first to proposition me since I arrived here last weekend” She says and we both chuckle. ”So what is this proposition Ms. Porter?”
”Call me Bette. It is nice to meet you as well” I say and I’m suddenly perspiring more as this woman is making the sweat work double time out of me. ”I was wondering if you would be interested in designing a cover for my book that will be released early next year. Your artistic style is exactly what I am looking for. My editor lives in New York but I live in L.A. and I would really like to hire you to design it for me” I finally finish as I feel a drop of sweat slowly drip down my neck.
”Oh Wow. Uhmm? Bette. That really is a tempting offer. I don’t know…. I’m not exactly rolling in the dough to be able to fly out to you or anything. I just went through a breakup with my longtime girlfriend and moved here just last weekend. I really don’t have enough to stay another week in the room I am renting” She says and looks disappointed that she was having to turn me down.
”Tina? How about we talk it over when you shut down here for the day. I have a solution that I think will be beneficial to us both”
I watch as she thinks it over and a smile creeps over her beautiful paint splattered face.
”Well….Uhmmm…Ok. I mean it does sound like an opportunity I would definitely like to hear more about” she says as she finishes wrapping my painting and hands it to me.
I reach into the pocket of my blouse and pull out my business card with my cell phone number on it and hand it to her
”Great!.. My cell number is on the card. Call me when you are ready to discuss” I smile at her and wave as I turn to walk away.
I can’t help it so I turn around one last time and see her still staring at me. I give another smile and wave and turn back around as I continue my walk through Jackson Square.