The first piece of you I'd ever seen was a drawing you'd made.

It was extraordinary.

You've spent a lifetime emulating the artist you loved, until the hatching, the line weight, the values, and the technical theories blending into second nature. I was in awe of all you could accomplish with a mere pencil and paper.

I was an artist—back when dreams didn't come with expiration dates and minimum wage salaries.

More than anyone, I know what it meant to give up your inhibitions to pursue such a thing. You love drawing more than anything. You'd give your life to keep doing it for as long as you lived. I admired that in you, more than I can explain without dissolving into tears.

I love your mind, Juni.

You're so talented, and clever, and there's nobody in the world who can emulate what you do so young. Whenever I hear you—listen to the quickened slur of your words, you always spoke so fast, and you have the sweetest lisp to your s's—I feel an itch beneath my skin.

The batting of a butterflies wings; the pricking of incissors.

I bit off more than I could chew throughout my teenage years, and I'm afraid all that I've ever accomplished will look mundane once I'm twenty, but I want to try again.

You make me want to try again, and again, and until the day I die, I want to try.

I was an artist.

I want to keep being an artist—I realize, gasping, and frantically searching the room.

I find your eyes, from across the room, and you gave me the kindest of smiles. Before I could even speak, tears well up within my eyes, and you seem to know everything I've ever bottled within.

"I want to be an artist, too," I tell you, choked.

You simply nod.

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