Sketching My Sister, Part One

  • Posted on September 19, 2017 at 2:29 am

By GrandMoff

{ This story was originally posted at the now-defunct Sisters in Love }

My name is Bara Kokovinis. I live in a little town called Rich Bar, in northern California. I’m American, with heritage that is mostly Japanese (my mom’s side) and Greek (my dad’s side.) I’m slim and petite, with long black hair which I usually wear up and light brown eyes. I’ll be seventeen in October.

Drawing and painting have been my favorite activities since I was seven or eight years old. Art requires concentration and solitude. I spent a lot of time alone — pencil, brush, or pen in hand. Some people called me strange, but it was how I had to work.

By the time I was thirteen, I drew people — women, men, girls, boys — more than anything else. But I noticed that my art wasn’t improving, and I grew frustrated. I wanted to be much better than I was.

I was sixteen when I decided I had to have a model. It was a dilemma. I didn’t have enough money to pay for one. I didn’t dare ask one of my few friends to do it.

My art teacher, Ms. Wallace, noticed my despondent attitude. At first I didn’t tell her what was wrong, but she insisted. She promised that she would keep it to herself, so I leveled with her. That turned out to be a great move, because she had a great solution. She said she had a few friends who modeled and would be happy to pose for me free of charge, though only for an hour or two per week.

“Oh, Ms. Wallace, thank you so much!” I told her.

“You’re welcome, but there still may be a problem. I met these friends in college, and they live in Chico.”

“But I… I can’t get to Chico,” I said quietly.

“Sure you can; I’ll take you,” Ms. Wallace said cheerfully. “If your parents will let you go, of course.”

“Oh, I couldn’t accept–”

“Please, come with me. I want to see your art improve and I want to help you.” She lowered her voice. “Don’t tell anyone. I know I shouldn’t have a favorite, but I do. You’re it.”

“Ms. Wallace, thank you. I mean it, thank you.”

*****

Saturday morning saw me in the passenger seat of Ms. Wallace’s sturdy F-150. I was grinning, and she caught me off-guard with her sudden statement. “You look happier than I’ve ever seen you,” she said.

“I am happy, Ms. Wallace, very happy!”

“Call me Korrina, okay?”

“Korrina? Your first name’s Roberta, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Yeah, and I don’t like it. Korrina’s my middle name, and it’s much better.”

“You said you’ve gotten a friend to agree to model for me? Who is she, Korrina? What’s she like?”

“Her name’s Rose–”

I giggled.

“What?” my teacher asked.

“It’s a coincidence. My name is the Japanese word for Rose.”

“That’s a coincidence, all right. Bara means Rose? Cool, I didn’t know that.”

“Sorry I interrupted,” I said. “Tell me about her.”

“Let’s see… she’s my age, 28. She’s over 5’7″ tall, and thin enough to make me envious. She’s an artist herself; quiet, but with an easy smile. I think she’ll like you a lot.”

“She doesn’t mind posing for someone as young as I am?”

“Not at all. She was in your position once.”

*****

Ms. Wallace took me to Chico every two weeks. It was great. She had three friends who took turns modeling for me: Rose, Sandra, and Aevry. I liked all of them. They and Ms. Wallace were fun to be with and they loved treating me to cake or pie and tea. My art improved, and so did my self-confidence. I was a bit embarrassed at the beginning, drawing a girl who was standing before me without a stitch of clothing — which is kind of backwards, I suppose! — but they quickly put me at ease.

*****

My sister Ame lived in an apartment in Paradise, but returned to my parents’ house nearly every weekend. She’s twenty, and a very private person, so I was surprised when I was drawing in my room one Saturday and heard her knock. I let her in and she sat across my table, in a comfortable old oak chair. She was in the mood to talk.

“Wow, that’s nice,” she praised, referring to the drawing I was making, a picture of a smiling young woman holding an umbrella.

“Thanks,” I said.

“Much better than a year ago.”

“Thanks,” I said again.

“What have you done to improve so much, Bara?” she asked casually.

“Just working harder, I guess.”

“Really?”

“Ame,” I said, looking her in the eyes, “I’m losing my concentration. Could you please talk about something else?”

“I’m sorry. Something else, then. Mom tells me you’re gone every other Saturday for several hours. Where are you going?”

“Just… out with friends,” I answered as calmly as I could.

“A guy, maybe?”

“No,” I laughed, “not a guy. I just go out — you know — talk, have pie, drink tea, that kind of thing.”

“Well, good for you,” Ame said. “You’ve changed, for the better. You’re happier and more assertive.”

“Am I?”

“Sure you are.”

“That’s nice of you.”

“I’ll have to meet your friends some time.”

I was tired of playing defense. “I’d like to meet some of yours too,” I said. “When are you going to let me come visit you at your apartment?”

“Suppertime, girls!” our dad called from downstairs.

*****

The school year was nearly over, so I asked Ms. Wallace if our next trip to Chico would be the last.

“No way!” she said. “I’m too selfish; I like being with you too much to stop our expeditions. And so do Aevry, Rose, and Sandra.”

I blushed. “Thank you. I love being with all of you.”

So our visits to the city continued through the summer. My art looked nothing like it had a year ago. I grew closer to Korrina, Rose, and the others. Sometimes we’d go shopping or swimming, or to the tennis courts after the modeling sessions. I was having the time of my life.

But nothing goes smoothly forever.

It was a Saturday morning in late July. I was riding with my eyes closed, enjoying the smell of the trees and the feel of the wind. Then I felt Korrina take a turn we hadn’t taken before. “What’s up?” I asked.

“Time for a little bad news,” my teacher said with a sigh. “Aevry called me yesterday. Her brother-in-law was killed in a car accident and she’s going to the funeral today.”

“That’s terrible,” I said.

“Oh, not really — Aevry and I hated him. She’s just going to support her sister. The guy cheated on her all the time, but she loved him.”

I didn’t know what to say. “Oh,” I muttered.

“But don’t worry about it, Bara,” Ms. Wallace said quickly. “I’m sorry; I wasn’t trying to bring you down. Anyway, none of that is the real point.”

“It’s not?” I was a little confused.

“There’s good news too, and that’s the point. Aevry called a friend of hers who agreed to model in her place. That’s why we turned early.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“I don’t know her very well, but she’s beautiful and seems really nice. She’ll be a great model, I think.”

“How’s Aevry’s sister?” I asked.

“Not so good. We think she’ll get over it, though.”

“Does she have any children?”

“No — he wasn’t able to — well, let’s leave it at ‘No.’ It’s probably a good thing that they didn’t have kids; it would be hard on them. She’s said before that she wants children, but — damn! I think I just missed our turn!”

“Oops,” I said. “I’ll be quiet so you can concentrate.”

“Ah!” Korrina said triumphantly. “I didn’t overshoot after all. Here it is.”

In seconds, we were parked in front of a large yellow three-story house. I grabbed my stuff and Korrina led me into the building and up the steps to the top floor. She knocked. I felt a bit nervous, but excited.

A woman opened the door. I nearly dropped my bag.

“Hi,” Ms. Wallace said.

“Ame!” I said.

“Bara!” she said, just as shocked.

“You two know each other?” Ms. Wallace asked.

“Yes, we–”

“Not very well,” I interrupted. “But we get along when we do see each other. Still… are you sure you don’t mind posing for me, Ame? I mean, I’m sure you have other things to do.”

“It’s no trouble at all,” she said, mischief suddenly appearing in her eyes. “Surprised though I am, it’s really good to see you.”

I was suspicious. “It’s nice to see you too,” I answered warily.

“What kind of poses were you looking for?” Ame asked. “I’m new to this; I’m afraid you’ll have to direct me.”

“Should I leave?” Ms. Wallace asked. I’d forgotten she was there!

“No need, please stay,” my sister requested smoothly. “Do what you like — I have movies, books, magazines.”

“I brought my own. Thanks,” Korrina said. She pulled a paperback from her purse and sat on a padded chair near the counter that separated the kitchen from the living room.

This was a strange situation, but I was here to work on my art. “Could you show me around so I can judge the light and the settings?”

“Certainly.”

After the brief tour, I decided that the living room, with its large south-facing windows, would work the best. “Okay, this spot is quite suitable,” I pronounced. “Let’s try a lying pose first; you may want to use a few of those throw pillows for comfort.”

“Good thinking.” Ame collected four of them and set them on the carpet. She paused very briefly. She opened her robe and shrugged it from her shoulders in one smooth motion.

The last time I had seen Ame naked, I’d been five or six years old. She blew away all my other models. Her flawless skin was a shade darker than mine, with no tan lines. Under that perfect skin were strong, firm muscles. Her wavy black hair fell past her shoulders and gleamed with health. She had no body hair, so all her skin could be seen. Her hips weren’t wide or narrow; they were just very nice to look at. And her chest? I’m a little taller than she is, but she’s always had larger breasts. For the first time, I saw how much larger. They were true D-cups or maybe even a tad bigger, and shaped exquisitely. Her areolas and nipples were large and dark brown, very pretty.

Could this goddess possibly be my sister?

I wanted to stare, but this wasn’t the time. Once I had pencil in hand, I could look all I liked. And from all angles. I was going to have fun that day!

But what was I thinking? This was my sister! Gorgeous, but should I look at her as anything other than my sister? Wasn’t it wrong to feel pleasure from looking at her body, no matter how beautiful it was?

On the other hand, she’d offered to be my model. If she had no objection, why should I? I did want to improve. And she was the ideal subject.

I looked at her as objectively as I could. I put guilt out of my mind.

I started sketching.

I had her take six poses in all. I kept drawing.

“Bara, it’s been almost two hours,” Ms. Wallace said suddenly.

I couldn’t believe it, and Ame looked startled by the revelation also. But it was true. I had 21 sketches, all of excellent quality. The time had flown past.

My sister put on her robe. “Let me make you some tea before you go,” she offered.

“Korrina?” I asked.

“Sounds good,” my teacher said.

We talked idly before Korrina and I set off for Rich Bar. Just before we left, Ame let me know that this was anything but over. She said, “We’ll have to talk when I see you next, Bara. I want to know you better than I do.”

I didn’t think it would be long before I saw her again. I was right. Less than an hour after Ms. Wallace had dropped me off at home, I heard the front door open and close. Then she knocked at the door to my room. “Come in, Ame,” I said, sounding as bored as I could.

She entered and shut the door.

“You got so much better. Now I know how,” she said. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Uncertainty, I guess. I didn’t know what you’d think. But I know now, don’t I?”

“You have to let me see them!” she said, grinning evilly.

“They aren’t ready; they’re only sketches until I can finish them and turn them into–“

“Come on. I was the model; you owe me.”

“No way. Rose never makes any demands.”

“I’m not Rose.” Ame leaned nearer, her face a few inches from mine. “What’s the harm? Let me see.” She took the sketchbook from my suddenly weak hands.

“Wow! They’re very nice. You’ve made me look so beautiful,” she said, and I could tell she meant it. I blushed, which only embarrassed me more.

“I drew what was there and no more,” I said. “If they’re beautiful, it’s because you are.” She looked happy to hear it, not shocked. I went on. “Aevry is quite good-looking. So are Rose and Sandra. But they don’t compare to you. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I never noticed just how beautiful you are.”

“I’ll model for you again, if you’d like,” Ame offered. She gently took my hand and lifted it, touching each finger in turn. “I never noticed how much skill was in this hand of yours.”

“Thank you.”

“I don’t understand why you didn’t want Korrina to know we’re sisters; care to tell me?”

I had to think, unsure of my own motives. “I don’t know. When I saw you, I thought — it seemed smarter to tell her when I was ready. Not right away.”

Ame looked askance at me for a moment. “Tell her when you’re ready, then. In the meantime, give me an answer. Do you want me to model for you again or not?”

“Of course I do.”

*****

Ame picked me up the next Friday and took me to Paradise and posed for me. She had rearranged some of the lights in her apartment, so the lighting was better this time around. She had moved some of the furniture too, I noticed. I drew sketches of her for more than two hours.

When we ended the session, I made tea for us and we started talking. I felt closer to her than I ever had. “I truly appreciate this,” I told her. “I’ll bet it’s hard, stripping for your kid sister.”

We both laughed. “No!” she said. “We are sisters, so I know I’m safe with you. Besides, I’m proud of my body. Showing it to an artist is satisfying.”

“Hm,” I mused, “if I had a body like yours, I’d probably like showing it off too.”

“What was that?” Ame asked slyly.

“I’m just saying it makes sense,” I said, turning red. “You’ve always turned heads. You said you’re proud of your body and you should be.”

“That’s sweet,” she said.

I prepared myself to ask what I’d wondered for a while. I cleared my throat and began. “It’s none of my business, but do you have a boyfriend?”

“What?” Ame’s eyes widened. “No, I don’t. I thought you would’ve talked to Aevry about me…”

“If I have a question about you, it’s you I’m going to ask,” I said. “I hate gossip.”

“Good for you; that’s rare among girls your age.” Ame took a deep breath. “Mom and Dad won’t like it, so please don’t tell them.”

I nodded.

“Aevry used to be my lover.”

I tried not to let my shock show. “Really? I mean, you and Jeremy–”

“I’m sorry to spring it on you, Bara-chan,” Ame said quietly, using the Japanese ending she’d used for me when we were kids. “I shouldn’t have blurted it like that, but I couldn’t think of a better way. Jeremy’s just a good friend; he always has been. I didn’t want to get harassed in high school, so he agreed to fake being a couple with me. There’s no need to pretend anymore. Since he moved to Oregon, we haven’t seen each other in quite a while.”

“Wow,” I breathed. “I mean, I had no idea!”

“Please don’t be mad. I’m the same Ame you’ve always known.”

“I’m not mad at all. But, it’s weird, I mean — I never guessed!”

“I wanted to tell you many times,” my sister said. “I was scared that I’d freak you out.”

“Give me a hug, Ame-chan,” I said.

I hugged her and she lightly held me. I wrapped my arms more tightly around her and she got the hint and hugged me normally, like she always had. “You’ll always be my big sister and I’ll always love you,” I whispered.

“I love you too,” she breathed.

We drew apart. I passed her a box of tissues and she wiped her face.

When she got her composure, she smiled at me. “You’re the best,” she said.

“You aren’t off the hook, you know,” I laughed. “You said Aevry ‘used to be’ your lover. What happened?”

“Seriously?” Ame asked. “We didn’t have enough in common, I guess. She doesn’t mind a mess; she’s kind of lazy; things like that. We just didn’t work out.”

“Are you seeing anyone now?”

“No, and I’m not looking. I’m fine by myself at present. But how about you? Anyone special I should know about?”

“Are you kidding? Not interested! Besides, there’s too much going on in my life.”

Continue on to Part Two

 

4 Comments on Sketching My Sister, Part One

  1. kacey says:

    Nice set-up

  2. revelnit says:

    Good chapter, story and setting. An artist and a model are an interesting pairing. I wonder if their first modeling sessions could have been clothed at first and they work their way up to nude modeling, but thats just an alt idea not a criticism. Look forward to two.

  3. David says:

    Great start GrandMoff! I loved the build up to the story and like how it seems to be going. Looking forward to moving on the the next chapter.

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