Part Un Girl in the Valentino Dress

Part Un

Girl in the Valentino Dress

Renoir couldn’t help but feel a refreshing quiet calm wash over him as he looked out through the window at the relentless, unyielding landscape roaring right past him in the opposite direction with sublime speed; rendering the French landscape into mere collages of beautiful bright blues and greens. But as quickly as they sprang to existence in the window, they disappeared out of sight just as quick as the train continued to gallop on, but at last in the back of his mind, Renoir couldn’t help but wish that his troubles would soon disappear in the same fashion as he got closer to his destination; Barcelona a city where art and culture were almost as inseparable as the moon and the stars or coco channel and the little black dress.    

So it is here in Barcelona, a place home to some of the most divine women in the world, a place home to stunning architecture and an insatiable love affair with the beautiful game, that someone would be forgiven for thinking it could be the ideal platform to offer the potential for a new muse; new inspiration for ones art, which will allow them to levitate from the mere competent to the truly extraordinary in their craft.  But as warranted as that reasoning behind he’s journey, the truth is there was another reason not too far behind it, probably the most important reasoning of the two for coming to Barcelona. What could you get the man who has everything? For Renior the answer springs up faster than a flower through the soil in search of a drink of light, all he ever wanted was to finally be relived from the long shadow of his father that has engulfed him his entire life. For Renoir Barcelona offered him a second chance at a life, a chance to be reborn into a new world of his making, that he hoped will offer relief from the crushing weight of expectation. Renoir was caterpillar inside a chrysalis ready to break out as a butterfly that will fly down its true path in life, in hopes of finding what he has been searching all his life but could never seem to find.

Renoir was the son of Marcellus and Vanessa Dechump who  have; travelled to almost 40 different countries, speak 8 languages fluently and understand two more, who started up 10 different orphanages  and of course own their own fashion conglomerate that has reaches all the way around the world; from Alaska to Zimbabwe, Nairobi to Switzerland. But despite all their accomplishments and riches, the only aspect of their lives they truly take delight in and upon any request would gladly speak off it; the story of when they first laid eyes on each other and instantly fell in love almost 28 years ago, Marcellus was a humble farm boy, in poverty stricken Bouadex but with secret dreams of a life in fashion and Vanessa was Russian model merely in town for a shoot,  upon meeting they decided to run away to Paris and launch tighter a fashion label and the rest was history. They say it was love at first sight, or that fate had brought them together, ever way Renoir had heard the story far to open and had grown rather tired of it.

Life for Renoir was of a standard that could have even drawn envy from the gods, but despite all these privileges; Holidays in on their own private islands, chauffeured around the world in a private jet, regular dinner parties with the rich and famous,  by the time he reached 15, Renoir grow disillusioned with the fact that despite being one of the most legible bachelors, with his 6ft slender frame, deep intoxicating green eyes and sweeping blonde hair, the girls who took a shine to him, were generally all model wannabes who would use him only to get to his father, who with word of recommendation, the girl could find herself walking on the streets anonymously to the entire world, then the next day she could find herself on the cover of the next issue of Vogue, and her name on the lips of the who’s who of fashion. Amongst all these users and gold diggers, growing up Renoir always found it difficult to know who to trust. Although on his own merits Renoir had a lot going for him, he was; smart, intelligent, well liked by all his class mates and became well rehearsed in considerable short amount of time as soon he took a shine to any art or sport. But still Renoir to the world was seen only as the son of Marcellus and Vanessa Dechump, a plague that could never leave him alone even when he become an outstanding painter by 18, he was still consumed by the enormity of his father’s shoes. So it was on his 23rd birthday, with only a small letter addressed to his parents telling them not to worry and that he would be back in three months that Renoir decided to leave Paris in search of a new muse for his art and the hope of finding his own path in a world of uncertain turmoil.

He pealed his eyes away from the scenery and to the carriage of intent gazes, who under his significantly shortened, slightly darkened hair and dark glasses they knew they recognized him from somewhere but couldn’t quite place him, Renoir even made sure to tone down his dress sense as much as sophisticated taste could handle; a beautifully manicured dark blue Armani causal suit jacket, a royal blue denim shirt, white corduroy trousers and dark blue suede shoes, which for Renoir standards could be seen as dressing down. Even if they still weren’t convinced by the initial deceptive disguise, when they saw his passport they would see John Baptiste, son of a butcher from Lyon. One benefit of having mountains of riches at your disposal means if you wanted to acquire false documentation, you simply had to call up your uncle who works for embassy to tell him that you wanted some instead of another Ferrari like he got you year before, just in a different colour. Renoir left all the superficial materialistic possessions in his penthouse at the Ritz, because if he were to get the most out of this trip, he would need to elevate himself of all that was his former life. For a man whose backside had only exclusively met with the finest fabrics, one would expect in helicopter, Limousines and private jets, sitting on the seats on the train was like having his back side grated on sandpaper on top of a rock.  But on the positive side, even if the onlookers where to even connect him with the Dechump name, the mere fact that billionaires son would ever resign himself to riding on a cheap train, with the rest of the peasants, the ridiculousness of such a notion would soon squash any further inquisition into the matter.

After 5 hour subjection to painfully hard seats, terrible catering and unhygienic passengers, that always seemed to zero in on him when it came to finding someone nostrils to overpower with their stench, as if they knew who he truly was and were doing it out of spite. Had the train from Paris finally reach the city of Barcelona, which at night was an exotic cauldron of delicious smells, incandescent warm lights and a crescendo of the roar of a hectic night life.    

Renoir had passed through the occasionally confusing serpentine shaped streets of Barcelona on numerous instances, but never had he done so like this, with a deep seeded sense of liberty blossoming inside of him. With each step,  the veins of freedom slowly coiled between vain and organ, creating such a up lifting feeling he couldn’t help but show on his face in shape of a broaden smile. As he walked past the young trendy areas of downtown Barcelona, which were populated with a variety of different clubs and bars each offering something unique in the way of; special offers of cheap drink, music or the promise of local celebrities, in the attempts of enticing the young tourists inside. By the loud deafening chants and lack of control in the way of alcohol consumption, Renoir instantly could tell they were English, and spending his 21st in London a few years back, one thing he remembers most is that the young English love to drink – a lot. The further he ventured past the crowds, the more the locals seemed to sprout into existence with more frequency; Renoir grow up surrounded by models of every palate of ethnic backgrounds, cultures and races; from Milan catwalks too Paris fashion weeks, Renoir had seen them all, but even when women of Spain offered a little bit more, with a exotic charm that offered Renoirs tired, weary eyes some relief, he was ultimately unfazed. He had seemed to have almost grown immune to the allure of beautiful women, seeing as their affection and admiration came so easily to him.   

Although true that the women queued at his door, day in and day out, the truth was Renoir hadn’t had a serious relationship with a woman since he was 17, the owner of the last girl ever to peek Renoir’s interest past a few lust filled moments; which by Renoir past is usually within the first few hours of an encounter with the girl. The honour belonged Swedish girl named Sonia who had been modelling for his father’s fashion label ever since she was 14 almost 5 year prior, but once again another relationship was sent to the same relationship grave yard as many before it, despite the relationship ending seemingly rather cleanly,  only did after 3 months later did Renoir see Sonia again in Paris,  except  this time she had a already given birth to Andrei, the son of young French footballer playing for a certain famous team in Lyon – Renoir never did like football, but the idea of her infidelity deeply wounded Renoir, a fact he tries adamantly to ignore. Since then Renoir has rarely felt anything more profound for any girl further than a few burst of lust – it’s safer that way, less pain.

El Pequneo Amor was a small hotel that by everyone else standards wasn’t anything special, but to observant viewers with great attention to detail, could see it in the perspective that it was a small chic bohemian gem, with crumbling walls, faded signs and chipped wood window frames and doors, but in spite of its imperfections, they simply added to its charm, especially against the backdrop of the neon lit, granite finished clubs and pubs, clambering to be the biggest, brash and bright attraction on the street. But it was the simple fact the El Pequneo Amor avoided attention seeking tactics, almost seeming to shy away from the spot light, was the reason it appealed so much Renoir. He had been to 7 star hotels in Dubai, palaces overlooking vast oceans in Mumbai and even underwater paradises in Florida, but El Pequeno Amor was different, and the very reason for his trip was in search of that very same illusive quality, that his humdrum life seemed bereft of and thus would hopefully provide his artistic juices the much needed jolt of life.

As he stepped through the arch, which he had to stoop just to accommodate his 6 ft plus frame, he was instantly struck with an alluring mixture of scented candles and the waft of beautifully prepared Spanish déclassé being served to each of the guests for dinner, which he saw as he walked past the dining room on his way to the reception, where a portly elderly women wearing a very unflattering uncoordinated mess of a brown and grey suit that made her look far bigger than she really was, awaited him with a warm reassuring smile. “Hello my name is John Baptiste, I have a reservation” said Renoir in perfectly pronounced and flawless Spanish”. “Oh yes of course, unfortunately you are a little late for diner but call me a soon as you reach your room and I would happily bring you some, just buzz for Joanna, which is me” Replied the Joanna with a loving nurturing air about her, which made Renoir feel slightly bad for soon having to deceive to her. “Just let me see your passport and I’ll give you your key” She said behind an unflinching smile. Despite having all the faith in the world with his uncle, there was still a great deal of nervous tension that Renoir felt every time he withdraw his fake passport for inspection; each previous occasion went by without a problem; the airport, the train station and now at the reception, but each time it just added to the pressure of being caught the next time, that seemed to constantly loom over him.

The room was small and cramped, but within a few seconds of walking in you could tell that every inch of the room had been scrupulously cleaned and meticulously prepared for the pleasure of the guest who had the privileged of entering it. After meeting Joanna, Renoir could tell that the exterior of the hotel and each room was to some extent an extension of her warm and loving aura, a quality that reminded him greatly of his mother, which made him miss her even more; especially seeing as ever since birth they were almost inseparable, even when he moved out 2 years ago; not a day goes by that he doesn’t fondly think about a pleasant memory he shared with her in his childhood.  

It had been almost three hours since, Renoir last placed the remaining, delicious little mussel of Joana’s exquisitely prepared Cachelada in his mouth, which she claimed “You have not truly visited Spain until you have had a bite of my speciality, I’m know all around for the mouth watering taste my Cachelada”, Which earlier Renoir found out was not an exaggeration.  Tossing and turning, no position seemed to help; he rolled over to his side with the clock reading 1pm, Renoir came to the conclusion that tonight he would not probably get any sleep on account of his minds preoccupation with doubts over whether he would ever become the calibre of artist he so dreamed about. “I’m in Barcelona, one of the most beautiful cities in the world; I should be able to come up with something”. Said Renoir as he looks up to the ceiling, where the fan scattered wild shadows all over the room from the light of the moon streaming through the window.  Renoir couldn’t take it anymore, he had to paint; it was the only way he could exercise his demons. As Renoir looked into the cold white surface of the canvas, he couldn’t help but feel himself getting lost in it with no chance of rescue, as if he were in the ocean in a small dingy boat and every where he turns he was met with vast carpets of white that understood no end, there were no ripples, waves or sea creatures, just a blanket of white that seem to be in a state of limbo, without even the notion of change anywhere on the horizon. 

Unable to stand the baron canvas staring back at him, mocking him with increasing enjoyment, Renoir merely cast it to the corner of his room like an unwanted children’s toy and emerges once again on the streets of Barcelona in a slim fit black suit, but with causal white t shirt instead of a shirt, with the hope that the chilled air will ease his frustrations. Walking the way he first came, he was once again met with crowds of British tourist who seem unaware of the word enough. Renoir turned down a small alley in the hopes of avoiding their drunken incessant ruckus behaviour. The further he walked down it, the quieter their voices became, soon enough the alley began to descend into a hush with the exception of his own footsteps, until something abruptly halts him to the spot.

That same hush in the alley was suddenly interrupted by a smooth base and probably the most beautiful elegant voice Renoir had ever had the delight of hearing. Even before his brain could process anything, his feet already began to carry him further down the alley towards the source of the singing, all the way up to the front entrance of a small jazz club called ‘4 Kings’. He pushed the door open allowing the full beauty of song hit him even harder, rocking him to the very base of his persons. It felt as if every fibre of his being was being individually serenaded by an angel choir. As he looked past the rows of eagerly captivated punters, on the stage was where he saw her; a chocolate and caramel fused divine beauty, long sweeping raven black hair that seemed to go on forever. She possessed enchanting brown eyes that could easily engulf the universe in their entire splendour which she had coupled with a stunning smile that made Mona Lisa jealous. She had a perfectly sculpted physique that was also unashamedly curvy wrapped elegantly in stunning ankle length red Valentino dress that gently draped over her frame, as if were too scared to even touch her body as if it would tarnish the beauty; but it was Renoir keen eye for fashion that allowed him to identify the red dress as the genius work of one his families biggest and bitterest competitors, but he couldn’t help but admire in awe how hypnotic it looked on her.

Renoir sat at the nearest empty seat, in fear that his knees would give way and he would literally fall head over heels for her. The base guitarist soon broke out in a solo preceding the end of the performance; finally Renoir had a chance to start breathing again, as the girl said a sincere thank you to the audience and gracefully but quickly departed and disappeared into a small corridor just off to the right behind the stage. The rest of the acts where of considerable talent, each engaging the audience with different variations of Jazz added with unique twists; may it be, contemporary, hip hop or even salsa, each were entertaining and enjoyable to listen to, but none of them caught his attention quite like her. Hopeful that she will return again to sing, Renoir stayed for another half hour, but as he witnessed the crowd ever diminishing size, he eventually found himself at the bar with a cold beer in his hands; resigned to the fact she could have taken a back entrance out of the club, there by ending his first and only chance at meeting her. 

Downing his second pint, Renoir signalled the waiter over with a slightly tipsy wave of his hand. The waiter soon returned with his order. Renoir raised the glass to his lips for another swig, but something in this peripheral vision caught his eye. He swung around in full view as a loud commotion involving the girl with a few bills in her hands, as she comes out the corridor hurriedly and furiously waving the small amount in the air, the subject of the anger was a middle aged balding man with a bundle of cash in his hands, who clearly wanted nothing to do with her as he tried to gain distance as from her as possible. Suddenly the argument comes to a climatic end as she tosses the few bills in her hands right at the man, and bolts right towards the bar; causing Renoirs heart to race uncontrollably. Upon arriving she instantly waves the waiter over. “Waiter gives me double your strongest drink” She says with a thick Brazilin accent, but flawless Spanish.  The waiter returns with a shot of strong polish vodka, which surprises both waiter and Renoir when she is able to down both without even the slightest sign of a gag reflex. 

“Allow me to pay for your next round, looks like you are having a stressful night” said Renoir trying to fight the increasing effects of the alcohol “No I’m fine, I’m sick of men thinking they can buy me, you can be the richest man in the world and promise me a sea of diamonds, but I still won’t marry a pig” said the girl without ever a glance in the direction of Renoir, but undeterred by the curt reply, Renoir gallantly adventure on. “Well I wouldn’t dream of trying to by you, especially with an amazing singing voice as yours, I could imagine no amount of the money in the world could afford you” Renoir had done it peeked her interest, momentarily at least as the girl finally turned around, looking at Renoir fully for the first time; his recently tanned skin over his athletic physique, glistened brightly under the quiet hum of the bar light, but it was his emerald eyes which resonated most deeply to her, almost as if they wear peering right into her inmost being. But quickly she adamantly tried to fight her instant animalistic attraction to him, which is made difficult by the fact, she had never felt this much desire for someone within the first few minutes of meeting anyone.  “Thank you, but don’t you dare think that a few compliments are going to get me to sleep with you”. Renoir was awe struck by this statement, even though that in the past all it did take was a few compliments and a smile and he had the girl, but not this time despite his attraction for her being far greater than any other conquest before. This girl was different, she would be a challenge that he has never encountered before, but instead of putting him off, he just made him want her even more. Now that because she was close, he could see the vague contours of her body pressing hard against the Valentino dress, making it all the more difficult to avoid studying every inch of her body with his eyes, only further validated his endeavour.

 “I wasn’t even dreaming of such a thing, I merely appreciate talent when I see it, I also appreciate an exquisite Valentino dress one I see one”.  Calmly stated Renoir despite his struggle with ever increasing difficulty to compose himself on top of his ever fastening heart beat, which threatened to leap out of his chest at any given moment. “I don’t blame you at all, I can tell from your accent despite your perfect Spanish that you are from France, and if I can determine that within a few seconds of meeting you, I’m sure all the other local women can, and it probably sends them crazy, especially with your long sweeping blonde hair and lucky guess”. Said the girl, with unflinching confidence even though, all she wanted to do was to swoon as would all the other local women would do confronted by his sexual fire power,  which slightly made her annoyed at herself.  “No, umm I’m well rehearsed in the fashion world, and oh so are you not succumbing to the same fate as those other women” Renoir is finally hitting his stride again. “Not a chance” replied the girl.  

They proceeded to commence this deadly dance of seduction well after the closing time of the club, but only did the girl begin to allow her resolve evaporate when she was accompanied by the moonlight and Renoir irrefutable charisma as they walked down the town centre  – which by now was completely deserted, which fortunately further allowed to talk freely and honestly- well for Renoir almost honestly, but still they were also able find out more about each other. They bonded on their love for travel, art and of course fashion, but because the girl stated that she was only in town shortly, on accounts of touring with her band from Brazil and thus would be leaving soon, she refused to exchange any personal information based on family, or anything else that could tire them to somewhere else beyond the now, even refusing to give Renoir her name or asking for his. Which at first felt strange for Renoir, but after a while of getting to know her for who she truly was, without any interference with the irrelevant information altering their perception of each other, such as what their parents did or if they grow up rich or poor – greatly suited Renoir as he planned never to reveal any of that information on his trip, even when he was asked about his connection to the fashion world, he simply said that he had worked in his uncles retail store one summer.  For Renoir it was the most pleasant time he had ever spent with a women in his life, it felt incredible for him to bond so sincerely with another human being  on such a emotional and intellectual level, despite not even knowing her name .  But it soon became evident that the girl felt the exact same, over time her resistance to Renoir completely faded, to the extent that later that night in Renoir hotel room, did she completely give her entire self to him.  

Her heart rate quickened faster than it had ever done before, as Renoir now hot, hard muscular frame pressed up against hers as he gently removed the red Valentino dress of her caramel and chocolate infused body, before he allows it to slowly slide off the bed onto the floor. He then tenderly eased her on top of him and with his hand firmly around her waist, which made her feel so secure and safe for the first time in such a long while. He began to rock her up and down lovingly at first, then with quickening ferocity – which her quivering body with every one of his touches really wanted. She placed her palms down on bulging chest; they quickly turned into claws as the pleasure inside her began to crescendo almost to a unbearably climatic infernal, which caused tiny beads of sweat to slowly roll down the contours of her body; her breast, thighs and buttocks, which greatly excited Renoir even further.  It was a night of interracial, intercontinental passion converging in that room; a blend of the Latin fire of Brazil, the romantic sensuality of France and the hot steamy passionate air of Spain, all of which insured that both parties experienced the most phenomenal explosive love making of their lives.   

Not for the first time since he left the comfort of his home almost 1 months ago, Renoir found it hard to sleep, but last night for the first time he’s body was completely free from a the tension constricting around his spin like a boa constrictor, at times making it almost impossible for him to breath, instead he slept like a bear in winter. But this morning when he woke up, he felt a sense of serine calm wash over him. He turned to his right with a expecting smile for the vision of magnificence that would was again brighten his eyes and make his heart sing her name, if he knew what is was of course . However as he turned all he saw was an empty space, and with almost no indication of their even being anyone else in the room besides himself the night before.

Instantly Renoir bolted up and began to search the room for any notes, or any other indications of where she might be; a sign, a symbol perhaps, anything to make him feel less rejected than he was feeling at the present moment. Eventually he returned to sit back down on the bed, still firmly feeling effects of last night’s passion which had erupted into a warm afterglow like a phoenix being birthed from his confused uncertainty. But unfortunately as he sat there, the more he tried to get over her the more his heart burned with desire for her; touch, her smell, the way her body almost seemed to perfectly fit into his arms.

He couldn’t give up now, women like that in Renoir experiences don’t come around very often and he knew that more than anything. Renoir lunged for his suitcase and put on random piece of clothing, with less care than he had ever taken when picking what to wear for the day; usually it was painstakingly crafted outfit, with each piece of clothing specifically chosen to complement each other and Renoir to the best of its ability, but right now it was simple matter of whatever he can get his hands on first is what he was going to wear; he grabbed a Ralph Lauren polo shirt, denim trousers from the line he helped his father design and a pair of converse trainers, the only item of clothing he possessed that wasn’t part of the world of luxury fashion.  

Bolting down the stairs towards the reception; instead of being meet with the pleasant smile of Joanna, he was met with a young women dressed in a bohemian style floral dress, with a leather jacket studded with metal spikes on top, but the most striking feature was her bleached white hair and a cold icy expression written all over her face, or be it a very stunning face – a face that Renoir could easily be attracted to, if his heart hadn’t belonged to someone else. But the expression wasn’t aimed at Renoir; you could tell the young women had a lot on her mind, although as soon as Renoir came into her field of vision, she did try to fain a vague smile. “Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me if you saw a girl leaving the hotel this morning, she was wearing a red dress” spat out Renoir in between fast shallow breaths. “Oh the Valentino, yeah I saw her, but she was in such a hurry” Calmly stated the receptionist, which Renoir noticed as she was speaking, her name tag read Rose White.  “Could you find out where she was staying, I really need to find this girl?” Said Renoir with ever increasing urgency, as if he could feel the time he had to find her slowly slipping away. “I guess if you give me her name, I could ask around the other hotels in the area, so what happens” replied Rose, for the first time she seemed to brighten up as if she could feel the love for the girl in the red Valentino dress rippling from Renoir. “Well I don’t know her last name, but don’t worry I have an idea” Renoir said this with a great smile as if he knew where to go next. He will go to back to where it all started out, where he first laid eyes upon her – the jazz club, so without another word he politely said thank you for her help, and shot out of the doors like a cannon.

The closer he seemed to be getting to the jazz club, the faster it seemed that time was sleeping away from him, and with it his last chance with a women who he truly felt could match him in every regard; intellectually, with ambition and his love for fashion. His pace began to increase from a light jog to a full on sprint, with little care toward his own safety in the way of crashing into people or stepping into oncoming traffic, instead all his focus was finding the girl in red Valentino dress. Eventually his determination brought him around the corner just in time to catch the manager from the previous day opening up the jazz club. “Hey I know you don’t know me, but I need your help, I need to find this girl, she was singing at your club the other night” blurted out Renoir trying with great strain to regain his breath. The manager turns around to face Renoir, he meets Renoirs question with a stone face grimace, as if he just heard an insult directed at him. “A lot of girls work at this club” sternly replied the manager without ever once portraying an expression that wasn’t one of distain. “She was beautiful, dark skin creature, with long dark hair” but again Renoir is meet with a bemused face, as if the manager is intensely being as difficult as possible. “Her name would help,” barked back the manger; his demeanour was of a man with very little patients. “She wears a long stunning red dress” stated Renoir quickly losing patients, but right now this man had information he so heatedly needed. “Oh her, yes I remember, but I don’t where she is,” said the manager as he turns around to enter the club. “Maybe a name?” belted out Renoir in desperation. “Never thought to ask, anyway please I have a business to run” with that the manager disappeared into the club, without even the slightest bit of sympathy for Renoir or his desperation. Sullen and defeated Renoir made his way back to the El Peqeuno Amor, but even the return of Joanna and her cheerful grin, could not relieve Renoir of the curse of a heart-burdened heavy with painful sting of unrequited love.

Later that night, all his waking thoughts were consumed by; the contours of her body that even Michelangelo couldn’t have sculpted better, her soft supple lips that left him still tasting their sweet nectar even now and then there were those eyes, that seem to blanket him placing him in protective cocoon against all that was wrong in the world. The visions of her beauty weren’t just relegated to his active conscious; they also seemed to filter into his dreams as well, taking such lucid form particularly the red Valentino dress that all ways stood out, whilst the whole thing seemed to play like a movie in fast forward. The entirety of his dreams followed a similar pattern except the location would change, at one point he would be struggling to stay afloat in the ocean, then suddenly the girl in the red dress would walk up to him, and pulled him until he was able stand on the surface of the water and was then able to walk upon it, but as he tried to reach her to thank her, she always seemed to disappear, then he would find himself in another far flung location somewhere in the world experiencing another different danger; falling, burning or freezing, but what they all had in common was that, the girl in the red Valentino dress would come out of nowhere and save him but when he wanted to thank her, she would disappear and as much as he tried to catch up with her, he could never quiet reach her, for she was always slightly out of his grasp.   

By the time the early light of morning began to flicker into the room, Renoir was already hard at work on his third consecutive portrait of the girl in the Valentino dress; somewhere as realistic as his talents could allow them, while others were surreal as he painted them in a zombie like trance, but they were all distinctly of the girl and her red dress. This was the only thing Renoir could do to prevent himself from going completely insane; he felt that if he was going to experiences so much pain, he might as well convert it into something creative. But even below that reasoning, lay an unmistakable force in the air drawing him to the canvas, like Alexander McQueen to controversy. Could it be the so called muse? Bout of inspiration he so greatly needed? All Renoir knew, was he had to paint, he had to paint her. Maybe deep down he felt the more he painted her, maybe the closer he would get to unravel the mystery that was this heavenly creature sent down to him, both to inspire and torture him all at the same time. 

It had been almost three year since that unforgettable night in Barcelona, Renoir had returned to France, mostly completely detached from the family business, but occasionally he would step in and act as an artistic director for any of his father’s new ready to wear lines. Despite having the mites touch which meant that nearly every line Renoir took an active part in usually became hugely successful and sold extremely well the entire world over, yet this was not enough to convince him to take up his father’s offer to take over the family business when he planned on retiring within the next five years. For the truth of the matter was that Renoir’s life was consumed with art, painting was his entire being. That night in Barcelona left him with a broken heart, but only a true artist can turn such negative emotions into something truly beautiful that brings happiness into other peoples lives, and that’s what Renoir’s work was capable of doing, and slowly but surely he began to slip away from his father’s shadow, allowing him to stand on his two feet and for the first time in his life; known as Renoir Dechump, not just as son of Marcellus and Vanessa Dechump, an  achievement that gave him a great amount of pride and joy.

Although he was just starting to move on with his life, there still was not a day that went by that he didn’t spend every waking moment of it thinking about the girl in the red Valentino dress, but long has he stopped trying to find her; the last big endeavour was in Brussels in Belgium, he got word from his uncle that her band might have returned to Europe and would be playing in a small night club, so Renoir never being a man who shied away from the big spectacle, littered ; walls, bus stations and lamps with a copies of his red dress paintings with a small notes giving details to meet him a the train station at 8pm the coming Sunday:

To my girl in the red Valentino dress opened a whole new world of passion and love to me that I didn’t know existed. Not a day goes by where my heart doesn’t sing your. If you feel as strongly for me as I do for you, I urge you to meet at the Brussels train station at 8pm wearing that same red dress.   

But as soon as the news stations caught wind of the famous bachelor son of France’s biggest couture houses doing such a romantic gesture, for awhile it was all the world could talk about. So when the day came to go to the station to find out whether or not she came, Renoir was meet the surreal sight of an whole army of women of all shapes, sizes and races all wearing red dresses, some women didn’t even have red dresses and just wore any colour, but each them where there for him in hopes he would be their prince charming. Till this day Renoir still didn’t know if the girl turned up or not, or even if she was actually in Belgium at all. But seeing all those women there told him that it was time to move on, he couldn’t continue to allow it to consume his life to that extent anymore. He couldn’t admit so three years ago, but now he was beginning to realize that there was more to life than that girl in the red Valentino dress.

Renoir stood outside his new small New York gallery, trying to place his key into the lock of the door, but finding it increasingly hard as his hand trembles with excitement rapidly building up inside of him. Renoir was dressed in immaculate slim fit navy blue Armani suit with a little red handkerchief in his breast pocket that made the whole thing pop. Standing eagerly behind him was an assortment of; family, friends, fellow artists, art critics and a local pool of small numbers of members of the public in the gallery. For Renoir it felt like he was finally blossoming and it meant so much to him that this special experience was shared with the people he loved and the people he had admired for so long. Most of the paintings were of an abstract nature, almost all appearing in dream like or surreal like manifestations, an acquired speciality of Renoir. Then of course was his prized exhibit; the girl in the red Valetino dress portraits, one thing that day in the train station in Brussels did more than anything, was increase the hype and interest in his painting of the girl, greatly given Renoir’s career a boost. “I’m so proud of you son” Vanessa said drawing her son into a warm embrace, that slightly embarrassed him seeing as he knew he was constantly being judged by the critics, but deep down he loved it, it further confirmed in his head that art was something he was going to do for the rest of his life, not matter what this crazy world was going to throw at him next. 

The number inside the gallery began to dwindle further and further, until it was only Renoir left, even his parents had left for a dinner party planned in a friends yacht that very night, but Renoir wasn’t fazed, the night had been a massive success, the critics promised him glowing recommendations, his peers were in impressed, but most importantly his family and friends enjoyed the exhibit. Renoir took one last lap around the area looking at all the pieces he agonised over for the last three years, but still there was magnetic force pulling him towards the red dress portraits, that still had the power to flood his entire body with all the same emotions and feelings he felt the first time he saw her. Eventually after turning all the lights of, Renoir approached the exit door, but as he swung it open he found a fairly large box on the door step. He brought it back into the gallery and placed it on top of the counter, wondering if one of the guests had left it behind. As he reached down to his right to remove phone out of his pocket to ask some of his friends or family if they had left something behind, he caught a glimpse of a figure in the corner of his eyes. As he turned his head completely around, that was when he saw her; a girl dressed in a long black coat simply turned around facing the red dress portraits. It couldn’t be, could it? Thought Renoir, but he had to know, he looked inside the box and there it was, in perfect condition as if it just came straight from the rack, the red Valentino dress, but was it her standing before him?

 

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