2009-11-18: Sketchbooks and Comics and Stalkers, Oh My!



Date: November 18, 2009


Aaron brings the sketchbook and comic to the person he believes they belong to. Things don't turn out nearly as well as they should for either party.

"Sketchbooks and Comics and Stalkers, Oh My!"

NYU Library

Middle of the week. After a number of only minimally successful attempts at restarting the live music career, Aaron's decided to take a few days off. He's been putting something off for a long time, that something being investigating the strange drawings in the sketchbook that crazy African dude gave him. Miraculously, it remained on the desk in his study for some time, despite the number of times he thought of throwing it out. The comic book, too. Well, actually, the comic book got stuffed in a drawer for some time, though carefully. He may not actually read comics, but he knows they have a tendency to be valuable, especially the first issue.

Of course, once Aaron bothered to explore the drawings, it was like someone stepping on his grave. Why is there a sketch of him scaling the steps of the library at NYU? And why does it look like he's carrying a sketchbook in his hands? Somewhere in his pondering, he picked up the first issue of 9th Wonders. He didn't read it. Something inside him made him think it was important that he have it with him.

The only thing creepier than seeing the sketch is looking at it while standing in the same position as depicted on the same steps. He gives his head a shake as he climbs the last of the steps and pulls the door of the library open, walking inside and looking around. It's almost like deja vu, only he knows he's been in the place before. He did attend NYU for five years, it's no big surprise that he knows the place. Even has the same old smell it used to have. "OK. Now that I'm here…." It's almost a question he poses to the universe, looking around for guidance of some kind. Why is he even here, entertaining that crazy old man, anyway?

Like most days, there's always students around. A lot at the computers typing away on various projects, clicking mouses, and then there's the ones reading books and sitting at tables. Some sit in more comfortable couches. And of course there's the staff who work at the library. It's one of the young women behind the desk that will attract his eyes after some walking around. She's in the reserved books section, sitting off by herself. There's fewer people around her. A computer sits on, a screensaver running, as she sketches into a pad of paper sitting on the desk.

Gillian looks just like he'd seen her before, when she disappeared on him. Except for a few details. There's a purple stripe through her dark hair, which is darker than he would remember it being. Her clothes are less preppy and expensive looking, and she's not wearing anything in the way of make up. Anything at all. Her hair is pulled back out of her face, except for a few locks that hang around her ears. Including the purple one.

Aaron remembers those days. All-nighters, papers due every other week— well, that's an exaggeration, but it sure seemed that way at times. There's a great deal of walking around to be had, but eventually he spots Gillian. He has to get rather close before he completely recognizes her. It's been some time since he last saw her, some time since he invited her to dinner and never got so much as a returned call. And now…. He has a sketchbook that led him to this library, where she is. He quietly approaches, eyes scanning for her hands to see if he spots the small ring from the sketch of hands writing his name and address down.

The ring on her finger matches the one in the sketch. There's actually a couple bracelets on her wrist too. No earrings, but there's a bunch of stuff on her arms. And one of them looks like a medical bracelet instead of something flashy. She never did return the call, even if she wrote his number down. After a few moments, she stops sketching and looks up, and… there's a squeak. Her chair moves back a little, and then gets pulled further forward. It's not actually a chair, but it's a lot nicer looking than some of the wheelchairs he's probably seen.

"What the hell are you doing here?"

So two things add up now. The wheelchair comment from the barista at the coffee shop and the sketches. Or at least, they add up in Aaron's mind. He frowns a little at Gillian's tone. "Following your trail of breadcrumbs," he says, turning the sketchbook around to first show her the one with his address and then flipping the pages to the one of the library. "Though I suppose you may have thought I'd show up sooner? Here I thought I met someone nice, turns out I just have a crazy stalker." He plunks the sketchbook and comic back down on the desk, "Probably want your things back."

Sketchbook and comic book? Gillian can't help but look at them, then up at him. "Those aren't mine. And I'm not stalking you. You're the one showing up at the place that I work without being invited." Or… anything. If she'd wanted to stalk him, she has a couple ways she could have easily done it, and sending him sketchbooks and… She reaches to pick up the sketchbook and flips it open. The style is similar in a way, oddly enough, it looks close to Mendez's style, which she uses when drawing the fan comic… the fan comic based off of 9th Wonders… Which is the comic he laid down on the… One of the sketches shows a drawing she'd been working on yesterday. Including the signature. IMF. "It looks like you're the one stalking me."

"Sure, I'm stalking you. That's why there's a sketch of you writing down my name and address— which, by the way, I hadn't given you until an hour before I got that sketchbook delivered to my door by some crazy old man. And also a sketch of me walking up the steps to a library I haven't been to since I attended this place back before the fire." It seems like an awful lot to get off of his chest and it feels good to Aaron saying it all. For now. "So sure, I'm the one stalking you."

"I don't know where you got that sketchbook. I didn't even give your number or address to anyone," Gillian says, glaring at him slightly. There's a shifting as she moves back a little, but then she stops. Perhaps she wants to hide the fact she's in a chair with big wheels on either side. Wheelchairs perhaps aren't something she's proud of these days. "Listen. I don't know where you got this crap, but you didn't get it from me. Maybe we both have a stalker." The only person she knows who can see the future can't draw for shit, so she knows it wasn't him. But… The comic book. The style…

"Well, somebody got it somehow, so unless someone's following me or tapping my phonelines…. I'm pretty sure my therapist isn't sharing it," Aaron says, still suspicious of this strange woman. He rubs a hand through his hair, "Look, whatever. You can keep the sketchbook and the comic— God knows I don't want either. Just lose the address." Apparently, gone is the Aaron who was inviting her over to dinner that very day he received the strange drawings. "I've had enough fucking drama in my life…" His last words are little more than a mutter as he starts walking back towards the entrance.

"Who did you get this from?" Gillian asks, taking the sketchbook and the comic. She already has a copy of the comic, that's not the point, but she certainly isn't going to chase after someone who talks like that. "Do you think I'd planned to use your address anyway? I haven't showed up at your doorstep yet. So what the hell made you think I even would?" It comes off as a little defensive, loud even, and it is. He's had a hard life, and so has she, but there's something strange about all of this.

"I told you, some crazy old man brought them to my door," Aaron says, stopping at a bookshelf. "And I don't know. Maybe I thought you'd be good company? Thought you were nice. Beauty and personality don't tend to go together in my experience." He turns back to walk out, "May as well lose my number. Not like you used it, either."

"Fine, whatever," Gillian says, growling slightly as she rolls backwards a few bits. She won't be chasing after him, especially not since it'd take a while to move around the desk and go after him at all. She has a quicker way to track him down, but that's not something she's ready to do right now. Nor would he likely be ready for it if prophetic sketches freaked him out that much. It's not something that a lot of people don't know about those things. "I wasn't stalking you, Aaron. But go ahead and get out of here before you get me fired and you kicked out."

"Whatever," Aaron echoes back, walking out over there. "Always with the fucking drama. Why can't I have a normal life?" Of course, they're just words muttered to himself as he rounds the corner and heads out of the book stacks to the main walk of the library. As he proceeds to the exit, a trolley several paces behind creeps after him. Once he's left the building, it tips over. Libraries are supposed to be a place of quiet, but book trolleys are not so considerate when they're crash to the ground, spilling their precious literature to the floor.

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