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Where modesty's ill manners, 'tis but fit that impudence and malice pass for wit.
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“Yeah, I get like that all the time,” Arthur said to Yaz. “I was almost like that right now.”

By the fourth or fifth time Arthur made himself go outdoors and draw, his initial anxiety at the prospect had started to abate. It wasn’t the wide open space that made him nervous. He kind of liked the fresh air when there wasn’t any dust or pollen being blown into his face. It wasn’t the hard and dirty surfaces that were uncomfortable to sit or lie on. He could get used to that. It wasn’t even the idea of walking everywhere. The more opportunities he got to shave off calories, the better.

No, it was the loneliness that got to him. He didn’t often go out by himself because of how quiet everything was around him. There were barely any people outside, all of them strangers and unknowns, and so he started to feel like the friendly faces from his memories didn’t exist at all. If he were to need help, or if some of his more negative thoughts started to surface, he wouldn’t be able to lean on anyone. It was why he liked the internet so much. He had so many people available through one filter, at least in theory, and so he never felt alone for long. Even though he had a laptop, using it outdoors was quite the challenge, and so he often didn’t bother, putting him back at square one.

His comfort zone was squarely with his laptop, indoors, taking in things and learning rather than putting them out there for everyone to see. But sooner or later, he’d have to leave that zone, whether he liked it or not. He could already assume that Yaz and Rachael were already starting out on that path. And so he greeted them when he saw them at the gazebo, sketchbook and pencil in hand. He was a little louder than he’d liked to have been in answering Yaz’s question, but he was so happy to have actually heard that from thirty feet away that he didn’t wait to answer.

Once that happened, he walked over to the gazebo and sat down across from Rachael. She was smart enough to have brought her laptop, apparently, not that she was using it. “What’re you doing with that?” he asked her. “More writing?”
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Arthur Wells: The Artist ... ... ... ... ?
Rose Matheson: The Sprinter ... ?
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Exposition-->Rising Action · Memories (The Past)