“Huh.” Leigh nodded. “I always just assumed it was about springboarding to something else, like acting or hosting or celebrity-hobnobbing, or getting paid to wear high fashion.”
Maddi nodded knowingly. “Most people do.” She knew that. And, since she wasn’t very good with words, she could never really explain it well. Or at least not well enough for her family and friends to understand why she’d left the safety of her hometown to travel all over the country for a job that barely paid her bills. Sometimes, after commission cuts and added expenses, it didn’t even do that. “But it’s the closest I can get to being an artist.”
“By becoming art.”
Maddi blinked up at Leigh. “Yes.” Exactly.
The other woman nodded. “Well, let’s hope my hands are the right ones.” She snapped a picture again. “You ready?”
As much as she would be. So Maddi gave the blanket to one of the crewmembers and stretched her arms out. “How do I look?”
Leigh nodded. “Like an ethereal, mythical being.” There was a slight sad note in her tone that made Maddi pause, but before she could say or do anything about it, Leigh held out her hand. “Let’s head back down.”
Maddi took a deep breath and reached for the other woman’s hand, shivering at the touch, and let the woman lead her back down beneath the ice.
Since no one could talk or hear well in the water, Leigh signed to her. “Stay here; get comfortable with your canvas.”
Maddi smiled and nodded, already feeling better about this whole thing. Maybe her agent had been right to book this gig; she was made for this job. Along with diving experience, she’d also learned sign language from her cousin who was deaf. She could do this. She was sure of it.
She blinked a few times, trying to adjust her eyes. She looked up and saw the sunlight streaming through thin spots in the ice like a curtain. She swam closer to it, wondering if she could see the sky through it. She touched the surface, the feel of it like cold glass against her hand, and peered through.
Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed something shift. She turned around to see Leigh with the rest of the crew, capturing her every movement. “Ignore us.” Leigh let the camera float down against her chest as she signed. “Keep going.”
So Maddi did...
READ THE REST HERE