After the death of his great uncle, Zach suddenly found himself a hell of a lot richer than he was yesterday.
They had a close relationship, but Zach was still surprised that a portion of his great uncle's hard earned money went to him.
Zach was a bored teen. Never left the country, didn't even leave his hometown that often even though London was only a few hours away by train.
He didn't have a huge group of friends because he didn't like being in the same room as too many people for too long.
While his quietness, subtlety and mysteriousness is alluring now, back then, it made him seem quite awkward. So, he spent most of his time pursuing his hobbies.
He loved art, with a passion. He took it in school, even though his teacher was and boring and only wanted them to do coursework and research, he just could not find a way to hate it.
It was his escape, one he desperately needed until he could go out and explore the world.
With his new and improved bank account, Zach begged his parents if he could go to the country of art; Italy, for his winter break.
He presented an organized schedule to his parents too; he would stay with his aunt and cousins who lived there, be gone for 4 days and 3 nights and call them every single day.
With money not being an issue, and his clean record and responsibility, his father was quick to agree and his mother reluctantly did so as well, making sure that he came back before Christmas.
So he was on the next plane to Rome, and was quite pleased with his vacation spot.
His first day in Rome, he spent getting settled into his room by emptying his clothes from his suitcase and organizing them into his temporary closet.
The rest of his suitcase was all of his art tools and anything that he would need to fulfill his artistic desire, that could go past airport security.
At the start of his second day he went down to a little cafe to get something to eat. Finally he bought 2 slices of pizza on a nearby bench.
Next to him, was an old leather sketchbook. It said on the front, "Part of Public Property" and when he opened it, he was quick to find a few loose pages before the wind blew them away.
He saw a bunch of beautiful sketches that ranged from fruits to animals to trains and even the faces and silhouettes of random people.
And they all had different drawing styles, his golden, artistic eyes picked up all of the details, and quickly realized that the sketches weren't all done by the same people.
It's a traditional sketch book. "No way", he thought wondrously. It looked to be pretty old, with the oldest dates going back to 1943.
But who would leave an incredible vintage book like this lying here?
"Part of Public Property, do people draw in it and leave it here?" Zach wondered.
Zach decided he wanted to be part of the artists who drew in it, and fortunately for him, he only had the last page to do it, so whatever he drew needed to be perfect.
As he looked around at all of the magical Italian things surrounding him, his eyes stopped at a girl reading a book.
Her brown hair blew in the wind behind her, her cheeks scattered with freckles and her green eyes going left to right, from line to line in her book.
A camera was wrapped around her neck, so he knew she had to be a tourist too. She was the most beautiful girl Zach had ever seen.
He knew then that she had to be drawn, he couldn't let an angel like her be missed.
And so he sat there, drawing her as quickly as possible in case she decided to leave. It was frantic and slightly messy but there was something enchanting about it, about her, that made it ok.
He drew her green eyes, he drew her silk like hair falling past her shoulders, he drew her body and every curve and angle, he drew her book and her clothes and her camera.
When it came to the people around her and the bustling, loud life of Rome and all of the buildings.
He just looked down at the sketchbook and drew everything he could remember and fixed every detail around her and on her.
And when he was complete, and contemplating whether to make a fool of himself or not by showing her, he looked up to the place where she sat, where it was now empty.
His heart dropped and his eyes got wide. Zach had a million thoughts rushing through his head. Will I ever see her again? Where did she go? Can I still catch her?
So to keep her in memory, he ripped out his drawing, put it in his pocket, put the sketchbook on the bench and walked away.
He went back there everyday until he had to go back home, just hoping that she forgot something and had to come back.
But she never did, and his infatuation, his muse, his inspiration, was gone, back to being another person that he would never see again.
Once Zach was back home, he hung the sketch on his bedroom wall, and when his mother asked who that was, he said that he was trying to mimic one of the art pieces he saw in Italy.
She would stay his secret, in his mind, the view that he got of her was only truly seen and analyzed by him, and nobody else needed to know it.