Due to being swamped by way too much Real Life right now, I won't be able to keep up with updating Blade Queen and Lynn's Trip on weekends only. Until further notice, all new installments of all stories will be posted throughout the week instead of confining them to one day. I'm sorry to anyone this inconveniences.
For today, please enjoy the prologue to my new story, Photograph. Photograph is a flashback story, taking place seven years back; everything written completely in italics is the present, and everything written completely in normal text is in the past.
21, 2005” is written in red ink on the back of the
On the far right is Amber. She hasn’t smiled like that in years. Bright red hair, bright yellow tank top. She was going out with Galil back then, and both of her arms are wrapped around his big, thick right arm. His smile is so big, it nearly takes up his entire face. I remember it all; she squeals “Galil! Galil! Galiiiil!” and grabs onto his arm. He laughs—a tiny, throaty laugh that contrasts so sharply with his build and stature. He pats her head. Click! The photo is taken. Click! Click! Two more times, for good measure. The last time I’d seen Amber, her laughter and smiles were forced. I wonder if she’s ever smiled and laughed the way she did for this photo again. Galil’s lost his mind. I don’t even think he remembers Amber anymore. I don’t even think he remembers me anymore. Does he even remember himself anymore?
On Galil’s left is
is so beautiful. This was one of the days when she looked her very best. Her
smile shows all her teeth. Her brown curls bounce at her shoulders. Her white,
ruffly button-down, her smart-looking khaki pants. I wonder if she knew how
beautiful she was on that day. I wonder if she knows now. Her brown curls are
gone now, and so is the smile. Alice
Jessie, hiding behind her hair. It’s not that Jessie is ugly or afraid of the
camera, it’s just that she likes to be silly. She wraps her long, stringy black
hair around her face and growls. Click!
Click! First two pictures, and Jessie
looks like a bear. Click! Third, and
suddenly she’s more like a wolf. Jessie is gone now. Who knows where she went? Alice
Finally, there’s me, Birdie. I’m on the far right, right next to Amber, my best friend who is like a sister to me. My head is resting on her shoulder, and I am just so happy to be out here on this summer day with my best friends. My wide smile reflects this. My normally-unruly black hair falls neatly around my shoulders and my back, like a picture frame. I’m wearing one of my favorite navy-blue blouses and a plaid skirt—navy and red plaid. I still have it. There’s a flower in my hair like I am a fair damsel from a fairy tale. I’m at my most content.
This photo defines that summer for me. That summer was one of the most influential summers of my life. To this day, I can still remember every face with perfect detail. I can remember the sound of everyone’s laughter, the feelings of joy that seemed to pass from one person to the other until it encompassed the entirety of our small rural town. I can remember the TV episodes we watched and the flavors of ice cream we sat on our porches and ate. I can remember the swings at the park, the individual conversations, the occasional drama and the everyday joy. I can remember it all with just one look at this photograph…