Her fingers stiffen as she snaps La Sagrada Familia’s spires. Her shoulders high, her head at an awkward angle, she holds the camera too tight. He rolls his eyes, heckles. “What’s the fucking point, eh? What’s the point? Why don’t we just buy postcards from the peddlers? They’re better than any pictures you could ever take and at least we’d be doing them a favour. At least it would be worthwhile.”
She steps back, widens the angle, pictures the day they met, her friends steering them together at a party, a military manoeuvre, a pincer movement, so obvious that later they all howled with laughter at the absurdity. His smile, such a rare sight now, won her over as he said, “I guess we’re meant to be, yeah?”
She sharpens the focus. Remembers the first – and only – time he made her come. How she’d laughed, not out of viciousness, but surprise and happiness and joy. But what he saw was scorn and humiliation. He turned away from her. “What the fuck? What the actual fuck?”
In portrait, she turns and sees his face too close to hers, teeth bared, brow frowned, his countenance draining the sun’s warmth. "What are you staring at?"
Her parting shot.
She pushes her sunscreen smeared thumb over the lens and looks at him through a soft blur, faking it – she’s always faking it now – then turns the camera over and opens it up, letting these new memories meet burning light and die. Finally, everything exposed.
Saturday, 18 June 2022
'Vemödalen' by Karen Jones
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