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Green green eyes
Green, green eyes; pale pink lips; fair skin; not quite
white, nor pink. A slight golden hue from all the hours in
the sun, that has faded. Dirty blond hair, or light brown,
(it depends on whom you ask), with sun bleached highlights.
People often wonder if they are real or fake. She tells
them that hours spent in the sun bleached it. The hours
spent in the chlorine during the summer and swim seasons
probably helped some, but natural all the same. None of
this really matters to her. Sure she likes the way her lips
meet; the freckle at the tip of her nose, the way her eyes
can startle someone, but in the end she wonders if she is
just being conceited, if she is just as superficial as the
rest. She smirks at herself reflecting off the window.
Bringing one corner of her mouth up to form that half smile
that she wishes people would comment on. It reminds her of
someone else, not sure if it is someone famous, or a person
she knows, just familiar. Comforting, but startling.
Combined with her eyes her expression holds a sadness that
she cannot decipher. It should not be so. She smiles again,
her mind lost in thought. She wishes she could capture this
moment. Prop the camera up somewhere that it wouldn't be
noticed, set a timer, or attach an auto release, and then
suddenly this moment would be there forever. Too bad her
camera isnt there.
Turning she smiles at her coworker and begins closing down
the cash register. As she counts out the money she replays
the events of the evening. Nothing unusual. The typical
group of guys who work out at the gym across the street.
After months of coming in they have grown to know her, and
now conversations flow easily through them. Some ask about
her plans for the future, others dont maybe because they
remember what it was like, being asked constantly, or maybe
because they just dont care. Doesnt matter to her. She
has her answer down to a script. College. A major in
studio art, concentration in photography, maybe shell stay
here in Atlanta, or maybe shell go away. Details dont
really matter, just as long as she gets to do what she
likes. Actually she would love to go away, but doesnt
know if she would be able to. For some reason they all
seemed surprised of her choice of a major. They tell her
there isnt much money in it. That it is a hit or miss
job. She tells them she knows this, but she still wants to
do it. Just to please them she says maybe shell get a
teaching degree too. Occasionally she randomly chooses a
childhood dream to see what theyll say. I want to be a
photographer, but if that doesnt work out I could always
be a ballerina, or maybe a fireman. Well see what
happens. She smiles, then she hands them their drink,
almost as a cue to leave.
She wonders if they think she is crazy, but then smiles to
herself because she knows that she is not. She doesnt
question her choice, because she knows she could not live
without it. Leaving the darkroom each day is hard enough;
a lifetime without it would be unbearable. There is
something about it, something that fascinates her.
Watching images slowly appear out of the chemicals, moving
a sheet of paper through the three different chemicals,
thinking it is crazy how a combination of chemicals can
cause a reaction such as this. Then taking the print out
into the light, being amazed by the finished product.
Maybe amazed that she could create something so beautiful.
Sometimes it seems so easy, so natural, that she blushes at
the comments people give her. Her teacher tells her it
isnt so for everyone. That she does have talent, the
beauty and precision in her prints isnt something everyone
can do, but she still wonders. She still blushes bright
red with approval from him, or her classmates.
Done with the register she goes into the back of the store
and gathers her things. She asks her coworker if hed like
a ride home, knowing that riding his bike home would be
some sort of hell she doesnt want to put him through. She
laughs when he smiles shyly and asks if it would be a
problem. Loading his bike into her fathers car they make
small talk. He asks when he can see more of her prints,
she tells him eventually, she asks when she can see more of
his art, and he gives her the same answer. Digging out her
box of prints she turns the light on for him and then heads
out of the parking lot. He looks in silence, knowing that
she doesnt need to hear anything. Occasionally a question
about why she chose to set the frame this way or that, but
nothing else. Once he is done he tells her she is good,
and that is the end of it. Conversation returns to normal,
with talk about music, or classes, or thousands of other
When they reach his apartment they say good-bye and she
leaves. Thoughts go back to the darkroom, maybe she can
convince her dad to build one, but then laughs because she
realizes how pointless it would be. Shes out of the house
in just over half a year, but maybe shell still ask. Once
she is home maybe shell finish her homework. Maybe shell
scan a picture or two onto her computer and upload them to
her web page. Maybe she will work on a college
application, and then maybe shell go to sleep. Shell
wake up and the day will start over again. Going in an
endless cycle she cannot wait to be broken.