The Photograph

Not quite ready to return home, she headed for her favourite spot, her respite from the world, a little book store, akin to a library where its readers whisper in hushed tones. She wandered amongst the empty aisles searching for the one book that would speak to her. They always do, with the way they feel in her hands as she caresses their covers. She always knows. ‘Escaping into the Open’ by Elizabeth Berg, the art of writing true, how perfect she thought. Not willing to head out into the world outside her sanctum, even though it was the most glorious Fall day with its warmth of colour, she walked into the coffee shop attached to the book store. She had every intention of opening her new purchase and sipping on her tea as she settled down at the long wooden table partially occupied with men engrossed in their work on their laptops. She couldn’t help but became enthralled with the two women, engaged in each other’s company at the opposite table, speaking in less than hushed tones. It was a  refreshing back and forth of compliments  bestowed upon the older of the two women that caught her attention; her companion in awe of her high cheek bones and how she wanted to capture her “Pierre Elliot Trudeau” looks on camera. She found herself smiling at this delightful unfolding of a moment captured forever on film. The young photographer saw her smiling and brought her into their banter asking if she agreed with her observation. How could she possibly say anything but, “Yes, her smile is beautiful”, the subject then proving her correct as her eyes lit up with delight. Eventually the camera was handed over after much begging and the moment captured in time. The subject then became the photographer as the roles were reversed as they continued their appreciation for one another; offering up small glances my way as if they needed me in their moment of sharing. From somewhere in her quiet observations the words, “Would you like me to take a photo of the both of you together?” came out of her mouth making her realize how intertwined the moment had become. It meant telling them her name and that no her name wasn’t in fact “Auburn” as was suggested or even “Lucille Ball”. She understood the reference to the colour of her hair but not wanting to seem rude she just smiled at the memory of Lucille stuffing chocolates into her mouth when she could no longer keep up with the packing of them into boxes. They were equally thrilled with their smiling images that looked back at them in the photograph thanking her profusely and using her name. They returned back to their intimate world of conversing with one another and she continued to sip on her tea, opening up the first page of her book before escaping into the open.

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