[dw] 23-24 June 2008
“Anita? It’s me. Remember that money I lent you? I need it, and I need it bad.”
Oh wait, did she need it bad or badly? English grammar had never been her strong suit and she often made all kinds of small errors without knowing it. It was okay. Once she got all that money and figured out the rest of the plan, no one else was going to care what kind of grammar errors she made, or how her accent betrayed that she was from the wrong end of town. Better to just leave it off on the next call.
“Harry, how are you? Yeah, it’s me. Where’s that money you owe me? I need it. I really need it.”
She felt like a loser having to call in all the money she’d lent friends in good will, but it was the only way to get what she needed. They would have to understand, right? They had to!
Doing some quick math in her head, she tallied up how much she could get from her friends. If they all came through, she could get a decent amount, and it would be enough to go to step two. Step Two. Just thinking about it made her anxious. What if it didn’t work? What if she ended up worse off than she was now? What if it was all a big scam to get her money? She would be out all her cash and she still wouldn’t have enough to get out of this dead-end town.
She tried not to think about what would happen if things went wrong and focused instead on finding the next person’s phone number on her list.
His arms looked strong without looking too thick, his fingers capable and deft with his camera. He clicked a series of buttons, turned a knob or two, and then started to frame the shot. The light was so dim that she could barely see him through the murkiness, the only light coming from a broken window in the far corner of the room. She heard the distinct suction sound of the mirror flap and knew that he had started the exposure. Careful to not even breathe too heavily, she waited to hear the second click that told her he was done.
“Do you think you got it?”
He turned slightly towards her, the light falling only partially on his face, and he nodded gently, a motion that was barely perceptible in the dimness. Turning away from him, she raised her own camera to her face, framing the scene in the viewfinder, walking back and forth to get just the right composition.
She wasn’t quite sure when it happened, but somehow she had found herself falling, falling in love. At first she thought it was him, but then she decided that she wasn’t romantically interested in him at all. It was more like she was falling in love with their friendship, and the way it was so easy to be around each other. She didn’t need to be any single person when she was with him. She could truly be herself, the way she was meant to be, without having to figure out what he wanted from her, or how he might expect her to act. She felt free when she was with him.
They moved silently through the building, peeking through broken glass windows to the bright sun outside. Neither of them spoke much, and simply enjoyed each other’s company and the sound of broken glass crunching under their feet.