The last movement of the moonlight sonata played right into my ears as I got prepared for the day, it was a habit, I needed some classical music to kick start my day, aside from coffee- the caffeine addiction, the inevitable part of adulthood.
As I sipped my mornings by at the small kitchen, Jeff, my roommate got up, an unusual sight. He minded his own business, I bothered mine. I got out of my room as soon as I finished my coffee. I had an 0800 class and the time was 0745. Rushing, not so.
I knew I had to get a shot with her, a thought that had a multitude of definitions, and that was all I wanted from her. Fear gripped me, hindered my thoughts for her as I fell into a chasm of sadness in my past attempts- futile ones. I had never gotten a positive call, that was how terrible I was in interacting with people compared to my photography skills- the heaven and earth comparison.
Halting my malignant thoughts as I approached the faculty of arts. The edifice was not the grandest, but the interior would live up to its standards. I had a hunch to take some photos before entering class, but I was indifferent about it because my eyes deemed the surroundings at this condition not worth my time of taking them. Impulses of regret marched into me as I got into class, I should have spent some time outside rather than to sit here, listening to the nonsense.
My phone vibrated, a message from Wendy- the head of photography team, Meet me outside now. I excused myself from the hall with the camera slung behind me, the lecturer turned a blind eye to me.
I got to Wendy, she was as anxious as usual, as if time was chasing her, yet her demeanor was well-kempt, dressed in a simple T and baggy jeans which suited her jet black silky hair. She told me about the major event that was about to happen in some time next fortnight. The thoughts of getting a closure to the singer coruscated in my mind.
Before she even asked me about it, I agreed to be one of the photographers to be at the scene. She was cool about it, and surprised for my almost instant response as for most of the times I would be reluctant to attend any of these events as my forte was not taking pictures of people.
There was the open walkway, some lockers here and there, the ordinary fluorescent light, and only us. “There’s this new girl, a student exchange.” Wendy broke to me.
“Why?” My first response, as I dislike the fact to partner up, the previous one turned really ugly because we were never on the same page, we would screw everything up, “I’m not going to team up with her.” I asserted, but she seemed reluctant to accept my no.
She marched a few feet closer to me, holding up her head to match mine, poked me in the chest, “She requested you to be her mentor.” What? “Look, she’s not that bad.” She smacked her phone with her image into my face. The photo showed a ‘plain’ girl, an average girl by the streets, nothing out of the ordinary.
Wendy swiped her phone to the right. The images were vivid, as if they were coming to life, a something that would never couple my skills, the photos were creme de la creme, they were, indescribable. I was mesmerised, astounded, speechless at the same time. My arms took a hiccup, my camera slipped from my hold, it was plummeting into its death.
Crack… A subtle cry of pain, the protruded lens was the one that took the hit. “Shit!” I went nuts, lifting my camera into my cuddle, scrutinised every inch of it, making sure that nothing major happened. Only a chip off the wood, I convinced myself. A very, very serious understatement.
“I’m sorry…” Wendy took a few steps back.
I was enraged, the red angry fuel surged in my veins, my mind was in a bamboozled state, but those pictures in the phone stupefied me, subsided the rage in me. I took a deep breath, heaved all of my tantrum out into the thin air.
She shrunk into a safe distance from me, she thought I was going to blast her into pieces, but instead I asked her to give me the phone. I was immersed in the pictures, the minutiae, the moment, the gist of everything, perfectly captured in a frame of reference of a ripple in spacetime.
The hall was still not filled with people, we were there for quite a while. Wendy recovered from the shock in time, “If you want them… I can send them to you, and you can stare at them as long as possible.” She shrugged as I lifted my attention off her phone, I was still shell-shocked. The sorry in her was still prominent, I reckoned that I scared her off with one of my impending fits again, I apologized to her sincerely, she told me that it was nothing, but she was scared shitless, “So… You onz?”
“Onz.” I spoke in assent, ashamed of myself in lack of self-control. A silent beep shook my pocket, I got everything that I needed from her, a chance to meet a new perspective.
My head pummeled against me once again, kicking me out of service for a second, I fell to the wall near me, I got hold of myself once I knew I was falling. “Are you ok?” I nodded, shaking my head out of all the weird signals that my body was emitting these past few weeks.
We bade each other goodbyes, walked back to our errands. One question that was posed in my mind, two actually: Who is she? Why me?
Previously : Broken Lens #1
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