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Free Read: The Picture by Roxanne Crouse
August 16, 2015 • Leave a Comment
by Roxanne Crouse
I opened the bag from the one hour photo and shuffled through the images. Slowly at first, but as my heart raced, I quickened my pace. My son, Logan, starred in most of them looking beautiful with his uncut messy hair and dirty cake-covered face. I watched as he tore through each of his birthday presents throwing wrapping paper around like rain. Next he blew out seven candles on his cake and ate a ton of sugar with his friends.
My eyes teared as I got to the last image, the fourteenth image. Only fourteen. I should have bought more film. My son sat on a video game motorcycle staring at the screen trying to drive, but the controls were too spread out for him to manipulate. He tried anyway. He never listened to me; his will was like stone, unbreakable.
I studied his colorful unmatched clothes and untamable hair and my heart sank deep into my chest. So deep I never thought I’d be able to put it back where it belonged. I wished so badly that he would have looked at the camera for this last picture, his last picture. I didn’t want to think about it.
Had I known, I would have bought more film. I would have tried to get better shots. The pictures seemed so insignificant then. I thought I had plenty of time, his whole life to get great shots of him. Now this poorly exposed image, where he wasn’t even looking, was the last.
I fell against the wall and slid to the ground holding the image in my hand. I cried out, letting all my pain finally escape. I didn’t care what the people on the sidewalk thought, this pain throbbed in me, and I could no longer hide from the truth. Logan was gone, and this piece of paper was my last memory of him.
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