A Picture’s Worth
The bag sits heavily on her lap. She has to open it at some point. The longer she holds off, though, the less permanent the situation feels. At some point her hand removes the contents. This old fashion film camera was her grandmother’s prized possession. Nana liked the procedure of processing her own film. There’s a roll of film inside waiting to be seen.
Kelsey and her grandmother had been working on a gallery for Nana’s photography studio. They had each given the other the task of taking the last two spots. They were going to reveal them on the day that became her funeral. Kelsey is intrigued to know what Nana captured.
Once inside the make-shift darkroom of her grandparent’s basement, Kelsey methodically goes about the process of curing the photos. The darkroom usually feels so small, but not today. There’s a pressure on her chest, like the darkness is pressing in close, about to steal her breath.
“Picture it, Kelsey. The whole wall is covered in our photos. Can you see it?” Nana stands next to Kelsey looking at a blank white wall with a big smile on her face. A timer goes off, startling Kelsey back to the present. Her eyes burn and her throat is tight. The photos are ready.
The re-grand opening of Lily’s Studio is in a few hours and Kelsey is checking on the last two items to arrive. The framed photos for the gallery wall were supposed to arrive days ago. She cuts through the bubble wrap to find a colored candid shot of herself with her parents at a family cookout. No one is looking towards the camera as they’re all enraptured with a joke someone made.
Kelsey opens the second photograph where she is met with her Nana. It’s a grainy black and white still of Nana taking photos of waterfalls on their trip to Tallulah. She was always up for an adventure, usually with her camera to document the event. This picture will hang in the middle for all to see. She’s on a new adventure now.