- Place her in there, no! Don’t do that! She needs to look like she is sitting comfortably and she is happy.
- She is dead.
- Child, you need to understand our job. Her parents want to believe that this picture will trap her soul and keep her alive.
- But she is dead, and when you’re dead, you’re dead, kaput, finito!
- Yes, but can you keep that thoughts for yourself? The parents are coming.
I still don’t know why did I accept that job, my father has recently passed and my mother need all the help that my sister and I could provide. I was looking for a job that was well paid and honourable. My dad used to have a friend who was a photographer and he kindly offered me to be his assistant.
I didn’t know anything about photography, it was sort of magic to me! A machine that could capture moments! A machine who could show who you were. No wonder that the Native Americans believed that they were stealing your soul, but nowadays the trend was to do that in order to stay alive.
It was weird, families will bring their recently deceased babies to get a picture with them. Family pictures with their ancestors, when they were dead! They will keep their eyes open and put a smile, it was grotesque! Of course I opposed when mother suggested that we should do the same. My father was gone, and no picture was bringing him back.
- That’s it for the day Jo, you can go home.
- I don’t mind cleaning.
- Are you sure?
- Yes, to be honest, it’s nicer being here than at home.
Life at home has become difficult since we lost father, mother has started overusing certain substances to keep her sadness under the control, leaving her useless and taciturn. Sister just got married and left, so it was just mother and I. I used to get along well with father, but with her it was a whole different story, she was jealous of my relation with father, of how we understood each other, and how he never pushed me to be someone I wasn’t. I didn’t want to get married, I didn’t want to be a housewife, I thought I deserved something better, I dreamed of becoming a doctor or a scientist, but life was hard for women.
- I’ll see you tomorrow Jo, say hi to mother.
- Will do Mr. Ramble. And thanks again.
- That’s all good Jo. You’re a smart girl.
Mr. Ramble was a really nice man, he treated me as an equal , he was so patient with me, I always had something to say, not that I was doing it on purpose or to offend people, I guess that it was because there was some stuff that I couldn’t understand, like denying pain, like finding refuge on religion, drugs, alcohol or other sort of things. Death was death and that was something of which I was certain.
- Wait a second! What was that noise?
Shit, I was speaking out load, perhaps it was a thief… these days crime was normal as the food was scarce. Perhaps was just a tiny animal running around the shop. The sound felt as if something was crawling or scratching the surface, it felt heavy and it was increasing, it was getting closer to me, I wasn’t scared, if it was a thief I knew how to defend myself, and if it was an animal I’ll just scared him. In a blink of an eye, the door glass crush and nothing… I could see nothing apart from all the pieces falling on the floor…
- Who is this?
Was I going insane?
I realized… I was sleeping on the shop’s floor…
- Jo… Are you OK?
- Sorry Mr. Ramble, I must have fallen sleep yesterday…