This short story is based on the song photograph by 12 stones, feel free to add another chapter :)
The night ‘Photograph’ was written
I could see her approaching from a distance rising from the shadows of entangled evergreens in the park where I was, perched on a bench. We were caught in the aftermath of rain. The earthly scent that rose from the atmosphere was refreshing as if the entire world was reborn again. In Seattle, precipitation was inevitable; it was something you had to live with and get used to. The leaves from the trees still dripped on a mildly flooded ground to reach the merciless mouth of the drains and as I closed my eyes and meditated on each soothing sip, she arrived, patting me gently on the shoulder. My little sister Rachael forever caught casual in jeans; there was never a day when I thought I’d see her cry. She was the strong one of the bunch, always smiling, always winning the sibling wrestling matches for the remote control.
The murky clouds made way for the Moon, She brought forth light projected from the sun. I swear I could have held her in that moment for an eternity; a photograph for me. The gravity of the situation was too much to bear. Her face drew upon total darkness, the pain had numbed her.
They say, like the yin yang, photographs come with negatives and positives. Except in the shops, they store the negatives away in a hidden flap so you can focus on the positives. And unlike the yin yang, there is no silver lining on a picture, it’s just gloss or matt and you’re the one to choose according to preference.
“He’s gone,” she mumbled behind a blocked nose.
The drops of water that leaves collect fall upon us. In the end, we too fall as angels do. Not all of them fall, I kept telling myself. Hope existed somewhere between the lens and eyes that capture a moment in the photograph. A finger presses the shutter and it cannot be undone. Fate could not be undone. I always thought that you couldn’t fall when you were sat on the ground, turns out I was wrong. I tried to tell her everything will get better, that maybe the angels took pity on him and he was at rest in the white heaven we all hope for but at that moment in time, I didn’t know what I believed anymore.
They found him in his one bedroom apartment; bled himself dry, snapped himself out of life. I really couldn’t sit there and listen to the details but that’s all I knew. And that was enough.
When I got home I quickly put away my bible inside an empty drawer, prepared some coffee and got hold of my guitar. I only then realised that I had built up a silent rage that I didn’t want Rachael to see. I strummed, strung together some lyrics between sips of bitter coffee and pauses for thought. What made him give up?
Forfeit everything because you were never strong enough...
My fist trembled but I had to keep going, now that I had a chorus. I needed to seize the moment not the anger. Soon dawn will arrive, the city will buzz with life, the postman would drop the letters in a momentary flap, the lamps will burn out, the moon will disappear and the stairs will blink no more.
He only spoke when he was spoken to, holding a beer and leaning against a wall. He was all-seeing, all-hearing, in some instances he laughed at a couple of jokes then got tired. In our memories we will fight to even comprehend that he was real, that he walked on the same ground as us, that we held him close by us. Truth is he was rarely paid attention to; always making excuses to go crawling back into his self-locked cage and be trampled on by negative thoughts.
I fell asleep holding my guitar and was awake in the blinding white light of the sun; my face cracked with yesterday’s tears. I could hear a bird clicking his rhythmic song. My song for Rachael was written and done.