It had been a few weeks since Dean had bought the camera. It sat on the shelf in his office. Sarah had got over her initial shock at what he had wasted twenty dollars on and had mostly stopped bringing it up during conversations with their friends; mostly.
Not that she was mean about it, she wasn’t that bad. He loved her very much and he knew he wasn’t always easy to get along with. He was glad she put up with him and they had a lot of fun together.
Still, it was still a handy weapon to use should the situation arise and he cringed at the thought of her using it against him again, ridiculing him in front of his friends. His parents were visiting soon and they were not always sympathetic to his love of old cameras and he knew it would be the subject of conversation at his expense. He remembered last time they visited and saw fit to talk about his childhood.
The move to the USA had been a difficult transition for him and he’d gone down a negative path. He got into trouble at school and the police had visited his parents a few times. They had to mention about the fire. It had ended in an argument with Sarah and had it taken weeks for them to get over. He kept telling her it wasn’t who he was anymore and since then he’d been a different person. His parents had backed him up on this point but it still hadn’t been easy.
In some ways he had regretted buying that camera, not that he didn’t like it; there was something about it. But he did think that he would be paying for it in some way for a little longer. Work had got busy lately and he hadn’t really had time to think much about it. It had sat just as he had found it, almost forgotten.
Tonight though he had got home earlier than usual and was well into an evening of photo editing on his computer; he had a couple of hundred images to filter from the trip Sarah and he had taken to Yosemite a month or so ago. He’d promised to have the best one’s posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and she’d reminded him twice in the last couple of days that it still wasn’t done. The light outside had faded and the room was only lit by the screen in front of him, a dull blue shadow cast behind as he worked on the images. Sarah was out at some kind of get together with some girlfriends so he was uninterrupted.
The camera sat on the shelf.
Suddenly he felt an urge to look at it, an oppressive throbbing urge that took his mind from the adjustment he was doing.
He stared at the camera and started to study it as it sat there. Eventually he got out of his seat and reached for it, turning on the light as he did so.
It still looked the wreck it did when he bought it. The thick piece of leather that was all that was remaining of the case sat twisted and blistered on the side. The corners were rounded off on all sides and he knew not whether this was by design or the abuses of time. The dust was caked onto most surfaces and a quick blow of air from his lungs made no impact. He thought for a moment whether he should just leave it as it was a shelf ornament and conversation piece; maybe just do a little research. Should he clean it up? Maybe try to get it working? He didn’t really know.
He turned it around in his hands, his fingers feeling the controls. He felt the top and tried to open the viewfinder. It was stuck. He didn’t want to break it and looked a little more closely trying to see where it was sticking. He ran his thumbnail along the edge, applying a firm pressure. He felt it move slightly, suddenly it released, the aging spring working the simple mechanism into opening up the hood allowing access to the viewfinder.
Dean looked down at the viewfinder.
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