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His index finger pulled at the skin below his right eyelid as I stared at him intently. His straight brown hair shaped his face in a square formation, causing his chin to look like it was protruding out. But it didn’t matter to me. His protruding chin was something I looked forward to seeing every day. The scratchy stubble that only grew on that chin and above his top lip would always leave light red scratches along my neck and face. I looked away from him to his pale white walls. His bedroom looking nothing like what a teenager should live in. His beige carpet had no evidence of there ever being a spill. His clothes were all contained in his closet opposite of his futon, or in a small white laundry basket that sat in front of the closet door. For all the simplicity of his average room, his South wall made up for it all.
“Devin, that’s slightly gross.”
“Audrey, you really know how to hurt my feelings.”
His bottom lip jutted out as he tried to act as if my observation really upset him. He soon pulled his lip back in when he noticed I wasn’t pay attention to his lip, but more his eyes. Red zigzags ran around his hazel irises, causing him to look slightly crazy.
“After this we should get some sleep,” I informed him.
Devin quickly removed his finger from his under his eye and cocked his head to the left. His hair shone when the small cracks of moon light, that peaked through his plastic blinds, fell onto him. He ran his fingers through his short locks of hair, the dirt clearly didn’t faze him. He squinted his bloodshot orbs and scowled in my direction.
“Sleep? I have never heard of such a thing? Why do we need to sleep?” His head shook lightly with each mocking word he said.
“I just really want to sleep right now. Do we really have to take this picture?”
He quickly sat upright. He turned his head to the right and gave me that ever-knowing side smirk. His white, thousand-dollar straightened teeth shone in the same light his hair had just a few moments ago.
I too cocked my head to the said as I tried to understand his constant changing action. But my curious glance at him was broken when I opened my mouth wide and yawned. My mouth stretched open wider and my jaw unhinged that made a snapping noise in my ears, and made my mouth go even larger. I sucked in a deep breath of air, and exhaled with an overdramatic sound. Devin pursed his lips together in a pout and raised his eyebrows at me.
“Very,” I mumbled as I reached my nimble fingers to my eyes and tried to rub the sleep out of them. I removed my fingers from my face and my eyelids barely touched as my eyelashes laced together. I could barely see what was in front of me, other than hazy black lines blurring the sight, perhaps just like everything else that fades and blurs.
When I opened my eyes all the way, he still had on his classic Devin smile as he started to move closer to me, and ignored my attempts to lean my head against the wall for support. His black futon under us squeaked with his slight movement. We had already learned months ago that his bed wasn’t always the best choice. He had gotten on his knees and wobbled over to the side of the futon I was sitting. He slung his right arm around my shoulder and pulled me off of the wall I was leaning on. I leaned my head back and closed my eyes.
Polaroids lined the South wall in columns of fives, and rows of twenties. Each evenly spaced with two centimeters on either side. Polaroids that only documented his life with other girls since two 2007. Photos of me only started appearing in the end of 2006 and photos of us, together, started showing up in the beginning of 2007. New Year’s day. A three by three and one eighth picture of the two of us on New Year’s day marked the start of our relationship. His left arm wrapped tightly around my shoulder and his right arm reaching off the screen, holding the camera in front of us. He wore the obnoxious glasses that formed 2007, and the zeros becoming the lenses. He also was wearing his red cotton v neck. Our fingers pressed firmly against one another’s skin, as if a warning the other not to leave. Both my hands held on to each side of his face and pulled him near me, allowing my lips to find his cheek. You could see the background, but it was hazy. It was in Kyle’s basement with about twenty other couples kissing on the first second of the new year.
“How much longer?” I asked trying to pick my head up lazily.
But it was just a document. There were other girls on this wall of his. Girls with brown hair that was straighter than mine, and had eyes bluer than the sky. Girls that I never asked about, girls that faded into his wall but still made me wonder.
I reached my arm up and pulled my blonde hair out from in between my back and his arm.
“Sorry,” he said leaning over and kissing my cheek quickly before pulling away. He looked to the left of him and stared intently at his clock on his small white desk. I leaned and looked at the small circular object to see it was almost two minutes till midnight.
“Almost a year,” he said removing his arm from around me.
He quickly placed his hands on either side of him and pushed himself up off the low bed that was in a makeshift couch. He walked slowly over to his nightstand that looked oddly placed in the middle of his bedroom. He bent over and picked up his black and silver Polaroid that he had bought in a thrift store two towns over.
The first photo Devin ever took of me was taken on the first day we met. Our mutual friend Kyle had decided that we had to met. I was and still am convinced Kyle only really wanted me to go to Devin’s house so I could drive. He had promised that we would get along. Promised me that he and I had so much in common. I sat on his then twin size bed, and watched while he and Kyle argued. I scanned his room. My eyes laying judgment on every inch of his walls, from what I saw, him and I had nothing in common. Back then, he only had about a row and a half completed on his south wall. I sat staring carefully at each photo. My eye had tried to skip over the ones with a lack of color, but I stopped at each one and looked at the image. The first starting pictures were of people he knew. His grandfather sitting in an old Lazy Boy we passed on the way in that day was the first one. Even for a Polaroid it looked like you could reach out and touch his face. His skin, wrinkled with age, took up most of the photo, but his sweet smile, that was small and weak was what made the picture something. I found my own lips spreading into a small smile as I looked over this photo.
A click and a flash drew me from my thoughts of the photo his old grandfather. Devin stood in front of me, lowering the camera from his face. He pulled the photo out of the camera with his right hand and held it in front of him smiling. But that photo of me in a green shirt and with shorter blonde hair was not me. My hair was longer, and I had started to dislike the color green on me.
I looked back at his wall and looked at his grandfather’s picture. A small layer of dust had accumulated on the surface, but was only visible on the white outer edging. My eyes traced his fading wrinkles on his face; they went from his smile line and all the way up to his creases in his forehead. I could hardly see the crow’s feet around his eyes anymore, and this picture of him didn’t have the aging spots he does now. The colors on the side of the photo were already blending into the white edging as they gradually faded.
“So how was your two thousand and seven, Audrey?”
Devin walked over to the futon with his Polaroid camera in his left hand. His fingers were already in place on the camera and his index finger sat on top of the capture button.
“My two thousand and seven was pleasant.”
“Pleasant? That’s how you’re going to describe our whole year together?” He sat down next to me with a look of shock decorated across his face. His brown eyebrows were raised high over his eyes as he stared at me. His mouth fell open after his question, but the edge of his lips were already turning upright into a smile.
“I loved my two thousand and seven. And I’m euphoric that I had you to spend it with.”
“Well, the same goes for me, Miss,” he said sliding closer to me.
His thigh rested against mine and I tried to stretch a yawn out longer than I had before. He wrapped his right arm around my shoulder and pulled me in closer to his face. His was already raising his left arm and holding the camera out in front of our faces.
“Maybe we should save this?”
“You know, keep this to our minds.”
“No, I want to have something to remember this,” he said looking over at me and smiling with his teeth glittering in the light.
On the white desk to the left of us his clock began to ring as the thin red second hand moved across the twelve with the minute and hour hand. Devin leaned in, and I felt his subtle scratch against my cheek as he pulled me even closer to him. He had pressed the capture button down completely causing a flash to blind us only for a few seconds while the image of the two of us, together for just this moment, was documented and developed on the light sensitive Polaroid behind the lens-- waiting to fade away.