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A Thousand Words
Miranda’s voice cuts through my thoughts, “Lydia? Are you paying any attention to me?” I shake my head, clearing my thoughts, then look at her, smile, and nod.
“Good. Hey, it’s 2:40. Are you going to set up?”
Silently I reach down and put down my tripod, attach my camera, and focus it on the trees in the park. The big oak in front of me is in clear focus, with my finger placed on the shutter button, just waiting for my watch to beep. Out of nowhere, a boy’s face pops up on my screen. Startled, I press the shutter button down and a bright flash goes off in the boy’s face. He staggers backwards.
“Hey! That’s the second time you’ve hurt me today!” He says, half angry, and half joking. I give him a quizzical look, one eyebrow slightly raised.
“Well, just now, you blinded me. And a couple minutes ago, I was so enchanted by you that I ran my bike into that wall over there,” he says, pointing.
“So, I’m going to need your name and number for insurance purposes,” He finishes with a wink and a grin.
Beside me, Miranda groans.
“Ugh… That was just so bad. It’s not even funny how terrible that pick up line was. But I give you credit for trying. Anyways, hey! I’m Miranda, and this is--”
As she’s talking, my watch beeping cuts her off. I jump, remembering I’m supposed to take a picture when my watch goes off. I aim the camera at Miranda and this strange boy, and take a picture. The boy jumps again at the flash, and Miranda and I laugh.
“Jeez! Why do you keep doing that?!” He exclaims, this time legitimately upset.
“Sorry.” Miranda apologizes. “Lydia can’t talk… It’s not like she’s mute or anything physical, but it’s a psychological thing. When she was six, she saw her parents be murdered by a robber and since then she hasn’t talked. Nobody knows why… She was just really scarred we guess. Another effect is that every day at 2:45 pm she takes a picture, no matter where she is. Her parents were killed at 2:45, and that’s why that’s the time. We don’t exactly know why she does that either, but hey. It’s the way she does stuff.”
Miranda finishes explaining this with a shrug. As she is talking, the boy slowly grows more and more of a fascinated expression on his face.
“Really?!” He exclaims. “That’s so cool. So has she ever talked?”
“Not since her parents died. Not to our knowledge, at least.”
“Wow. How about making noise? Does she laugh or anything?”
“Yeah, she laughs silently but that’s about it. She does everything like everybody else but without noise.”
“Oh wow… That must be tough to live with.”
“Yeah, but we get by. You get used to it.”
“I can only imagine. How long have you known her?”
“We’ve been best friends since we were born, and always will be. Cradle to casket.”
“Yeah….So you know our names, but we don’t know yours. What is it? And how old are you?”
“I’m Kyle, and I’m 17. How old are you guys?”
“We’re both 16.”
“Oh, so you must be about... Junior year? I’m a senior. I’m the youngest in my class though. Just turned 17 about a month ago.”
“Oh, cool. We’re both home schooled. Where do you go to school?”
“It’s some private Catholic school. You’re probably never heard of it.”
As Miranda and Kyle finish talking, there is an awkward bit of silence, until an acorn lands on his head, and then bounces and lands on the ground. Kyle lets out a yelp and covers his head with his hands, cowering, while looking around to see what hit him. Miranda and I laugh, but hers rings loud and clear, while my laugh only consists of me shaking my shoulders; no noise comes out of my mouth. I reach my camera up and take a quick picture of Kyle cowering in fear. When he spots the acorn, he looks at me to make sure that I’m paying attention and then nonchalantly picks it up and starts examining it. I snap another picture, as he is focused on the acorn, and his head snaps up to look at me at the sound of the shutter. His face is serious at first, but soon morphs into a mischievous grin and he tosses the acorn over his shoulder. He turns on his heel and strolls away slowly, calling back over his shoulder.
“You know what they say about acorns, right?”
Miranda and I look at each other, with confused looks on our faces.
“No...?” Miranda says, slowly.
He stops in his tracks and spins around, taking three large steps back over to us, until he is directly in front of me, his face practically in mine. He takes my camera off my neck and hands it to Miranda. He leans in close to her ear and says quietly,
“You’re going to want to photograph this.”
He steps back over to me, his face right in mine again, and I can see that he has a faux look of horror on his face and he says, more to me than Miranda,
“Well, since you’re apparently so uneducated in the ways of the acorn omens, I guess I’ll just have to teach you, young grasshopper. If an acorn falls from an oak tree and hits somebody on the head, the victim of the acorn will then have good luck, or so they say. I really hope it’s true because I’m going to need good luck for this.”
As he finishes saying this, he leans in and kisses me on the lips, his hand supporting the small of my back. Miranda giggles and snaps photo after photo of us. He pulls away, and grins at me.
“I guess the omen was right after all.”
I grin, and nod shyly, then take his hand in mine and pull him away with me, gesturing at Miranda to follow. She gives me a knowing look, already knowing where we are heading. We walk down the street, heading straight for my favourite toy shop.
We walk in the door, and I head straight for my favourite section; the stuffed animals. There is one in particular, a giraffe. I have it hidden in the very back, and I pull it out and show it to him shyly. He looks at it, then back at me.
“Do you want this?” He asks, gesturing at the giraffe.
I nod, my smile stretching from ear to ear. He walks over to the cashier and puts it down, ready to pay. I grab the camera from Miranda and start snapping photos of him buying my giraffe and taking continuous shots as he walks back over to us. He hands the giraffe to me with a grin.
“Here you go. A special toy for a special girl.”
I blush, and then Miranda cuts in.
“Hey guys, sorry to interrupt all the lovey dovey-ness of this adorable situation that just makes me want to squeal and then barf and then squeal again, but I’m hungry.”
I glare at her and she shoots me a look back as if to say, “What?! I can’t help it, I’m hungry!”
I sigh and nod in agreement. I grab my camera, and then go to a folder titled ‘Restaurants’ in my camera. I scroll to a photo of the Chipotle and hand the camera to Miranda, making sure she sees the picture on the screen.
“Yeah, Chipotle sounds good, let’s go there,” she agrees, putting the camera strap over her neck.
Kyle looks at me, then at Miranda, then back at me. Finally, his confused look transfers back to Miranda.
“How did you know she wanted Chipotle?” he asks.
“Telepathy.” Miranda answers, completely serious.
We stare at each other gravely for a couple seconds, then crack up, falling against each other for support. We laugh for a couple minutes while Kyle looks on, completely and utterly confused by this point. When Miranda is finally done laughing and can talk again, she explains it to him.
“When Lydia wants to go someplace, or say something, then she’ll look through her camera and find a picture of it, if she has one. If she can find it, she shows it to me and I know her well enough that I can understand what she’s communicating. If she doesn’t have a picture, well we kind of do a weird version of charades then. Like she might not have a picture of a pool that she can find handy so she’ll do a weird swimming action.”
As she finishes saying this, I puff up my cheeks and start moving my arms as if I’m in a pool. Kyle immediately starts laughing and I give him my best innocent smile, as if to say “Who, me? I didn’t do anything.”
Right then, Kyle’s phone rings. He takes his phone out of his pocket and glances at the screen.
“Excuse me, I have to take this,” he says as he puts his phone up to his ear, and steps away.
As soon as he’s out of earshot and his back is turned, Miranda turns to me and gives me a look.
“You like him, don’t you?” she asks, grinning at me.
Almost immediately, I start blushing and nod my head a little.
“Good because he’s obviously into you, and would be crazy not to! I’m happy for you hun.”
As she finishes talking she hugs me and we both smile. Kyle walks back over and sees me blushing, and us both grinning madly.
“What happened?” he asks.
“Oh nothing.” Miranda says with a giggle, and I blush more.
“Oh okay then. Well, guys, I’m sorry but that was my mom and I have to go home.” he says with a pout.
I notice that he still has his phone in his hand, so I reach over and grab it.
“Hey! What are you--” he starts to say, but stops when I slide open his phone and put in my contact information.
After it’s saved, I look at him to make sure he’s paying attention then point to him, pretend to text on his phone and then point at myself. At first he seems confused, so I repeat the motion. After a couple seconds, he realizes what I mean.
“Oh you want me to text you! Yes, of course I will.” he says smiling.
I turn and point to Miranda, then make a motion as if to snap pictures with my camera and then wink at her. She steps back a couple feet, then holds up the camera and starts taking paparazzi style photos of me, as I lean in to kiss him once more. After a couple seconds we break apart and he gives me a quick hug.
“I’ll text you later, bye!” he says, as he leaves and Miranda and I are left waving.
“Well that was fun.” Miranda says to me, as I nod in agreement, and we follow in his footsteps out the door.