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Thoughts are just chemical imbalances. Love is simply the result of overreacting hormones. Photos are merely the different spectrums of light momentarily exposed to film. This is the logical view on certain aspects of life that makes it terribly wonderful and wonderfully heartbreaking at the same time, the literal view which says that right and wrong is always black and white, but it’s not. Life is illogical, irrational, and unpredictable, and the given now is not always what the past expected the future to be. If I had been an oracle of sorts, I could have potentially prevented a broken heart. At the same token, however, I would have never experienced what I consider to be living. The human brain is a remarkable thing. I, for example, could not tell you a single mathematical equation I’ve learned in all my eleven years education, short of the Pythagorean Theorem. On the other hand, I have this amazing capacity for even the most insignificant of memories, memories that, even with the momentary flash of a camera lens or a photographic negative, can never be duplicated. Ever.


It was April vacation when the photo was taken; the weather was just beginning to warm up and thaw off anything that might still have been icy from the relatively mild winter that had just passed through. It was one of those lazy days where the two of us would just lay like dogs up in his room as a refuge from all the realities and responsibilities we’ve come to accept like normal human beings. I was smiling; maybe that was because of the walls: they were this terrible lime green color that he swore “brought people together and made them happy”, or maybe it was because I hadn’t a worry in the world, aside from that faint voice in the back of my mind with the repeating presage “you don’t have a lot of time left”, but either way I was happy and content with who I was, where I was, and who I was with. Because of this, I disregarded that voice. I’m notorious for not always making the finest of decisions; logic is no friend of mine.


In that moment, I can recall perfectly, I had been terribly unsuccessful in finding a comfortable position on the floor, not to mention the fact that my wardrobe doesn’t always consist of the most comfortable clothes fit for floor-perching. It was he who had this brilliant suggestion that I sit on him rather than on the floor, seeing as boys are far more comfortable than carpets. In most cases, at least. I eagerly agreed and soon found myself in the familiar comfort of his arms. His head was nestled in my shoulder, carefully kissing it, while his arms were wrapped tightly around my waist with his hands clasped together so tightly that it seemed neither sand nor stone could break us apart. He was the kind of boy that made a girl feel safe, the kind of boy that I felt comfortable being with as well as sitting on.


A long time ago, I found these fantastic sunglasses: Maui Jim’s, which are a very popular and semi-chér brand name. They were comfortable while at the same time made everything clearer and easier to see. It didn’t take too long before I couldn’t be outside without them, lest I allow my photosensitive retinas to become infiltrated by enemy ultraviolet rays. I bring this to attention because for whatever reason, I’m wearing my Maui’s in the picture. I could speculate and say that I was wearing them to protect my vision, but in all honesty, I know I didn’t care. It was one of my reckless, impulsive decisions, but I’m okay with being impulsive. If I wasn’t, I would have never even met him to begin with.


When I was younger, I used to believe I was invincible. I’d pretend I was some sort of superhero who’d save the day whenever trouble came around; I had quite the imagination for a thirteen-year-old girl. In the photograph, I have this belt wrapped around my head, which I fashioned after one of my personal favorite superheroes who happened to be named “Quailman.” I liked Quailman because he was really just an ordinary boy caught in extraordinary situations, and even when he was fighting up against all odds, he would still always come out victorious. Superheroes, however, are fictional. In real life, I had him. I used to tell him that he was my Superman because he could fix everything simply by reassuring me that everything was going to be alright regardless of how futile the circumstances may have been. Maybe I wanted to be the superhero and save him for once; maybe I wanted to protect him from harm rather than see him fall apart like I did. As I grow older, I’m coming to understand that there are no superheroes, that no one is completely indestructible. Not even my Superman in the picture who claimed to have never cried in years.


The human capacity for burden is incredible. There are things that we deal with sometimes because we really, truly care about someone or something to such an extent that we risk ourselves emotionally as well as physically in order to preserve it. Sometimes that means holding on until every last strand is severed, in other cases, it means letting go even when everything inside is screaming “hold on”.


As of now, I live vicariously through photographs. Reminiscing and taking mental pictures of the memories in my mind and continuing over, under, and through every rung of possibility that may spark some sliver of hope for reconciliation. But even I know that would be too good to be true, regardless of however wonderful it would be to be happy again. Still, I keep all the picture frames facing up because even though I lost in the end, I gained memories and a lifetime of love that I wouldn’t trade for the world. And that in itself is worth everything.





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