Photos in the Mall





This story was inspired by an actual event I was fortunate enough to witness.  I was walking through the mall and happened to notice two teenage boys in the photo booth.  The lads were completely unaware of the world around them, or the fact that the video screen on the side of the booth showed the world what was going on inside.  I saw each picture as if I were the cameraman myself.


I watched for a moment as the machine snapped away.  It was instantly obvious that the boys were the best of friends.  They laughed and joked as they struck poses for each other and the camera.  Almost all of the pictures were silly as teenage boys usually are in front of a camera.  There was the obligatory rabbit ear pose where they each had their fingers sticking up behind the other’s head.  There was another where they were poking their tongues out at the lens.  The last picture nearly took my breath away, though.


It was not goofy or childish like the others.  In this one, the boy on the left was looking at his companion with such obvious love I was almost moved to tears.  The sheer volume of emotion that his face showed so plainly was magnificent to behold.  The true anguish of the image was that the boy on the right seemed to be completely oblivious to his friend’s devotion. I will remember that poignant scene for a very long time to come.


This story consists of a series of narratives told from the perspectives of the different people all of whom are in some way involved in or affected by the photos in the mall.