She’d waited years this time. But lately, it called to her as she walked past the bulletin board. She wondered what Sarah would look like now, after so long.
She hadn’t touched it in years. The Polaroid photo pinned to the cork showed its age, the fading at the picture’s edge. The once white of the print’s frame now yellowing.
Slightly off center in the photo of a woman. The image showed the woman sporting a half smile. She appeared to be in her early 40s. Pretty. Strong cheekbones. Shoulder length brown hair tickled with slivers of grey. Sarah, her sister.
She stepped closer to the board hung in her home study. She leaned in close. She met the half smile with one of her own.
After a stretch of moments lost in a distant past, she gathered the strength to lift her hand and touch the print. She hadn’t in a decade. She caressed the right edge of the square photo. She then raised her other hand to grasp the pushpin holding the fading image to the board. She was careful to only puncture the print one time years ago and place the pin back through the single hole.
She pulled the pin and gripped the corner of the photo. Her smile faded, like the image of her sister in hand.
Her lips pursed and a tear eased its way from the corner of her eye.
She’d waited long enough; more than 10 years this time. Too long.
She lowered the Polaroid to her side and gently shook it as she’d done nearly five decades earlier. She closed her eyes, breathed deep, cleansing breaths. Exhaling for what felt like the first time in ages.
After a full minute lost in thought and time and memory, she opened her eyes. Tears rolled down both cheeks.
She slowly raised the photo and gazed at a fresh Polaroid. It could have been taken moments earlier. As she waited for the brownish grey of the solid block to change, she went back, to that day. It never faded. Never would.
As the image came into view, her face changed from frown to half to full smile. And then she laughed.
Her sister, like herself was now an older woman with grey hair giving way to white. She was beautiful, half-smile and all.
She immediately pinned the photo back to the bulletin board and turned away, running out of the room, down and hall and outside to the back yard.
From the yard she could see the creek still flowing. The same creek that took her sister that same day the Polaroid was taken. When she and her twin sister were nine.
iPhone Notes Story
ORD – TUL 04.14.16