Sharing some more Shannon Dermott today!
Barnes and Noble
And that’s when I saw the color of his eyes. They were the bluest of blue that would make the sky want to cry from jealously. He was hot, a ten on the Richter scale. We’re talking catastrophic heartbreak. But the way his eyes bore into my lens-. Crap, he looked at directly me. Saw me. My nervous finger clicked off the shot before I shifted away in embarrassment. I did a 180 towards good old Abe and walked a couple steps, feigning more interest as I started to line up an extreme long shot of that memorial. I needed to get out of there. Had he known I was taking pictures of him? I was poised to walk away in the direction of the memorial and make my escape when I heard a voice behind me. He was too close and I knew because I felt his breath on the back of my exposed neck. And I knew who it might be by the sheer amount of baritone in the voice. Slowly, I turned around, heart knocking against my chest.
It was him. And he was like really tall. I was already tall but he had a good head over me, making me look up at him, guiltily while he looked down at me with no hint of shame. In fact his face was surprisingly empty, devoid of anything I could read. With his head at an angle, he spoke again, “So, do I get to see?”
With no experience at all with guys other than Bradley—I mean who dates the fat girl— I was struck by his proximity, the fact that he, looking like that, was talking to me. And I was barely able to stutter out, “See what?”
Chuckling, he exposed impossibly white teeth, he said, “My picture.”
The duh, must have crossed my face and I tilted the camera, which had been cradled in my palm, to reveal the ancient thing I was using. “This isn’t digital.”
“That’s a problem then,” he said, his face expressionless again. No, there was something, I thought looking up at that face, hands shaking. And the look I saw there made me swallow hard.
“Why?” I asked, feeling like cotton had filled my throat.
“I think there must be laws about that or something.”
“Laws,” I repeated, perplexed.
“Yeah, laws. I don’t think I gave you permission to take my picture.” His posture said he was dead serious. Were there laws? I had no idea. And would he try to call the police or something. I didn't mean to do anything. I had been caught up in the feeling of the new camera, caught up in the sheer amount of attractiveness one person could have.
Taking my camera in his hand, the strap around my neck pulled me closer to him. He didn’t seem to notice that we were basically sharing too much personal space. He studied my camera like he knew a thing or two about them turning it over this way and that.
“You’re not going to open it, are you?” I asked meekly, scared he would press charges. And that if he'd open it carelessly, try to force it open, the vintage camera might break let alone ruin the film inside.
With a sardonic arch of his brow, he said, “I should. Do you have a release form? I mean, you can’t go posting these pictures without permission.”
“I, I never,” I stammered. I had no idea how many laws I might be breaking. “I promise I won’t post any of your pictures.”
Not looking at all convinced, he said, “How do I know that? Do you know how much my face is worth?”
Priceless, I wanted to say but kept that little comment to myself. I didn't want to seem creepier than he probably already thought me to be. I found myself licking my suddenly dry lips. Was he a model? There was no doubt he could be.
Sighing, at my lack of response, he said, “Well, I guess you owe me then.” Owe him, I didn’t even know him.
“Look, I promise to destroy your picture,” I said, quickly. “I really didn’t mean to break any laws.”
And then he broke out in a brilliant smile, a truly bright genuine smile that caught me off guard. "What did you mean to do?"