now she knew
She looked at the photograph, and smiled wistfully.
She had been young then, and so happy.
He had asked her if she would pose for him, and she instantly said she would ~ she loved him, passionately, and was pleased that he’d asked her.
Famous people, interesting people, came into his studio every day, and she sometimes watched as he talked with them, relaxing them, persuading them with his gentle words to lower a hand a fraction here, to smile a little less, to look away slightly, until he silently moved back to the camera and pressed the shutter.
Hours later she would look at the prints, and marvel at how he had made them appear ~
vulnerable, or hard, or gentle, or disinterested, or beautiful, or ugly ~
looks that he created in them, without them knowing, without their permission.
The way he wanted them to look.
At the end of each day they would go down to the bar, hot from the summer sun, or wet from the rain, or cold from the snow, but always happy.
Later, they would make love, and then, fingertips touching, talk about the day ~ sometimes until the day came again.
It had been a beautiful time.
She looked at the photograph, and remembered how it had made her feel as if she was beautiful too, and happy, and in love.
And she had been all of those things ~ then.
But soon after she’d posed for him she felt him leaving her ~ not knowing why, but knowing that he was ~ not knowing when, but knowing that he would.
Walking around the exhibition of his work she had suddenly seen herself on display.
Then, moving on, she saw many others, just like her ~ young, beautiful, and in love.
She had known she wouldn’t be the only one, but hadn’t known how many.
Now she knew.