The darkness of high tide sloshed just below the hood, beckoning to him. He stared, entranced, tempted, convinced. Then the sky turned pink. He was reminded of a pink house, April’s pink lips, her family waking up, lights clicking on, voices behind glowing windows, the soapy scent of shampoo, the aroma of a hot breakfast and coffee. It was the very morning the yearbook photographer captured Michael on film, stepping alive out of his car. He was wearing shades against the sun and the mirrored lenses hid the hope beginning to dawn in his sleepy brown eyes. He was almost smiling, No one would ever know. April didn’t know he’d watched her house that morning. April didn’t know that she’d saved his life. April didn’t know that he loved her.
So much is never known the punctiliar moment a picture is snapped or a neck is broken. The exact thought going through a person’s brain at that split second, the unspoken feelings of the heart, the blood pressure and pulse, if there was an urge to pee, whether or not the tongue still tasted of toothpaste. No. A photograph, at that precise point when the present instantaneously becomes the past, never reveals the invisible life circulating just behind the visible face. The seen, the unseen, and the unforeseen—what might happen hours, days, weeks, months, or years from that brief flash of history—mysteries developing in the darkroom.