Caught by the River

Nick's Pics

Nick Small | 17th May 2010

A Moment. Words and picture by Nick Small.

A fifteen year old girl, wrenched from the boy she loves to some remote and forsaken land, finds a moment. Here the mobile phone lies indolent and the threads of the worldwide web have yet to form. But the bristling anger and resentment subsides, and the dearth of shops selling goth accoutrements is temporarily forgotten. There’s nothing to do but stand upwind of the smoke from the lakeside campfire, digest the grilled Perch, and idle away some time.

The surface of the water aids reflection, and amplifies all sound….even that of the silence. She gazes absently and says quietly, for the thousandth time in a week “I really miss Sean”.

“I know”, I say “but take the time to drink in this view, and attach it to what you’re feeling: this moment will stay with you forever”.

She almost smiles, but I can see the shimmer of a tear. For a brief instant, we stand together, she and I, the hateful man that dragged her to this dismal and desolate hell.

I know there’s a beautiful picture in front of me.

“Just stay still, exactly as you are” I say, as I slide the little Sony T3 from it’s pouch. No sudden moves…she may take flight. Slowly I frame the shot. There’s little light, and the lens is small, so a steady hand is essential. To my surprise, her patience holds, and I’m able to shoot.

I look at her. I’m filled with love and empathy. We all know that gnawing pain of helpless adolescence.

She holds her gaze a little longer than I need, and then explodes in a blur of flailing arms and fury:

“Fucking bastard mosquitos. I hate the fucking bastards. Why do they always pick on me? I fucking hate this place. Why did you bring me here you arsehole. I hate you”.