Photographs and Paintings

Chapter 1: Photograph

It was a long travel back to the city from the country. I was alone in my seat in this blue colored bus taking me back to my home, my bag sitting right next to me. I was at the country for the weekends to visit my lovely grandparents for last Saturday was their 45th anniversary. My cousins also visited them but I left the country first while they stayed a while longer to visit the beach. I would have joined them, but I have classes this coming Tuesday.

And so, I traveled alone.

There was a faint countryside music playing in the bus. We were only a less than ten in the vehicle that every time the bus would hit a bump on the road, I would bounce up and down from my seat. It was hilarious. I felt like I am inside the old car that belonged to my grandpa. Such experience brought nostalgia over me. It felt good to realize that I still had those precious memories carved into my mind permanently. It reminded me that my life is as not as bad as anyone in this world.

I was too busy listening to my iPod and looking at the skies and clouds above my head. I counted random clouds and even took pictures with it using the Polaroid camera my mom bought for me on my sixteenth birthday. There were lovely shots that I could send back to my grandparents. And I can guarantee that they would love it to bits.

My little adventure continued on.

But just before I was about to take a short nap, a sudden turn of my head to my right made me realized that I was sitting a seat away from a young man I thought was like the boy haunting my dreams at night; mysterious, brooding, beautiful and perfect.

He was also alone on his seat, his canvas bag sitting right next to him as well, and a tip of a paintbrush peering out from its opening. He was asleep, his closed eyes showing empty nights of sleepless wonders. I looked at the side of his face; perfect jaw line and lips like the daintiest of pink roses. He was also listening to his iPod, the sunlight touching his face in gentle serenity.

I picked up my Polaroid camera and took a quick picture of him, avoiding as much as possible the flash from my little treasure from waking him up. The flash was bright enough to make him move a bit, but he continued to sleep on; dreams so unreachable that he is far away from reality.

I envied his serenity.

The photo came out and I gently flicked my wrist to expose the film's greatest capture. A few seconds brought my eyes to the rectangular frame and I caught the most amazing photograph of the day. He looked so serene than up close and it brought me to the realization that he is someone who is one with the world; someone who doesn't give a damn care about the cruelty the world could throw up on him.

A slow country song with a mix of piano and violin began to play around and I found myself slowly looking away from the boy next to me. The skies began to darken as we made pass the bridge going to the city borders. I placed my camera back to my bag and stretched my legs, muscles relaxing.

When the bus pulled down to a rough stop, I accidentally bumped my forehead on the chair across from mine and I moaned in pain, massaging what it seems would be a bruise in the morning.

I was so etched with the pain of hitting my forehead that I hadn't realized that my bag has found itself on the floor, its covering opened, the insides spilled across the floor.

"Oh no!" was my reaction for I panicked.

I reached out for the contents of my bag, begging that I hadn't ruined the precious treasure my mother has provided me. The conductor was kind enough to help me dig up my things from the floor. I packed its contents roughly into my bag, ignoring my spilled perfume as it filled the air with sweet lavender and green tea. The embarrassment was so fulfilling that I felt my ears heat up. It was a good thing no one was annoyed by the strong scent of my perfume.

My destination was close at hand, the empty blue benches on the waiting shed showing up from the great distance. A prideful walk to the front of the bus would be enough to overcome my embarrassed face. That is if I could still live with it.

I heard the bus' tires screeching as it reached the blue colored bench; the landmark to my stop. As I readied my bag and placed my little hat on my auburn head, I found it hard enough to glimpse back to the boy sitting next to me.

He was already awake, his eyes averted to the dark skies. As I looked at his eyes, I noticed the dark green hue like the brightest emerald on one of my mom's necklaces. Amidst the beauty of his eyes, there showed scorn as the dark skies shadowed his face like a veil of gray mask. He looked in pain, tensed and unready for whatever is set in front of him in this vast city.

The bus finally took its gentle stop and I found my whole body standing up as I walked towards the front of the bus, ready to be back in this monochromatic city. The air was humid and I could smell rain from the distance. I crossed the street to the group of flower stalls, the one place in the city that felt like countryside to me. As the bus took off, I caught that boy's face looking straight at me, his green glassy eyes trying to dig deep into my soul.

It was my greatest regret that I looked away.

When I reached our house, I immediately went back to my room and piled the contents of my bag on my messy bed. I rummaged for the stack of films and photographs only to realize that his photo is no longer at the pile. I looked through the pockets, even rummaged through my jacket and pants' pocket but unluckily, it was nowhere to be found.

That one little masterpiece in the whole adventure.

As I let myself fall back to my bed, I found my happiness slowly drifting away.

It was at that moment when I realized that I have fallen in love with the boy on that photograph. It was strange but that was the truth.


Author's Note: review! If you loved my "Love is a Battlefield" story, then you're going to love this new story of mine. Character names will be revealed in the next chapter. Stay Tuned!