Next Time, Smile

I sat on the side of the bed, one leg tucked neatly underneath me and the other dangled off the edge. I sat as still as possible, trying to make sure I didn’t disturb her. But even as I watched her, her breath continued to be even, and she showed no signs of waking. She looked more peaceful than she ever did during the day with one arm tucked under her head. Even the frown that’s usually stamped to her face replaced by a slightly gaped mouth. She almost seemed vulnerable as a small snore escaping her lips, it was such a contrast that I couldn’t help but watch her for a moment and smile, she was so beautiful this way.

I stood up lightly, trying not to jostle the bed too much and turned back to make sure I didn’t wake her. She was still fast asleep, so I tip-toed over to her laptop. Luckily, it was in sleep mode, so I jiggled the mouse and the screen turned back on with a quiet hum, ready to resume what she was working on last. I glanced back at her, making sure the hum of the computer hadn’t woken her, but nothing had changed. Satisfied, I returned to my search.

Her laptop was covered with sticky notes which had due dates for different assignments and at least a couple different to-do lists. I imagined her meticulously going through her syllabus, making sure she never missed a date as she carefully stuck them to her laptop. I won’t lie, I admired her for it.

I shook my head, I was getting distracted and I was here for a reason after all. Where were the photos from the party..? I knew she took them on her camera at least, so they couldn’t be on her phone.

I went to her photos folder, but there weren’t any photos from the last few weeks yet. I checked the hard drive, nothing. If they’re not on her laptop… I turned around and scanned her room. On the other side of the room, her camera sat on a chair. It was one of those chairs where everything that’s not on your bed goes, but the camera rested neatly on top, the crown of the clutter.

I silently made my way to the camera and turned it on, it made a mostly quiet startup sound, but I still stole a nervous glance at her. If it had started to wake her, she showed no sign. allowing me to return my attention to the camera. I flipped through the photos, and there it was, five photos in.

I quickly popped out the SD card and put it in my pocket. I put the camera right back where I found it and hurried to slip out the still open window, in my haste she seems to have started to wake up. But, by the time she was fully awake, I was already out of the room and descending to the ground below.


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Photo by Yoann Siloine on Unsplash

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