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  • Anmeet Singh

The Last Photograph

"The most pleasing sounds never sustain and the most beautiful thing can never be photographed", would've been my last thoughts, before reality had taken over.

Well, it's fall season in Canada before I ought to leave for Scotland, next week. I've been in Canada for a couple of weeks only realising how different cultures can get when we wound up with some thousands of miles, after all I'm a photographer and I love to watch. Unlike the usual Canadians, who are obviously busy pertaining to Thanksgiving, I'm going to the countryside, which I want to explore and probably it can help me calm down after being under these absorbing days.

Cardigans and frosts are old friends who tend to come closer with every incoming Autumn day. The sky is clear unlike the path which I'm on, which is filled with maple leaves that are rustling with every passing of my leather step above them. I had to clean my camera lens as the mist wasn't the only thing but the charms surrounding me were forcing me to capture that fantasy every now and then.

After walking quite a bit, I came across a beautiful sight just beside a pond, to get a vivid view of those ducks, which I could hear harking from afar. Reaching the edge of the pond, I glimpsed upon a black-haired beauty, who was feeding those birds. Usually, I capture essence around me, but this time, those two hazel eyes captured the realm inside me. "Good afternoon!", I said to her, "Good afternoon", she replied in that faint echo, which took over the silence all around me, for a second. "I'm Aaron, I was passing through the woods, when I saw you feeding these ducks", I said. "Hi, I'm Valerie, it's just one of my daily routines out here", said Valerie in a joyful mood. After some healthy conversations with Valerie, and probably setting my eye's focus on manual mode, I was glancing at that surreal visage a lot more, than I was hearing whatever she was saying to me. "I'm new to this area, that's why I'm becoming an explorer day by day", chuckled Valerie. She told me that she lived in a nearby manor just past the pond. She gave an uneasy, long stare at the camera I was carrying as if she was one of my lost camera reels, which I've just found. While I was lost in this made-up fantasy of mine, I couldn't help, but notice Valerie making unusual girly poses at a nearby tree as if she was reckoning me to click her. The breeze was sharp and cold, but the presence of Valerie made me feel as if every flurry gust was giving me moist and warm hugs from her. Being obedient to my passion, I started clicking her photographs, until, the brumous sunset, made me realize that the surreal scenery surrounding us was nothing, in front of those two captivating hazel islands in their respective white lakes. "Ah, it's quite late now, I should get back to town", I said to her. "I'll be on my way too", Valerie said to me. I think it was just my destiny or a developing tryst between us that made me say, "If you don't have a problem, can I walk you to your manor?". "All right, sure!", she said, and the swiveling of the wind past her hair, kind of assured my question.

We started walking towards her manor and it was quite some time before we reached there. I could see nothing past a mile or so, as the mist was quite up now, so was the dusk. Her manor looked like a royal building and I was getting the vibes as if I was in the Victorian era. It was strange for such a big house to be in the middle of nowhere. We greeted and the moment I was about to leave, she said, "Aaron, can you click a last photograph of me with my manor?". A sudden sustained echo started fading my brain and just when I was about to say something to her, I fell unconscious.

"I think I'm okay, it's really dark now that's why I can't see a thing", I comforted myself, while my hands were busy feeling the forest floor. I could hear but can't see, the sirens and some people murmuring and inspecting the area around where I was lying. "They would be some forest rangers of that area", I thought. "Roger that, sir, we have found him", I heard a ranger saying. I felt someone handcuffing me while I kept on screaming, "Why are you doing this to me? Please switch on the torch, I want to see around".It seemed like an unreal reality, I was back in. A ranger then yelped into my ear, "It's the fifth time, you've managed to flee from your cell in the asylum, you idiot blind man!". "Which cell? Which asylum? Why can't I see the manor? I'm a photogr....", I tried my useless screams in that pitch dark. The tears started rolling down my cheeks which made me realize that I was blind. I started fumbling my hands on those dew soaked maples around me to find my camera, but there was nothing. "Where is my camera?", I cried, "Oh, it's his same story again, shut him up!", freaked one of the rangers, tightening his hand's grip on me. It was about time when I realized I wasn't any photographer and was recognised as a mentally unstable man, living in that asylum, which the rangers told me was previously a manor, for over fifty years. The only camera I once possessed were my eyes, after all, she was the last photograph I ever captured through them, fifty years ago.

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