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The Photographer

Fay Laverne has just said something tart. I can hear it in the shape of her mouth. Probably in reaction to something my father said. He must have been the one to snap the photo. Her cousin, Charlotte, my grandmother, who is sitting next to her and staring straight ahead, mouth set in a tight line, hated having her picture taken. Always said no. Unless my father asked. He must have flirted a little, called her Charlie, said something about how pretty she looked. So she took off her glasses, the ones that had little rhinestones in the corner and were already out of style in 1973, and indulged him. But she’s not really smiling.

It’s 1973 and my grandmother is recently divorced. My grandfather had also been a smooth talker. He had talked and done some other things with another woman. With other women, probably.

My mother never told her why she threw my father out 10 years after he snapped this photo. Maybe she didn’t need to. Maybe, when my grandmother was looking at what was in front of her, she already saw it coming.

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