A Story by lrigD

So much can show in a photograph. It invariably shows the past, but sometimes, it tells you the future.


The photo has become blacker through the years. Small gaps have appeared where the photo has been bent and folded many times. But the image is still clear, still catching the eye of anyone seeing it.

A young woman, her white dress covering her up. Around her is a room, bright with light and life. The people smile, look around, with happy twinkles in their eyes and apparently no worries. The woman is standing in the middle of them. She doesn't look around, doesn't watch anybody, but stares straight at the camera. Her eyes pierce the image.

Such empathy, and yet... The pain inside is undoubtedly there.

This girl has been hurt. Her life has been ruined by people. It's clear for anyone in the present. But the situation is happy. The girl has just gotten married. Her husband is standing a bit further away, looking at her with apparent love and affection.

But anyone looking further can see the anger, the lust... the longing.

The girl knows she is not loved, rather wanted. The girl knows her husband does not want her because she is nice or intelligent. The girl knows it is only her body that is given away by her parents.

They are in a corner, frozen in their talk. Her mother has a worried look upon her face. The alcohol is starting to work for her father, and leaves its clear trails.

Who is this girl? What happened to her? How did she end up? Did her husband use her until eternity, until he was too old to want her and looked for something new? Until she left him?

Maria Hedding, 1925. The words at the back of the photo are faded too, the writing in pencil vagued by the countless hands that have held it. But they're still there. They still tell the truth, no matter how many words will fade, no matter how many people will die. Maria Hedding will be forever captured on this photo, no matter how many years ago she died. Her husband will continue to look at her with that look of lust on his face. The wedding guests will continue to be bright and happy, not regarding the inner emotions of the main characters. Not wanting to see, not wanting to have to do with anything that can ruin this happy moment. Should you not use any happy moment you have? The year has not been very happy... Isn't is just right to enjoy a party, for whatever occasion, no matter what the reason for it is?

This girl, this young woman was my grandmother. And her fate still presses upon her family, the ones who followed her. The tradition continues.

And I stand in the room, apparently alive and full with joy, and I look in the camera.

© 2010 lrigD

Author's Note

Wrote this a while back in 2007. I like the idea of the story, but I'm not sure I like how it's executed. What do you think?

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Photographs capture such great moments. Great topic to write about.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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Added on September 6, 2010
Last Updated on September 6, 2010
Tags: photograph, family, marriage, history, past, present, tradition, love, ancestors, grandmother, mother




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