Pictures of the past

Crystal’s mother had been sick for a while now. After the death of her father, her mother was her only moral support. It pained her to see her mother coughing and gagging, unable to swallow or spit. She shriveled like a raisin and was unrecognizable. Crystal knew her mother had very little time left and had started giving away things they no longer used. That’s when she came across a couple of books. Since Crystal was a book hoarder, she decided to keep them all. Crystal’s mother eventually succumbed to her illness.

Crystal moved on with her life, got married to a trader, became a teacher herself, and lead a decent life. Books brought purpose to her life. And then one day as she was reading, something fell on the floor. She bent down to pick up what she thought was a bookmark. But it was a photograph of her mother. She looked like she was barely eighteen, full of life. She shone brighter in the white midi dress like a million-watt bulb. She stood next to a man holding her dress down on top of what looked like a windy hill. She didn’t recognize the man, but he had a very distinctive pointy long nose. She had known that nose all her life. It was her own nose. She felt her feet turn cold.

She had a friend who was computer savvy, Jonathan. She handed the photo to him and asked him if he could do something and find the man’s whereabouts. Her friend cropped the photograph, used aging software, and did a reverse image search on google. And that’s how she found his Facebook profile. His name was Albert Baudin and he lived in Lyon, France. His profile had limited visibility but from what she could see, he was married and had two children. Both the children had nothing in common with her except their noses.

Crystal enraged, walked as fast as she could. She wanted to question her mother who built her life on a big lie. She wanted to hear that her father was really her father. Her whole life came crashing down. She cried and cried, and stared some more at the picture, and wept some more. That’s when Jonathan called her and said, “I am sorry to do this but there is a problem. I aged your picture in the software and did a reverse image search. It displayed a profile of somebody who lives in Samoa! The software is fucking with us..It..” and with that she cut the call midway then cried some more.

She knew not what was real and what wasn’t anymore. But she knew that the picture of the past wasn’t worth even an ounce of her present. She held the picture, lit it on fire, and watched it burn. She wiped her tears and walked away knowing that the picture wouldn’t hurt her anymore.


Response to the writing prompt by Puttingmyfeetinthedirt

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