It was like a breath of fresh air. The smell of youth, oxygen pixels, a movie she had seen so many time but that she loved, time after time.
There was nothing nostalgic or sad as she was browsing, head titled, weaving the moments, the season, the years, the homes where they lived, the countries where they had moved to.
Most she remembered easily, prompted by the images. But sometimes she would look at strangers, a place she had no recollection of. It was often sunny on the photos and they were leafs on the trees, flowers in the gardens. A string of summers, vacations, travels with seas and rivers and mountains and castles and statues in parks and on fountains, bas reliefs on the building. She would smell the summer air, the scent of the garden flowers, the iodine breeze of the ocean.
She was rarely on the photos. She had been the one taking the photos. From time to time she would ask a stranger to take them all in front of a building, a nice view, projecting herself in a future of loneliness where she would want to remember she was there to. That she had lived this life. Travelled. Packed their suitcases. Embarked in sleepy taxis to the airport. Carried her kids grumpy or laughing, when they were babies and even when they were too heavy to be carried. The curvy place between her shoulder and her neck where their head would drop, heavy and warm.
She paused, suspended between the pixelised past and the present, looking at him. His smile had faded. His hair once blond had turned dark, with white in them. His eyes had lost their green shades and were grey like the sea in winter. She had changed too, but was more recognisable. The smile was the same. The shape of the eyes. The deep blue iris. The birth mark on the corner of her right eye. She saw it always. Because she knew it was there.
-‘Don’t forget to put sunscreen on it’ she had heard all her life.
She would forget.
Some faces on the photos had vanished. Some lost friends who has moved to a far away country. You tried to remember their names but all you could bring back were the moments around them. A Birthday party. A diner. A day at the beach.
Others were dead. Grand parents who had lived their years, a dear friend who did not live his. They were looking at her, smiling. She thought she could read in their eyes that they knew she would be looking at them long after they were gone.