February 14th, 2016
The wallpaper on the homepage of my phone is a picture of you from the perspective of the driver’s seat of a car. You’re sitting in the passenger seat without your shirt on after a day at the beach. There’s a ray of sunshine from the back window of the car gleaming across your left arm and another creating a flare on your back. Your hair is messy and natural. The light is hitting the back of your ear in such a way which makes it look almost transparent. The seatbelt is being pulled by the slight forward slouch of your body. Both of your arms are slumped over your knees and your hands are hanging effortlessly. If you look to left of the picture, where the rear-view mirror of the car is, you can see the top of your head in the reflection; there is a little tuff of hair sticking up on the back of your head that is noticeable only if you look in that mirror. The sun is creating beautiful outlined shadows of the muscles under your skin on the left side of your body. And lastly, you are giving the camera such a look that I swear could convince anyone that you are staring right through them. Your eyebrows are just slightly furrowed because of the sun in your eyes. Your jawline is being exaggerated by the sun and even the part of your jaw you always clench is visible because of the lighting. Your lips remain relaxed and unwavered by any flexing of their muscles; they are in their most tranquil state. You can perfectly see the freckle that resides on the left side of your chin and your eyes are radiating authenticity. This is everything I get to see when I unlock my phone. Today I did just that while an old man was standing behind me and he just so happened to catch a glimpse of that picture before I locked it again. He did not hesitate to ask me, very frankly: “Who is that?” I glanced back at him and asked who was who. The old man pointed to my phone in my hand. “The boy in your phone,” he said. I felt my hands start to sweat and my heart begin to pound in my chest. A nervous smile crept upon my lips as I frantically looked from the old man to my phone. “Oh, him?” - I looked at the picture of you- “He’s no one, he’s just a boy,” I lied, with anxious laugh. The old man just smiled at me and patted me on the shoulder, as an old woman became curious, as well. She repeated the old man’s question, but with more tenacity in her voice, and then told me to show her the picture of you. And so, I did. Her response was expected as she let out her ooh’s and ahh’s, like most old women do. She asked me yet again who you were and I replied in the same way I did to the old man. Oh, how desperately I wanted to tell them, ever so nonchalantly: “He’s the love of my life.” The old woman’s curiosity spread like a virus as two other women joined the conversation. They were middle-aged and baggered me with questions. You had brought in the attention of four other human beings. I answered all of their questions the same way in my panicked attempt to get out of the situation. Your picture was on display like a famous piece of art in a museum while all four of them united their brains in pure determination to find out the story behind the picture. My body was stressed out and my mind was flustered with thoughts, until the old woman said: “Well, obviously, she’s the one driving.” I suddenly stopped and it was as if I went deaf. The world paused. I was now in the diver’s seat of the car, taking the picture of you. The aura of the scene was golden from the sun and you could see occasional glints of sunshine reflecting off of the waves of the ocean in the backround. You were looking away from the camera, fussing with something to your right, and I was looking at you through the lens. I giggled to myself at you and you turned to look at me. In a split second, I snapped the picture and captured you in that raw moment. Then I blinked and I was back to the reality of four people around me, theorizing this photo. I looked at the old woman, who appeared to be blurry and smudged because of the tears in my glossy eyes, and I shook my head. “I wasn’t driving. He’s just a boy. This is simply a photo of just a boy.” The four of them looked at eachother in confusion and left it alone. I remained where I stood, stunned, before quickly walking away. I felt like I’d just been gunned down. Somehow my subconscious was taken to a scene of the photo in which was purely fictional. It felt like what I imagine it feels like when your brain replays your whole life like a mini-film in the moments before you die. I dont think humans are supposed to be able to do that until those final moments. Now I am haunted by the fictional scenario I created between me and you, with every glance I take at that picture. You would think I’d simply change my wallpaper but I cannot, because the boy in my phone isn’t just a boy, but a boy I’m in love with, yet a boy who doesn’t know I exist.