Aiming for a creative life

I Am Santo

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Angela slumped over the brittle photograph and brought the magnifying glass to her eye which blazed with emerald expectation. According to the faded stamp on the back, it was the correct date. And while she belived it was the correct place, the time of day was indescernible. Were they there? Was their boat docked on one of these piers? Her heart quickened when she spied a dark figure standing on one of the sterns, but a moment later discovery’s hot adrenaline was chilled by the reveal of the boat’s name: Aurulia. It was not Idris. And the man standing with his arm extended to the mast was not her father. So she continued on to each boat where names could be seen. Nalia. Elizabeth’s Hope. Darraway 2. Lia. And with each revealed, her hope faded; hope that her mom and dad would be here, maybe sitting beneath the hatch just out of view, maybe smiling and enjoying the day despite the churn of the sky above. But they had to be here somewhere! Frozen in a random stranger’s tourist photograph that twenty-seven years later was released from a dusty photo album sold for pennies in an estate sale by family unmoved by the memories within. Angela hovered over the photograph as her cooling black tea gave fragrance once again to her hope for proof of them. Happy, alive, caught in the still frame on Idris as a final goodbye to the daughter they’d barely known before they disappeared forever at sea. And after the tea had grown cold, when she didn’t find them, Angela returned the photo to the old album, sliding frayed corners back into the barely adhering tabs of the page. She was disappointed, of course, but not melancholy as she placed the album with the hundreds of others she’d collected since this ritual began many years ago. Someday she would find them, and have the goodbye they never gave her. And the scent of black tea would then forever remind her of love instead of dashed hope.

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