A (Literal) Photo Shop

The Fujifilm sign outside appeared brand new. But the shop exterior looked old. Not bleak or dreary, but outdated with a homey feeling to it. The kind of shop that the moment you enter, you are greeted by old couples whom you immediately know have been making a living from the very same shop for a long time. So is this one.

I wore red. I felt beautiful. And when the uncle smiled at me, I felt ravishing. The kind of smile that attracted you, not in a flirty way, but charming and full of warmth.

I got my photos taken. It was time for a new one. I have gotten chubby. But more importantly, for some indefinite reasons, I want one of me in red.

When I paid at the counter, I noticed a graduation photo of a young lady with the couple.

“Uncle, is that you?” I asked.

“Is that your daughter?”
He nodded. Aunty smiled from behind the counter while counting my balance.

“I was handsome. Now, I am old.” He smiled wider.
I smiled back, took my balance from aunty and nodded to them before leaving.

I wanted to tell him “You are old. And still handsome. You have the most charming smile.” I wanted the aunty to acknowledge that when I ask, “Right, aunty?” and proceeded to tell them how beautiful their daughter is and that they must be very proud of her.

But like all short encounters, those words are left unsaid. Those beautiful words resounded in my head, tingling in my ears with a tinge of regret. I hope my smile left a patch of warmth on their hearts, in place of those words that are lost in translation when my mind works slower than my mouth.

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