Impromptu

“Can I shoot you?”

Not the pickup line I was expecting from the guy who, for the last three drinks, has been eyeing me from the opposite end of the bar.

He raises the Nikon strapped around his neck, aims the lens at me, and before I can take the compact out of my clutch for a last minute lip gloss adjustment, I’m blinded by flashing lights.

In your eyes I’ve found the missing pieces,” he says, and when he pauses long enough for my vision to return, I start to see the missing pieces of my life finally come together between the shutters. He circles me like a predator.

“Are you a photographer for a magazine?” I ask, flipping my short hair frayed by split ends, but he doesn’t seem to notice. An ex once told me I could be a model. I can imagine his face now when he sees me on the cover of Vogue. Bet he’d wish he did more than cook me box mac and cheese like he was some Michelin star chef and make me watch gory slasher films on his roommate’s dirty couch.

“No, no, no!” he says. “You belong on a thirteen-year-old boy’s bedroom wall!”

Not sure how I should take that, but everyone in the club is staring, and it’s not because I’m sloppy drunk for once, so I strut in place like I’m on the catwalk. Poke out my hip, arch my back, pose for the camera, feign a pout—is the duck face still a thing? I smize, smile with my eyes, the way Tyra teaches the girls on ANTM. I could be on ANTM.

“Oh, no. You’re better than them. You can win the whole thing.”

He’s too obvious, stroking my ego. Does he expect a tip? I’ve got none. Does he want me to buy the prints? How ’bout Instagram? Will he invite me to his studio downtown? Nothing inside but the lights and a place for me to take off my clothes. Because you’re not a true model until you pose naked. That’s it, he wants to see me naked. I hike up my thrift store miniskirt a little too high to give him a tease, and his eyes widen. He clicks more frantically now. How far am I willing to go, he’s wondering. As far as he’ll take me. Nothing holding me back. Lead me to your car, and I’ll claim the driver’s seat.

—Nortina


Photo by @SNAPAVELLI from nappy.co

 

Joining Marquessa’s song lyric challenge for Fiction Fridays. Today’s lyrical prompt is: In your eyes I’ve found the missing pieces…

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