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The Photo

A Short Story by

Jamie J. Buchanan

Copyright 2012 Jamie J. Buchanan

Smashwords Edition

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As Diane sat down in the sitting room of Gina’s place, she looked around the room. This was the first time she had been back to her place since the accident – that one fateful moment which changed Gina’s world. Diane noticed, with some awkwardness, that Gina’s life had certainly taken a turn for the worse.

This room used to be immaculate. The coffee table, solid oak, now had two small coffee-ring stains – marks that would never have been there six months ago. The jarrah floorboards showed up the dust that had accumulated for the last few weeks – static electricity drew the particles to the TV as well, hazing the screen. Diane could see small spider webs forming in the dried bamboo arrangement in the ceramic vase, and small crack appearing where it had previously fallen but not been repaired.

This was not like Gina – this place used to be pristine. She meticulously cleaned and fussed over the appearance of her house to the point of obsession – Diane felt that Gina might even have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder given the pedantic sanitary regime the whole house used to have.

But, as she had previously considered, that was all before “the incident”.

Both of them had previously danced around the subject of Paul and the kids, but they hadn’t really gone into this in any depth. Had Gina been one of Diane’s best friends it would have been a different matter, but they only played tennis together once a week. They were friends, but not so close as to share intimate details. They would talk about their family, or their lives in general, but it was a surface relationship without any real depth. Diane had been to Gina’s a few times before, always noticing how wonderful and clean the place looked, liked a display home. But their friendship wasn’t as close as it could have been.

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