Harper hands me her phone, or rather, thrusts it at me with impassioned fear, and, as probably intended, it hits me in the face.
Her reasoning: she was in the midst of a mindless Twitter scroll when she stumbled on a photograph of a girl holding an ice cream cone but upon closer look, it was actually a tiny owl.
“Why do photographs betray you like that?” she says, crouched by the foot of her bed as I nurse my nose, now throbbing.
“Have you met a photographer before?” I ask her. She looks at me with wild eyes before turning on her bluetooth speaker. She plays a song that could’ve been sung by an elf at a speakeasy before pulling out two instant memories from her dresser.
“When Rebecca took this picture, she was half dizzy with lemon lime bitters. When I told her to give me the camera, she batted my hands away with such force that I toppled over the bridegroom.” I wanted to react in disbelief but Harper just glares at me with sinister knowing.
I pass the phone back to her to calm her.
“You weren’t in love with the bridegroom were you?”
“He used to be in love with me.”
I watch her sneeze, the corner of her eyes filling with tears. A symptom, apparently.
“Of what – sadness?” I shrug a maybe and she laughs so uproariously, the neighbour’s dog started barking. She orders me to stare at the photograph once more and I can’t help but admire her dress. It was soft pink, off-shoulder, embellished with pale green lily pads. Her face was ostentatious in its glee, a hand on the bridegroom’s shoulder, steadying herself.
She flicks the back of the photograph with her fingers. “Do you see happiness there?” I nod. “Do you see sadness?” I shake my head. “Do you see a flicker of doubt? Fear on anyone’s face?” I look straight at her.
“It’s an honest photograph,” I say. “Just a bunch of friends laughing, celebrating.”
She pushes her phone right in my face again, and with malicious anger, “Yes. Unlike this Stupid. Ice cream. Owl.”
Edit: *bridegroom, not groomsman. Harper thrives on drama.