It was only twelve years ago though it feels like a lifetime, that I started dating my first boyfriend. We were very young and immature and so was our relationship, which was made mostly of commonplaces and daydreaming.
One day I took my Zenit 122, and suggested we took pictures just for the fun of it. Development fees were a little expensive for our budgets (what wasn't?), so we stuck to one monthly roll. The subjects of the pictures were mostly ourselves, our families, friends and pets, and some still natures too. In all, none of those pictures were technically outstanding but they were a good document of our lives back then.
By the time we broke up we had a good stack of pictures, mostly portraits of each other taken during roughly two years. I asked him to come by and picked up his but he never did. So I kept them away from plain sight for a few years.
Three years ago when my partner and I were getting ready to travel to Minnesota, I found those pictures and made three piles: mine, his and ours. I kept the first pile with my other pictures, put the second in an envelope and destroyed the third. Once again I asked him to come and pick them up and once again, he refused - true to his style he diffused more than refused... there are things about people that never change. Still it didn't feel right to destroy those pictures so once more, I kept them away from plain sight.
Last month we were packing to move and those pictures surfaced again; this time I knew I had to made a decision. So I looked up his mother's number in the book (he doesn't live in this country anymore and contacting him was proving really annoying) and asked her whether she was interested.
Of course she was and a couple of hours later she dropped by, releasing me of the burden of those pictured memories of something that doesn't mean much to me anymore.
Her presence in my home and the release from those pictures felt like a good closure. She had been there once when I had just moved in and she was there for the second time right before I moved out, to end something I felt had been left hanging. Like a camera with a roll where there's just one last picture to snap and you don't want to squander it I waited for a long time before that last click, which thankfully when I did, it wasn't too late.