Road Movie: Chapter 12

Walking back to her apartment, the brunette noticed a small store that displayed Leica cameras. Taking interest, she walked in. Dakota admittedly never used a photo camera before. When she was a kid, her father took all of the photos for when they travelled and had memorable events. For college, most of her sorority sisters handled the photography, while Phillip himself was an avid photographer as well. But thinking about what Pamela suggested, she should try reacting. Photography intrigued her, so she figured “why the hell not?” as she opened the door and went inside. Walking by the cameras on the shelves, she came across a lanky clerk with dark hair with blue streaks. Her name tag read “Monique.” “Hi, can I help you with something?” She looked at Dakota expectantly. “Uh, hi. I was interested in getting into photography, and I was wondering if you knew anything about the basics?” The brunette was not sure what sort of response to expect to that. She was anticipating Monique telling her to go find a real expert and not waste her time if she was not planning to buy anything. Either that or just being annoyed that Dakota was not asking any question about the products.

“Oh, that’s an easy question. Obviously, with each photographer, it’s slightly different. But you definitely need a firm, steady grip, a good angle to make sure that you capture whatever images you are aiming for, make sure that the focus of the lens is accurate, though most cameras have an auto focus feature anyways. And then there’s the lighting. Lighting is almost always key. Your photos will be crap if you take them in a dimly lit room. Natural light is preferred, but if it’s night time, I guess you need to make due with what you have. What kind of photography are you interesting in? Portrait? Scenic?” Dakota was dumbfounded. She did not expect such a detailed response right off the bat. “Well, I’m thinking scenic, but I’m not sure if the camera I have back at home is good for that.” “What kind of model and brand is it?” “I’m not sure, to be honest. It was not mine originally.” She admitted, hoping that Monique would not pry for more details. “Oh, well here.” She handed Dakota a business card. “Monique Adams.” It read. Underneath was a phone number and email address. Smiling, the brunette waved bye to the clerk before heading back to her apartment. She had some quality searching to do.

Rummaging through her apartment, Dakota was trying to find Phillip’s old camera. “Where is it?” She grunted, checking the closest in her bedroom. Come to think of it, when was the last time she ever saw him use that thing? He only ever took photos on special occasions. Racking through her memories, she finally remembered: when she graduated college. Walking over to the living room, she started pulling boxes out of her closet, coughing at the dust she was uncovering. He put the camera away in one of these boxes when they moved apartments. And surely enough, the brunette found a black fabric case with a strap attached to it; Phillip’s camera. She quickly looked for the brand and model, and sent Monique a photo. “Oh, that’s a relatively old camera. But it’s really nice!” She messaged back. “Thanks, Monique!” The brunette replied, before taking a good look at the device. It was still in really good condition. She tried to turn on the camera, but the battery was dead. Frowning, Dakota grabbed the charger from inside of the camera bag, and plugged it into the nearest socket. She then, after trying multiple compartments, opened the battery storage and removed the battery itself, inserting it into the charger. While she waited for the camera to charge, the brunette decided to clean up the mess she left behind from finding the camera in the first place.

Waiting for the camera was taking a while to charge, so Dakota sat down by her coffee table, and decided to plan out the rest of her week. She knew that she was going to be meeting with Pamela in two days from now. So in those two days, she needed to exercise, definitely will give photography a tonight, and if she liked it, then Dakota would practice doing that for the two days leading up to the session. The brunette frowned when she saw the dates on the calendar. It was almost February at this point. It was frustrating to think that she was out of the office for so long. Picking up her phone, she thought about giving Virginia and Maria a text. She missed her workmates. The brunette was starting to realize how much she enjoyed being around other people. While she was not at work, she was unsure of what hobbies or routines she can partake in, because the moment Pamela says she is mentally fit, she would have to forgo those and go back to her job. But she knew she had to make friends and put herself out there again. Being locked up and alone like this, it made her feel like some kind of animal, while reminding her of the fact she had to go to therapy and be treated like some sort of guinea pig.

Dakota was starting to feel genuinely lonely; her interaction with Monique was surprisingly fun. Deciding that it was smarter to not get work friends involved until she was back in the office, the brunette decided to reach out to Monique instead. She wanted to interact with others again, and feel accepted and normal, not like some kind of freak who was being shunned or pitied. “Hey, do you want to hang out?” She sent hesitantly. She did not know what to expect, per usual, of Monique. She was dreadfully wrong with her first impression, thinking that the blue haired girl would be aggressive or rude, so at this point, Dakota was not sure how Monique would react to her invitation. “Yeah, sure. What were you thinking? Like dinner or clubbing?” The clerk sent back. Dakota found herself laughing at Monique’s suggestions. She had not step foot into a club since her senior year of college. “Let’s go clubbing.”

It was a very exciting feeling. Dakota found one of her old dresses from college, a slim black mini slip dress with a V-neck and skinny straps. It definitely reminded her of her old Alpha Omicron days, when she would go out and party whenever she finished a particularly difficult assignment or an exam. The motto “Work Hard, Play Hard” was something she considered tattooing on herself at one point, before realizing that it would make no sense by the time she is an elderly lady with a hilariously ironic tattoo. That, and the idea of permanently embedding anything on her body in general sounded very final and irreversible, two things that Dakota really could not stand. She liked having options and being free, not being cornered and trapped with her own mistakes or poor decisions. The only thing she knew for certain was that Frida would be proud of her. “What did you do during your time off?” “I went clubbing.” Dakota could only imagine the 85 year-old’s expression if she were to admit to this.


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