Shadow of a Girl

  • Aperture: f/8
  • Focal Length: 110mm
  • Shutter: 1/160 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Northport, Alabama

When Sparrow and I first met, I don’t think either one of us expected to become friends. I had never had many female friends in school and wasn’t quite sure what to do with a girl like her. I imagine she felt the same way about me. When she walked into my office at the Gazette four years ago, I thought, “Here comes trouble.” Everything about her seemed angry, defiant. As an editor, it was my duty to keep things running smoothly, and I wasn’t too sure I was going to be able to do that with this girl.

Secretly, I was intrigued. She was everything I wanted to be but so seldom was — fiercely beautiful, cocky, and full of attitude. She was a spitfire — and I wanted to be her friend more than anything. Cautiously we crept along, hands outstretched but walking backwards, trying so hard to trust but running scared all at the same time, two Leos roaring loudly at no one but themselves.

Today, as I watched her pace the parking lot outside my apartment, excitedly sharing happy news with her boyfriend, I couldn’t help but think back over the years that have passed since she first sat across a desk from me. I was a hard-nosed editor, expecting as much from the people I worked with as I expected from myself, which was a lot. I sometimes think that I pushed everyone too much, lost my temper too often, made things harder than they needed to be.

And this afternoon, seeing Sparrow smile, hearing her laugh, watching her eyes sparkle in the afternoon sun, I couldn’t help but wonder why. The things that were important to me then don’t matter so much now. I am older. My life has changed. I am not the same person that I was then, and in many ways that’s a good thing. But sometimes, sometimes I look at Sparrow and I see a shadow of myself — a girl I might have been — a girl that still lurks within me somewhere.

And when I see that girl, I can’t help but smile.

Music of the day: A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins

Sweet Child O’Mine by Guns N’ Roses

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