Falling Into Us

Falling Into Us by Jasinda Wilder

Book: Falling Into Us by Jasinda Wilder Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jasinda Wilder
know so much about what your dad went through?”
    Jason answered around a mouthful of chip. “He drinks a lot. When he’s had enough, sometimes he talks to me instead of laying into me. Tells me stories like I was one of his buddies from his unit.” He swallowed and stared up at the sky. “I hate those stories. Rather get hit.”
    I shivered then, as a gust of wind blew and cut through my sweater. Jason planted his palms on the lip of the truck bed and hefted himself out to the ground, leaned into the truck, and snagged his sweatshirt. I watched him hesitate, then grab his camera bag. He jumped back into the bed, climbing on the rear tire, and tucked his sweatshirt around my shoulders. It was heavy, warm, and smelled exactly like Jason.  
    He lifted the camera bag and then glanced at me, a smirk on his face. “You wanted to see a photograph I took?” I nodded eagerly. “Then you gotta trade me. I’ll show you one of my photos if you show me something you wrote.”
    I swallowed hard. “That’s—that’s…I’m not sure. I’ve never showed anyone my writing. No one. It’s my journal.”
    Jason nodded, gesturing with the bag. “That’s how my photos are for me. They’re private. Only for me, because I enjoy it. No one even knows I do it, not even Kyle. It’s like a journal for me, too. I’m no good with words, so I use pictures instead.”
    “Why would you keep something like that a secret?” I asked. “It’s not like it’s embarrassing. It’s cool. It’s artistic.”
    His face darkened. “You don’t know my dad. I told you, he’s not a nice guy. For one thing, I’m only allowed to do schoolwork and football. Working out, homework, practice, that’s it. He’s drunk or passed out now, so he doesn’t care what I do or where I am as long as I don’t get arrested and make a big spectacle or some shit. He’s the captain of the police force, so I have to be careful. He won’t bail me out, won’t get me off the hook. He’ll kick the shit out of me if I ever so much as get stopped by one of his men. They’re scared of him, too, so they won’t dare go against him, either.”
    “What’s that got to do with photography? It’s just pictures.”
    He unwrapped the second ham sandwich and another can of Coke. “Well, that’s the second part. Anything that even remotely smacks of art is for fags. His word, not mine. On top of being a plain mean-ass drunk, he’s a bigot. Hates pretty much anyone who’s not him. If he even knew I had a camera, he’d put me in the fuckin’ hospital. Musical instrument? No way. Painting? Hell no. I love taking photos, though. I love capturing something in the lens and making something else totally different from it.”
    He opened his bag and lifted the camera from it, turned it on, and touched a few buttons so the display showed his previously taken photos. He scrolled through them a ways, then turned it to me.  
    I took the camera gingerly, afraid of handling something that was so important to him, and so hideously expensive. The photograph he’d shown me was breathtaking. It was of a bumblebee, taken in the act of the bee landing on a daisy. It was from up close, so close you could see the wings blurring and the individual hairs on the fat yellow and black body. The sunlight was refracted off the insect’s bulbous, multi-faceted eyes, the daisy sharp and bright yellow, the sky a blue blur beyond. It was like something out of National Geographic , stunning in its clarity and focus and use of color. The bumblebee looked like an alien creature, made mammoth and impossible.  
    “Jason…oh, my god. This is incredible. You could sell this to a magazine, I swear to god.” I breathed in and examined the photo again, amazed at the way he’d framed it with the flower in the center, taking most of the space, with the bee near the top, caught in the act of hovering downward.  
    He grinned, and seemed oddly shy for the first time since I’d known him. “Thanks. I

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