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  • by Katrina Mitchell

The Picture (Part 1)

This is gonna stay between us, right? Alana asks through text, pensively.

Of course, Travis responds. You can trust me.

Alana lays back on her bed and takes three pictures. She picks one that is suggestive, but not revealing, and sends it to Travis. His response is quick.

That’s not what I asked for.

You didn’t like it?

I can’t see nothing. Take that top off.

Alana hesitates. She looks at the message on the phone, starts to type, then stops. Her phone buzzes. I’m waiting. What’s taking so long?

Alana exhales deeply, then slides her shirt off. She lays back on her bed, crossed one arm over her chest, and raises the other arm over her head to take the picture. There is a knock at her door. She quickly sits up and puts her shirt back on.

“Just a minute!” She yells. She hops off the bed and opens the door. Her mom walks in.

“What were you in here doing?” Mom asks.

“Nothing, just playing a game,” Alana lies. Her phone buzzes.

“Okay, well wash your hands and come help me with dinner.”

“Okay,” Alana says, “just give me a second.” Mom leaves the room. Alana grabs her phone and reads the message.

You need to grow up. You’re acting like a baby. That’s hella unattractive.

Alana sends the picture with a quick message. Mom came in the room to ask for my help. BRB.

Travis sends another message. When you get back I want you to send another pic with your arm out the way.

Alana arrives in the kitchen to help her mom. “What do you need?”

“Can you wash the lettuce for me?” Mom points to the romaine lettuce on the counter. Alana’s phone buzzes in her pocket. Alana grabs the lettuce and walks over to the sink and rinses the leaves as fast as she can. She wraps the wet leaves in paper towels, then walks out the kitchen.

“Where you going? We’re not done!”

“I’ll be right back,” Alana yells. She pulls her phone out.

You done yet? I want my picture.

Alana goes into her room, takes her shirt off , lays back on the bed, and takes one last picture. She sends it straight to Travis, then gets dressed.

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