“Ooohh please! Can we please please please?” she said, tugging at his arm.
Elijah knew better than to give in right away. Jessica liked a challenge. That’s why she picked him.
“No, this is lame. Can’t you see that? It costs three dollars and you don’t even get anything for it.”
“What do you mean you don’t get anything for it? You get three dollars worth of priceless memories,” she said, raising her eyebrows, and leaning into him.
“That doesn’t make any sense, what you just said. Three dollars isn’t priceless.” Elijah smiled, looking into Jessica’s face. He took a stray piece of hair and tucked it behind her ear.
“Whatever. You know what I mean. Are you seriously going to deny me this girly right?”
Elijah paused and reached for the slim leather wallet in his back pocket.
“Thank you thank you thank you!”
Jessica smoothed her long blonde hair and rubbed the skin below her eyes to make sure her makeup hadn’t settled into the subtle lines in her face. She was significantly shorter than Elijah, significantly shorter than everyone really, but especially him. He stood at 6’3’’.
Elijah inserted each crisp dollar, one after the other and smoothed the wrinkles on his button-down shirt. Jessica loved when he pushed the sleeves up to reveal the fleshy whiteness of his forearms.
“Duck down! You’re too tall!” Jessica mandated.
Taking her advice, Elijah bent his knees to reach her level. He put his arm around her, in an attempt to make her feel safe. Once the countdown from 3-2-1 reached its final moment, Elijah put Jessica in a headlock and rubbed the top of her head furiously with his balled up fist. Flash.
She screamed, swatting him away, but laughing all the same. Flash.
Elijah wrapped his arms around Jessica, allowing her no ability to struggle. Flash.
“You jerk!” she screamed, as he lifted her over his shoulder, in a fireman’s carry, her backside being the lens’ main focus. Flash.
Elijah returned Jessica to standing position. She began straightening the frizzy protrusion on her crown and tugging at her shirt, which had been raised to reveal her torso at Elijah’s rough-housing. They were both exhilarated, out of breath from laughter. Jessica ran up to Elijah, balled fists ready, playfully punching him in the chest.
A couple of minutes later, the two strips of photos were deposited below the machine. There was a perforation down the middle, so they each could keep a copy. Elijah picked them up, separated them, keeping one for himself, he handed the other to Jessica. She looked at the images lovingly, grabbing Elijah’s hand.
It was the best three dollars he’d ever spent.