Rita looked at the framed photograph propped against the bookcase. She was unsure whether to be amazed, angry or annoyed. She missed the days when Jared’s best work happened spontaneously. To see something staged, someone suffering in the cold, in a thin veil of spring… It was inevitable that he would sell out.
“You’re looking at it wrong,” her fiancé said, wrapping his arm about her waist. “You’re thinking that’s red snow from the soles of her feet.”
Rita shook her head. “I’m thinking, this is the first time your broke your rules, and I don’t like it. I prefer your impulsive or impressionable shots that capture an instant once imagined.”
Jared pulled her closer to the print, pointing to a larger patch of red. “See? Red roses, crushed underfoot. She’s planting the petals of love just beneath a layer of coldness. There’s also some of the larger blooms in the hints of shadows.”
“Still think it hints of misogyny.”
“Look at the base of the tree. Are you seeing bark or the flowers spreading out? Think of it as a botanical shadow on ice.”
Rita looked at him for a long time. “Dare I ask?”
He gave an impish grin. “Blame Jesse.” Jared gave her a kiss on the cheek. “He asked me to take some promotional photos for an upcoming film – ‘Wordly Women – War of Warmth.’ This is one of the main characters, Vetur Blume.”
“You’re not going to tell me the rest of this story, are you,” she asked.
“And spoil opening night? Jesse would kill me. The director would kill me.”
Rita shrugged. “Not if I kill you first.” With that, she kissed him goodnight.