"Perfect," the photographer said. "Think of something specific being outside the window - picture it there."
Laura felt her body tighten. Her instant thought was of a field of flowers outside the window and then blinked, trying to think of something else she could imagine in its place.
She replaced the image with the thought of her older brother's battered red car pulling up in the drive outside their suburbia home. She missed Jeremy and the discussions they had carried on while he delivered her like a box of pizza to her destination in that red car.
Laura relaxed slightly - the thought of the car was not so painful - but she felt that she might cry.
"Stop," the photographer said, peering at her from behind his oversized camera. "You switched. Go back to the first thing you pictured."
Laura glanced away from him, swallowing hard.
"Come on, Laura," he cajoled. "Go back."
Laura closed her eyes for a moment. She could feel her hands trembling - her body physically resisting the pain that accompanied the memory. She clasped them behind her, hoping the shaking was not as obvious as it felt.
When she opened her eyes again to look out through the panes of glass, the field of flowers - mostly red, complimented by waving grasses - stretched out before her.
She could hear the muted clicked of the camera shutter, but it seemed far away. If could have just as easily been the whirring of an insect. The field danced in curved patterns as the wind touched its surface. Laura followed the movement with her eyes - the waltz of bowing blossoms. She did not bother to look for him - it had been many summers since he had waded through the flowered field, even in her mind.
Laura repressed a sigh and leaned back against the wall.
"Wonderful," the photographer said. "Now you can choose another image."
But Laura was lost in the red-jeweled field and his voice was like a calling bird or a disjointed memory of laughter.