By Veera Jansa
Philip and I knew each other since our fathers went to war and our mothers started working long days at the war-filled hospitals. The two of us were left with Amanda, a woman who had seen it all and who had no shame in letting everybody know it. Amanda had three children of her own, all looking remarkably not alike, so much so that anyone from the village who saw them knew that the three did not share a father and were pleased to share this information with others, others such as Philip and me. Maria had thick straight black hair, she was strong and small in a way that only Mayan women could be, while Adam was skinny and pale. The third one, Roger, had brownish skin and curly hair, and he seemed to get along with the gardener of the house.
Innocent soul, Philip asked me to be their wedding photographer. He had met Lucy at university and proposed while on holiday in the Caribbean. He had introduced me to Lucy shortly after they had met and shortly after the introduction I had introduced myself to Lucy again: privately. Lucy had not minded, as she would not mind in the many years that came after. Aside from a beautiful wife, Philip’s future included a degree from a prestigious university and a permanent contract with a generous employer, one that conveniently often sends him to far away countries.
I took a photograph in which Lucy looks at me while Philip lovingly touches her young shoulder with his young nose. This photograph would be a testimony in sepia to the story that Philip since our days in Amanda’s care had envisaged, a testimony that still today, long after the war, sits firm inside its wooden frame on the shelf of his mother, an image that would keep her happy, because her son had found happiness.
Veera Jansa hails from Oulu, Finland but lives in Islamabad, Pakistan where she works at International Organization for Migration.