A 'click' sound was all that changed my life. Before even entering heaven, I was forced to hell. Before even dying, I died and had to die every single day since I realized the biggest mistake I had ever made.
Life has changed so much, now that I look back. So much, that I can't even predict the future.
Life has changed so much, that I don't even recognise myself. I was never this selfish. I was never this kind of a person.
Life has changed so much, that I hate myself.
So much, that I hate my damn camera.
My stupid camera did it all.
I wake up to the sound of my phone ringing its annoying ringtone. The continuous ringing interrupted my sleep as I turned in my bed, groaning at how early it was.
What? I was never a morning person, okay? It is 8 AM! I wake up at 10 AM. Well, at least, I try to. I could sleep for a whole day if no one wakes me up. But I know that it is impossible. A dog will always bark and ruin my sleep. In case you are wondering, the dog's barks I am talking about is my phone's ringtone.
Yeah, yeah. I know I am weird.
But you know what? The most fun part about mornings are the pictures and my camera. I always look forward to clicking pictures and praising my camera and my skills.
My head still on my pillow, I grab my phone which was kept on the side-table beside my bed, dropping a few more stuff that was kept there.
That is the reason I never keep my camera on that table. I will cry a river if something happens to my camera. It's my baby. I know I'm exaggerating, but I love it and I mean it.
I look at the screen of my phone.
Instantly, I sit up in my bed and accept the phone before clearing my throat. In the calmest voice of mine, I answer. "Yes?"
"Laura, if you're not busy right now, can you snap a really interesting picture for us? It is to be printed on the 'Breathtaking Affairs' of our newspaper. Let me know if you are ready to work with us," Ms. Wendy says as I note the details she mentioned in my mind.
Obviously, I was going to accept the offer. Nothing made me more than happy to snap pictures all day and every day.
"Yes! I would love to," I reply, in a lively manner, my stomach growling just after. Oh, God, can't my stupid stomach wait a few more minutes? I'm so hungry, though.
"Okay, I expect the pictures by next week," Ms. Wendy said before hanging up.
I sigh and plop down on my bed once again. I have to get off my bed now, huh? This is why I hate mornings. I hate leaving my bed. Like, I won't get to sit on my bed for the next eight hours! How long is that?
"Whatever," I groan and walk up to the washroom to freshen myself up.
By the time I was ready to go out, it was already 9:30 AM. Great. I'm still sleepy. And no, I did not forget about breakfast, in case you were wondering. I just have nothing left in my fridge except for a few bananas and frozen ice-cream.
I grab a banana and hang my digital camera on my neck as I head out of my home. I clicked pictures as I walked and looked around. In the span of five minutes, I had probably clicked a hundred pictures.
No, I'm not exaggerating. That is just how photographers are.
Sharp clicks and beautiful pictures were all that my life was about. I never felt alone. I never will. Because I have my camera and photos. I could daydream about my day with my camera for five straight hours a day, if only that was possible.
It was hard to break my concentration, so I do not know what occurred, but I stopped in my tracks, the picture turning out to be a little blurry. My actions were slow and my brain could not understand what actually happened.
My mind replayed the scene, trying to understand what had occurred.
I clicked a picture of a conical tree, followed by a scream. The scream was so loud, so shrill, that my attention broke and the picture turned out to be not good at all.
I looked ahead from where the scream came from. It was an isolated road and looked dangerously unsafe. But I still decided to walk through.
Walk? RUN through.
Someone was in need of help.
I reached a place full of trees and green, panting like a rabid dog. Pieces of dead leaves on the ground scrunched as I stepped over them. All I could see from afar was different shades of green and huge trunks of trees. It was kind of creepy.
I stopped and held my knees while standing to catch my breath. My lungs burned as if I had gulped down a fireball. My legs were shaky. My hands were sweaty. My mind could not stop repeating the scream I heard in my head.
I started to doubt my actions. Had I done the right thing or was it too dangerous? Isn't this place too fishy? A forest in the city? Had I been here before?
After taking a few shaky breaths, I looked up and stood straighter, trying to find the source of the scream. If I was here already, I would have to do what I came here for.
There was no form of any human. I was getting scared. By then, I was thinking I should leave this place. But my feet refused to follow my brain and kept walking and making its way through the strange forest.
Another scream sounded as a flock of birds flew by from in front of my face. My heart sped up and I ran towards the voice.
I would not let this chance fly away. That would have been pretty cowardly of me if I did not save the people in need, but I regret my decision now. I shouldn't have gone that way. I should have just ran back as fast as possible and save my own life.
But the stupid, young, vain me at the time knew nothing. I always put others' lives at first.
I reached there, panting. What sped up my heart, even more, were voices. Voices of people arguing rather than talking. It seemed to be...A very serious argument. A panicked voice kept begging a soul to leave her alone.
It was rather fishy.
I hid behind the trees and bushes and tried to see what was going on. I peeked at them from in between the bushes. What I saw, startled me.
A man dressed in complete black, hiding his face with a hood held a pistol at one hand and his other hand held the bag of an elderly, panicked woman.
"P-please leave me, I beg you."
"Give me all the money you have with you right now, or expect yourself to be dead."
Something in my mind clicked. This was a real robbery. This woman was in danger. This robber was going to jail. But first, I needed to do something, but what? What should I do that does not worsen the situation?
What brought me back, was the second biggest mistake I had ever made.
The sharp click of the camera broke me out of my trance, allowing me to notice that it had made its way into my hands and was aimed at the thief wholly of its own accord.
The voices stopped nagging. Fear rushed up to my mind as I tried to find a way to run away without them noticing me.
"Who is there? Show your face or I will shoot!"