Catherine Gray positioned herself on the front lawn, held up her camera, and called for her sister to hurry. As soon as Marissa walked out the front door, Catherine yelled, “Smile!” and snapped her picture.
“Catherine, you are driving me nuts with that camera!” Marissa spluttered. “Besides, you took me by surprise!”
Catherine looked at the LCD display of her last shot. “Not great, Marissa—you’re pop-eyed and your mouth is open. I’ll take another one.”
“I don’t want—”
“Now this time don’t look like you’ve just seen aliens landing. Smile and one, two, three . . .” Click. Catherine checked the display and nodded. “Great!”
Marissa shook her head. “Did James know he was creating a monster when he decided to buy that expensive camera for your birthday?”
Catherine grinned sheepishly. “Probably not. And the camera wasn’t his inspiration—I’d dropped hints for weeks.”
Marissa joined her sister and glanced at the picture.
“Wonderful. Hair in a very sloppy ponytail, no makeup, and the denim jacket I sewed butterflies all over when I was sixteen. I look pathetic.”
“You look great—not a day over twenty-five.”
“I’m twenty- six,” Marissa said dryly.
“And you look twenty-five. You’re aging gracefully.”
“You are, too, for a woman who’s almost thirty.”
“Not for another ten months, and my thirties don’t scare me at all,” Catherine said lightly. “After all, Mom was as beautiful at thirty-five as she was at twenty-five. I’ve seen her photographs. In fact, looking through family albums is what made me want to become a good photographer. I want to leave a record of our lives, just like Mom and Dad left for us. And we’ll want a whole separate album for baby pictures.”
Marissa raised an eyebrow. “Is there something you’d like to tell me?”
“No, but someday I will, and someday you’ll have something to tell me, and then I’ll take hundreds of pictures of our children.”
Marissa laughed. “Pictures that will mortify them when they’re teenagers and we drag out the albums and show the photos to their dates.”
“I won’t. I’ll make a point of never embarrassing my children.”
“Catherine, all parents embarrass their teenagers sometimes.”
“I’ll prove you wrong.” Catherine gazed up at the crystalline blue sky, smiled, and headed for her white sedan. “It’s an absolutely beautiful day. Come on before we lose the whole afternoon.”
“Uh, how about taking my car?” Marissa watched her sister’s smile fade. “I know you aren’t crazy about convertibles, but like you said, this is a beautiful day. We won’t have many more until winter.” Catherine’s gaze grew stubborn. Marissa walked behind her and started pushing her gently and relentlessly like a tugboat nudging a steamship into port. “This is the kind of day God made for rides in candy apple red Mustang convertibles! It’ll be fun.”
Catherine sighed. “Okay, but don’t drive like a bat out of hell like usual.”
“I won’t,” Marissa said solemnly. “I don’t want to wreck my car and destroy your wonderful camera. I’ll drive just like you do.” Marissa put on her large sunglasses and started out at a snail’s pace, looking vigilant as she hunched over the steering wheel she clutched with both hands, not reaching for a CD, and braking with exaggeration at every stop sign.
Catherine finally burst into laughter. “I feel like I’m with a hundred-year-old chauffeur. I don’t drive like this.” Marissa said nothing. “Okay, maybe I do sometimes, but I can’t stand it when you do. Put on some music and pick up the pace!”
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