Click. Click. Click. Click.
“Umm, do you mind taking off your glasses?”
“Okay…” Click. Click. Click.
“Next.” I hated picture day. Worst day of the year. Moms send their boys to school in little suits, and girls coordinate on colors and bows. In a couple of months, the pictures would be circulating throughout the Thanksgiving dinner. Then Christmas and Chanukah. Cousins would tease me on how awful my hair looked or how one of my eyes squinted more than the other. I went to sit on the chair, like my classmates had before they slunk off.
I smile as big as I can and he presses the button.
Suddenly I am on a red carpet with a handsome man on my arm.
Then I am a football player at a conference. I feel confident, and sweaty.
Then I am a little kid in a school play. The highest note I have ever heard is coming from my throat. Flashing lights fill the darkness in front of me.
Then I am underwater with tubes attached to my back. Reporters and journalists fill the room that I’m in.
Then I’m giving a speech on a stage about science. In my hands is the thing that I have wanted all my life: a Nobel Peace Prize. I wish I could stay.
Then I am in a child’s room, rocking an infant while a little boy plays with blocks on the ground. A man stands in the doorway, staring at me affectionately.
Then I wait in a doctor’s office. It looks like a child’s hospital. I wring my hands in worry.
Then I am in my school again. I think about what happened while I take the rest of my photos. I have seen my future, my past, what I can do. I thank the photographer, and walk away from the picture of my life.
“Next.” I hear behind me.
Age 12, Grade 7,