Lady Other Side Of Lens



                                Beverley Anne Callahan & Lawrence E. Collins 


          “I went to a wedding on the weekend as the guest of a friend of the family several days after I moved here. The Church ceremony and reception was across the city on West Valley Drive. The bride was beautiful!” my new next-door-neighbour was saying as she pointed at the photo.

           I felt I should invite her over for a ‘welcome to the neighbourhood afternoon tea’ on my veranda. I sat, barely listening, with this complete stranger rambling on about her life history, the people she knew, the places she’d been, replete with her family photo album. 

          “I know I shouldn’t have taken a picture of the family, as they had hired a professional photographer, but I couldn’t resist,” she said. 

          I looked at the family photo. I then realized I had become like the stranger next door with my own family. I was always, and only, the lonely lady on the other side of the lens. I was the one taking the family photos of our daughter hugging her loving father at the family gatherings I organized, the two of them enjoying the dining-room meals I prepared, standing with their matching suitcases in the lobby at the hotels, lying side by side laughing on blankets on the beach on the vacations I  arranged, her opening his gifts to her I purchased and wrapped for the holidays, her prom, her graduation.  I was never in any of the photos.  He stole her love, which he would not share.  I was not even invited to her wedding as he told her I was to blame for our divorce. 

          “Do you know the family?” my new neighbour asked. “You don’t look well. You look like you’ve had a shock. Did you recognize someone?”



          “The bride.”

          “How do you know her?”

          “I met her once when she was eight years old. I went to her house to speak with her mother. Her mother was in the other room when her daughter, the young girl, answered the door.  When I heard her mother ask who is it, she called out ‘A lady. A stranger.’ As we waited, she looked at me with her beautiful blue eyes, tossed her golden hair and said ‘My mother has told me not to ever speak with strangers.’ I suddenly didn’t feel very well, so I said goodbye, and left.”

           “Have you seen her since?”


           “Remarkable you would recognize someone you haven’t seen in years, since she was a young girl.”

           ‘I would recognize her beautiful blue eyes and golden hair anywhere.”

          “How is that possible?”

          “I’m her grandmother.”


Lady Other Side Of Lens

Beverley Anne Callahan, from Riverhead, Harbour Grace, Conception Bay North, near the community where the Hermit lived, resides in Mount Pearl, NL. Lawrence E. Collins travels, hikes, fishes and writes from his hometown, St. John’s, NL. His stories have been published in magazines, including Canadian Stories Magazine (
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