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Waiting for Sonia by Rhoufi
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‘I come here every year on my birthday, without fail,’ she said. ‘I always see every gallery, if I can – it takes all day. My special present to myself.’
       He followed her from one painting to the next. She paused when he dropped behind. They discovered a common love of the impressionists and the “old world”. He queued for their lunches in the cafeteria, while she saved a table. He listened attentively as she told him about her plans when she finished university, but she never once asked him what he “did”. He kept reminding himself to ask her for her phone number, but her smile made him forget.
       When the closing bell sounded she excused herself to go to the ladies room, so he told her he’d wait at the main exit. When she failed to appear, the guard revealed there was another exit on the other side of the building. He circled its walls, from one exit to the other and back again, but she had vanished.
       Every year, on her birthday, without fail, he would stand patiently by the entrance until noon, waiting for Sonia.


This story is complete fiction and has no relation to the person appearing in this photograph.

Tags

nostalgia, national gallery, ngv, melbourne, yearning, memory, fiction, lost love

To reveal art and conceal the artist,
is art’s aim.

Oscar Wilde – “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

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Comments

  • Rhoufi
    Rhoufialmost 3 years ago

  • Inspired by those small moments in life that affect us for a whole lifetime.
     
    Dedicated to Dwarkan’s wonderful “The one second lovers”

    The one second lovers by Dwarkan
     

    – Rhoufi

  • michael scott
    michael scottalmost 3 years ago

    beautiful, poignant….and sad. wonderful work

  • Thank you Michael, I’ve had this for a while, but felt it needed some words to point to its grace.

    – Rhoufi

  • Evelyn Bach
    Evelyn Bachalmost 3 years ago

    Fine work, and one plus one is more than two, in this synergy of media.

  • Thank you Evelyn, I seem to have discovered a romantic vein that I hadn’t used yet.

    – Rhoufi

  • Sassafras
    Sassafrasalmost 3 years ago

    The beauty of this work just breaks my heart. And your artistry enhances my life.
    Peaceful journeys, my friend
    Sass. :)

  • Ah dear Sass, you emerge from the dust! ;-)
    Thank you for your wonderful comment and your thoughts. Apology for the heartbreak, but what can I do when these themes keep occurring to me? I like to photograph real life and write about people being truly human. This little story just wouldn’t go away when I looked at this photo, so…
    I hope everything is back to normal in NYC, and that peace has descended on your life once again after the unwelcome intrusion ;-))

    – Rhoufi

  • liza1880
    liza1880almost 3 years ago

    Nice capture (and great story)!

  • Thank you Liza. I’ve had it waiting to upload for a while, but needed a little story to go with it and I finally found the words. ;-)))

    – Rhoufi

  • Dwarkan
    Dwarkanalmost 3 years ago

    So moving image and story Rhoufi !!!!! Love this !!!

  • Ah Dominique, merci!! I somehow thought you might appreciate this – you and me, both tragic aficionados of the “one second” love affair!!! ;-))) Over a cup of coffee today, you may ponder the possibility that this might be autobiographical ;-))))) merci encore!

    – Rhoufi

  • Dominique, I hope you do not mind, but I have dedicated this image and story to you and displayed your wonderful “The one second lovers” here on my page. Merci pour l’inspiration :-)

    – Rhoufi

  • Clo Sed
    Clo Sedalmost 3 years ago

    You’ve no idea how this image could be printed in me for a long time….
    A whole movie , a whole life concentrated in one image….
    Some seconds, minutes are eternal
    even if we’re not aware of it….

    Strong image and words

  • Oh oui je le veux! But you are so right; in this one image and a few words one person’s whole lonely life might be imagined. This was the source of idea, the germ from which grew the words. You have it in one, Magali, of course. Merci pour votre sensibilité, comme toujours.

    – Rhoufi

  • Georgie Hart
    Georgie Hartalmost 3 years ago

    So poignant R, wonderfully evocative words and image. It’s as if the water washing down the wall embodies the days and years that go by as he waits.

  • Nice thoughts and metaphors you have added to my page, Georgie. There is a lot in this photo, including the position of the subject, the scale of the arch dwarfing him and the strange absence of other people at the normally very busy entrance. It is only after staring at some of my images for a long time does the motivation for the capture reveal itself, and then the story starts to form – so nice when that happens. Thank you

    – Rhoufi

  • Carol and Mike Werner
    Carol and Mike...almost 3 years ago

    Fascinating . . .

  • Glad you like it, thank you.

    – Rhoufi

  • Catherine Berger
    Catherine Bergeralmost 3 years ago

    Sad story – lovely photo

  • Thank you Cathy. It is sad in one way, but not in another. It demonstrates genuine human emotions and failings, I always try to write things that show people feeling things for one another, because there are too many people who don’t. In that sense, the story is about human grace, so I think it has a positive side. But as for the loss, yes it’s sad.

    – Rhoufi

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