“Where’d you get to, missy?” Mama asked when Finley arrived back at the house. Although Mama was now under the sun umbrella, it didn’t look like Mooney or Whitt had moved from where she had left them. But knowing that both were careful sun babies, she surmised that they were on their third or fourth rotation. She pictured them as chickens on a spit and tittered.
“What’s so funny?” Mooney looked up, peering over her sunglasses. “You were gone a long time. Find anything interesting?”
Finley leaned down and kissed her mother’s forehead before heading over to the lounge chair that held her things.
“Did I have you guys worried? Sorry. I lost track of time.” She pulled off her t-shirt and shorts and lay across the lounge chair in her bathing suit with her camera on her belly. “Take a look. Some unusual sights!”
Finley held the camera over for Mama to see as she scrolled through some shots.
“You certainly are developing a very discerning eye,” Mama said. “I’d love to blow some of those up for your Daddy’s office. Maybe he’ll put a few in Lannie Willis’s new beach house.”
“I appreciate your support, Mama, but these are hardly good enough to be framed, much less used in someone’s design.”
“I beg to differ,” Mama said.
Mooney held her hand out, reaching for the camera. “Let me see.”
She waited until Finley reluctantly passed the camera over.
“These are fantastic.” She quickly moved through the frames, returning periodically to ones that caught her eye. “I agree with your mom. You have a hell of a good eye.”
The phrase caught Finley in the chest. She leaned back, quiet for a while, thankful that no one was paying attention to her. Get a grip. He’s gone. Accept it. But she couldn’t. That was what Max had said when he’d first seen her photos: “You’ve got a hell of a good eye, girl.”
Mooney wouldn’t have known. She knew of Max, but she didn’t know him. And never would. He was gone.
“Finley! Finley? Earth to Finley!” Mooney was holding out the camera and, from her tone, had been for some time. Her face expressed a mix of concern and questioning.
“Sorry. I was daydreaming.” Finley reached for the camera and put it in its case before dropping it into her beach bag.
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