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Old 03-27-2010, 02:35 AM   #1
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Adrift-Chapter Three

I am on a roll tonight! Thank you to everyone for their wonderful feedback! If you want more I can give you more. I have tomorrow off and I am full of inspiration!

Chapter Three


As soon as Lucy left the room, Brooke cracked into annoying laughter. I glared at her harshly, watching my best friend roll on the ground, he knees at her chest.

“I’m sorry,” She said between giggles. “It’s not funny but it is.”

I slumped. “I’m cursed.”

“Oh now, come one. You are not cursed. You’re blessed.”

“Please explain to me how this is a blessing.”

“Studio Fifteen! We were never even allowed to touch the door of Studio Fifteen! Now come on, let‘s go set up.”

Ah yes, the many wonders of Studio Fifteen. Entering the room, it was a photographers wet dream. Many of us wondered what it would be like working in S15. It was on the fifth floor and only the best photographers got to work in such conditions. There were three separate backdrops: A pure black wall, a white wall and a red backdrop. Now I know this sounds boring, but to a photographer, it gives so many different artistic directions. Normally I have only worked with a black backdrop, it’s the easiest to work with and provides perfect shadows for lighting.

This would be my first time experimenting with a red and white backdrop. With the white, I could set the lighting with different plastic covers of any color of course: blue, purple, yellow, marble, even zig-zag if I was feeling spicy.

And the lighting in this room! Oh, the many, many, many lights! There were, in total, twenty floor lamps, twenty ceiling lamps, five stand up and six personal-hand lights for precise lighting. I had my trusty Nikon FM2 manual, my weapon of choice, and a Nikon digital. It’s rare that I use a digital, as much as Lucy disapproves. Developing my own film is a true love of mine. Connecting with my photos is more important than just pushing a button.

Jessica unloaded her film into a metal reel and placed into a tank. There was a knock at the basement door and Jess wrapped the tank inside a thick, black cloth. She couldn’t let any light, besides the red light inside the room, touch the film.

“Come in but hurry. Really quick.”

The door opened and shut almost instantly. Standing at the entrance was Bono, dressed in a black t-shirt and blue jeans. He smiled at her softly.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were working.”

“It’s fine,” She said, taking the tank from underneath the cloth. “Mom and Alan like to invade. I have found a way to keep my film safe. I didn’t think you would be up yet.”

He walked towards her, watching as she unraveled the long strip of film. “I couldn’t sleep. What are you doing?”

“I’m developing film, silly. Pictures from the past week.”

“How does it work?”

“Well,” She said, feeling somewhat confident and thrilled that she could teach Bono instead of Bono teaching her. “There are three separate baths. The first one here is a pre-soaking chemical. There is one part developer chemical and three parts water. We let this soak for about a minute. The film is in a metal reel, you can‘t see it because I weighed it down with a jug. It would float otherwise.”

“How did you learn this?”

“I took a class. And after Mom saw how dedicated I was to photography, she and Alan built me this darkroom for my seventeenth birthday. It was a huge deal because it’s very expensive to make a darkroom. But I spend more time in here than any other place in the world.”

“That was really cool of them. It’s somewhat cozy in here.”

She chuckled. “Yes it is. Here, I will let you do the rest. Put on goggles and gloves.”

She pointed to the metal shelf on the left of the room and put on the goggles and gloves. While giving directions, Jessica did her best not to stare at the rock star next to her from the corner of her eye. Even in the harsh red light, he was gorgeous as ever.

“Now,” She cleared her throat nervously, feeling his warm skin on her arm. “Just take the reel and place it in this bath. That’s it, don’t be afraid of it. You’re not going to ruin my film.”

“Ok,” He laughed, setting the film carefully in the second tub. “Now what’s this?”

“This would be the ‘stop’ bath, or, ‘fixer,’ and it gets rid of the unexposed silver halide crystals.”

He stared at her dumbfounded.

“Uh,” She tried to explain. “It’s the…light sensitive chemicals in the film. You see, when exposed to light, the crystal forms a small ‘latent image’ that becomes amplified during the development process. In black-and-white photography, which is what we are doing now, the reduced metallic silver forms the images.”

He pretended to understand. “Interesting.”

“Now we’re going to take the reel out and smack it on the counter a few times. This gets rid of any bubbles. After six minutes we can turn the light on, because the developing will be complete. We just have to wash the film and hang it up to dry.”

“Ok.”

They sat on the love seat in the other corner of the room and Jess set her stop watch for six minutes. Soft music was playing in the background, but Bono couldn’t put his finger on the band.

“What are we listening to?” He asked, tapping his foot to the music.

“The Wallflowers.” She answered. “For some reason they are my favorite band to develop to.”

“You’re an intelligent girl.”

“Oh please. I have a difficult time learning.”

“You seem to know a lot about photography though.”

Her shoulders shrugged. “I suppose. It’s about the only thing that can keep me interested. It’s amazing. So see a blank film turn into an image. It’s so…rewarding to see something you created come to life. Then again I guess I don’t have to tell you that.”

“It’s always nice to hear someone else talk passionately about creation.” He told her honestly, taking his gloved hand in hers.

The room stood still and for a long moment, she had forgotten how to breathe. His hand in hers was the first move of affection she had received from the lead singer. It suddenly occurred to her that they were completely alone, inside a locked room with no lights. His gaze was so intense that Jessica could swear that he could see right through her.

“Do you have a boyfriend?” Bono asked, leaning back on the couch, inching closer to the girl beside him.

“No. We broke up a few weeks ago.”

“What happened?”

“It just didn’t work. He was very controlling. I’m too young for that, you know? He was much older than me. I guess I just lost feeling for him.”

“How do you feel about me?” His breath was on her ear. “What do you think of me?”

“Um,” Jessica fumbled with her words. “I…you’re Bono. What do you think I think of you?”

“I’m not asking you as the lead singer of U2. I’m asking you as the man sitting next to you. The man behind the glasses and the stages.”

Bringing her eyes to his, she whispered back. “I think you’re more human than you let yourself to believe.”

“Do you?”

He ran the tip of his nose along her jaw line, tracing a line back to her ear, his lips caressing her hair, which appeared a dark red in the light. She felt her legs go numb, her stomach knotted tightly. His scent was intoxicating. “What would you say if I wanted to kiss you right now?”

“I would say,” She turned to him, their lips only a breath away. “I would say that it would be a natural human reaction.”


This particular photo shoot would have to require both digital and manual, just in case something would happen to the film or file. Brooke had her Cannon and all around us stood tripods of various heights and stabilities. Ten different cameras were placed on the shelf in a corner of the room for our free usage.

“So, what kind of theme should we use?” Brooke asked, watching me load my film. “Please tell me you’re not using manual today!”

Chuckling, I continued with the film. “I’m using both, chill out. I haven’t really thought of a theme. One thing is for sure, I don’t want to have them pose like statues like most of their photos. Boring calls for bad photography.”

Humming with agreement, Brooke and I hurried about the large room, setting up different lighting techniques and tripod heights. We set up furniture: chairs, a couch, desks, lamps, tables.

Twelve was nearing closer and closer and I think Brooke could sense my nervousness, having dropped two cameras and tripping over chairs.

“I can’t do this.” Finally, I said, feeling the pressure build up.

Running out the room, I ran quickly down the stairs and into Lucy’s office. Not bothering to knock and pushing through the door, she propped up, physically startled. Her blond hair bounced, her shoulders tightened.

“What is the meaning of this?” She demanded.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do the photo shoot.”

Her green eyes crossed. “Excuse me? Are you ill?”

I shook my head, “No.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“I just can’t. I can’t really explain but I just can’t do this.”

“Are you not a fan of U2?” she crossed her thin arms, her right foot tapping impatiently.

“That’s not it either.” What could I say?

“Listen,” Her voice became stern. “I gave you this job because you’re the best person for it. Do not go against my better judgment. This is not only a huge step for the company but it’s a huge step for you and your career.” Lucy was walking towards me, taking my shoulders in her bony hands. Up close she looked like a woman more in her fifties than her forties. “Do you know what this could mean for you? You could be the next female version of Ross Halfin! No longer will you have to take photos of local bands or conceited wannabe models. You can travel the world, become a international musical photographer. Isn’t that what you wanted?”

Defeated, my head shook. “Yes. That’s the dream. The goal.”

“I’m practically handing it to you in a pretty box. Now, I’m sure you’re nervous, but throw that into the wind. I know you will take some amazing photos.”

A ringing of a phone interrupted the pep talk and Lucy answered, nodding and saying “yes” and “ok.”

She set the phone into it’s cradle and sifted through papers on her desk. “They’re here. Get a move on. You’ll be fine.”

“Yes ma’am. Thank you.”

I dreaded the walk back to S15. Once again I took the stairs because I could take my time. Brooke was probably flipping out by now, nervous and cursing me for not being there when they arrived. When I finally reached the door, Bono was leaning against the wall, dressed in his signature leather jacket and blue sunglasses. My steps stopped a few feet away from where he stood. Even from this distance I could smell his fresh, cool cologne. He played with his hands.

“Hey,” He spoke first.

“Hi,” I crossed my arms.

“I know what you’re thinking but I swear I had nothing to do with this appointment.”

“Don’t be full of yourself. I know you didn’t. My boss would have told me.”

Wincing, Bono shook his head, chuckling slightly. “You really hate me don’t you?”

“More than you know.”

Slowly, as he walked towards me, I stepped back. It was bad enough that he looked better than ever and that he was in the flesh, right before my eyes. The last thing I needed was to feel his body heat.

“Jessica, I’m so-”

“Stop!” My voice found it’s confidence. “Don’t you dare apologize. There are no combination of words you can say that would make me forgive you. I don’t need your excuses or pities. And don’t think that for one second that I’m doing this photo shoot for you. I’m doing it for me, Brooke, the company, and the other guys. You mean nothing to me now. And you made it so very clear that I mean nothing to you. We have one thing in common right now: work. So get your fucking Irish ass in that room, pose and do not speak to me unless directed to. Understand?”

“I-”

“Good. Let’s get to work.”

And with that, I entered the studio, leaving Bono speechless, his mouth to the floor.

? ?
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:53 AM   #2
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This story is getting pretty awesome, actually.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:58 AM   #3
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thank you
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:02 AM   #4
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It's the flash-backs that are really selling it for me, I think you're using them really well, especially the way you're now flashing back the flashbacks, if that makes sense.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:25 AM   #5
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lol, yeah i know what you mean. I've actually never written anything like this before. It's kinda hard but fun. and the flash backs are my favorite part to write, too.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:39 AM   #6
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If you want some constructive criticism, I'd be glad to give some, but I don't want to call you on anything in a public forum if you don't want it, so just let me know.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:43 AM   #7
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wow great job!! please keep em coming with the chapters
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:04 AM   #8
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chapter four is on the way!
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:05 AM   #9
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If you want some constructive criticism, I'd be glad to give some, but I don't want to call you on anything in a public forum if you don't want it, so just let me know.

Nope, don't mind it all. I don't mind if you post it. Unless it's really bad? lol. If that's the case just PM. I can always use some criticism.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:09 AM   #10
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Nope, don't mind it all. I don't mind if you post it. Unless it's really bad? lol. If that's the case just PM. I can always use some criticism.
No, nothing really bad. I think the only problem your story has at all, and it's minor, is that you suffer the same problems I do in writing prose. That is, you think you need to write a lot of flourishing description in your narration, and it's not necessary. If you just write how you feel you would behave in a situation, I think it would feel a little more natural. That's about it...if that makes sense.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:14 AM   #11
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Ah, yes, I see what you mean. It's a very odd habit for me, as it is for yourself as you mentioned. See, I'm a painter, too, and I guess when I write I think of a blank canvas and I find myself painting words like tiny little details. I read a lot of Anne Rice, I think that's my problem. Ever read her stuff? It takes ten minutes of detail to find out what a person ate for dinner! haha! I guess I just want my reader to know EXACTLY what I'm seeing in my head. But you are right, all of it is not necessary. And it's a very hard habit to break

lol. but thank you so much for the helpful criticism It means a lot. .
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:14 AM   #12
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oh, btw, do you have any stories up on here???
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:23 AM   #13
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Nope, don't mind it all. I don't mind if you post it. Unless it's really bad? lol. If that's the case just PM. I can always use some criticism.
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Ah, yes, I see what you mean. It's a very odd habit for me, as it is for yourself as you mentioned. See, I'm a painter, too, and I guess when I write I think of a blank canvas and I find myself painting words like tiny little details. I read a lot of Anne Rice, I think that's my problem. Ever read her stuff? It takes ten minutes of detail to find out what a person ate for dinner! haha! I guess I just want my reader to know EXACTLY what I'm seeing in my head. But you are right, all of it is not necessary. And it's a very hard habit to break

lol. but thank you so much for the helpful criticism It means a lot. .
I understand exactly what you mean. What screwed me up the most was in my early education having teachers tell me that it was never ok to simply have "blah blah blah" so and so said. Ever since then, I was convinced that I had to use whatever adjectives possible to stand in for the word "said", and that completely screwed up any and all writing I"ve done since then. I'm working on fixing that, but it's a long and arduous journey.

I have some writing on here, but the story I wrote was a parody more than anything else. I have some stuff on fanfiction for other works of art, if you care to read it: bono-212 - FanFiction.Net (I think that's the right link.)
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:29 AM   #14
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EXACTLY! Teachers are sometimes the worse examples. I love detail, but I also find myself reading saying "Come on just get to the ::beeping:: point!" lol!

And i defiantly will take a gander at your work. I love to read, no matter what it is. First love is reading. Not tonight, obviously, it's almost 5 am. I haven't stayed up this late since I was fifteen. But tomorrow I will for sure.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:32 AM   #15
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EXACTLY! Teachers are sometimes the worse examples. I love detail, but I also find myself reading saying "Come on just get to the ::beeping:: point!" lol!

And i defiantly will take a gander at your work. I love to read, no matter what it is. First love is reading. Not tonight, obviously, it's almost 5 am. I haven't stayed up this late since I was fifteen. But tomorrow I will for sure.
Hahaa, oh yeah, I know what you mean. Far too well.

Ah, thank you. Hell, you've inspired me to continue my Nightmare on Elm Street story, so if nothing else, you should be proud of that. Isn't it great when writing makes you stay up late? I think so. It's one of the purest reasons to do so.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:28 AM   #16
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:12 AM   #17
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Hahaa, oh yeah, I know what you mean. Far too well.

Ah, thank you. Hell, you've inspired me to continue my Nightmare on Elm Street story, so if nothing else, you should be proud of that. Isn't it great when writing makes you stay up late? I think so. It's one of the purest reasons to do so.
that's awesome! i've never inspired someone before lol! i actually just got done reading your Nightmare on Elm Street and I sat back thinking "That's how I want to write..." ::Sigh:: I will find my style soon.

And there is no better reason to stay up late. Aside from sex.
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