Her father named her Nola. As unlikely as it was, he was a jazz fan, hence the name.
It was Saturday afternoon. Guatemala City was warm. Hawkers thinly disguised as street performers were in front of most stores near the national square, selling shoes through pantomime or dressed as super heroes peddling sandwiches, etc. Nola and Guillermo rested against one another, watching the stream of people pass on the street, as if the street were a stream and it was flowing past them, carrying the bobbing people and dogs and carts and buses, away. It felt like that to Nola.
From the corner of her eye, a car. It screeched around a corner, breaking too late and too little and it sliced itself down the middle of the hood on a concrete street lamp. After the wreck of it, the silence for a few seconds, the steam rising, and then screams from the street. People flowed to the car like magnets, to help. Nola and Guillermo watched but didn’t move. It was not a lack of caring or a lack of emotion that kept them leaning in to one another; it was that they had little time before Nola was leaving Guatemala completely, permanently, hours only now.
The wreck though, sucked the life out of the time left. They felt frozen and unmoving as they watched the wreck’s aftermath unfold. The aftermath was predictable, and the details don’t matter. Before the wreck their affection was the only vapor moving in the emptiness of their impending loss of one another. Now, even that was swept away and they were only empty. Guillermo buried his head into Nola’s neck to try to feel her, and that is when I took this photograph.