As soon as she lost the camera, or rather, set it on top of the car and forgot about it as they got in to drive away, Angie should have known it was an omen. Twenty miles later, when she remembered, Lance said he didn’t want to go back for it, that it didn’t matter anyway. It was a cheap, disposable camera. Angie leaned her head against the window as they drove on. She thought of that one picture of the two of them—the only one on the roll—standing on the large rock at the river’s edge, Lance’s arm around her shoulder. She knew just what would happen.

Some stranger would find the camera and shoot the rest of the film. Maybe three weeks later this same stranger would stand in a checkout line at some drugstore, flip through the photos until she got to the one of Angie and Lance. Then she would pause for a moment, confused. Who was that pretty woman with the long hair and the dark-eyed guy hanging his arm over her shoulder, so close to her neck? “Look at this,” she would say to her friend who stood next to her and smacked her gum too hard, “Look at this weird picture.” And they would hold the snapshot together, see Angie staring straight ahead and Lance looking off to the left as if he was waiting for the ricochet of the shutter and the smear of the rapids behind them. “Think they’re in love?” the stranger girl might ask. [think they’re so busted? the sister might think]

The friend would shrug, blow a huge bubble, pop it and suck the gum back into her mouth. “Who knows? Give me that.” Then she’d toss the picture on top of a soft pretzel in the garbage can. “It’s not like it really matters.”

Angie could see it now.     [n her sister could of seen it b4 now]

“Where do you want to go next?” asked Lance. He worked his way across the stream on the dry rock tops that stuck up above the flow of water.

“Doesn’t matter to me,” said Angie. It had only been one day and she already had the sense they were losing time. The aimless driving, just because he wanted to see how the Miata would handle on the hairpin curves, the smell of his shampoo orbiting her head, the purple gauze of the Great Smoky Mountains at dusk&mdashall of it she found terribly romantic. That is, both terrible and romantic. It would be easier, she thought, if it were one or the other.       [her sister would of told her it sucked]

She hung her running shoes around her neck by the laces and tried to remember which rock Lance had stepped on next. Though the stream was not deep, she was in her bare feet and had to avoid the mossy places or she’d fall in.

Lance watched Angie’s breasts move under her halter-top as she balanced herself. “You fall in, I’ve got no rope,” he called to her.

“So you’ll have to dive in and rescue me,” she answered, pleased when he smiled.

“Yeah? I thought your kind of woman would want to rescue herself.”

“My kind of woman never met your kind of man before,” she heard herself say. Too coy? she wondered immediately.     [im going to vomit thought her sister]

Lance laughed out loud and stood up suddenly, strode directly through the water that came halfway up his leg. When he got to the rock where Angie had stopped, he shaded his eyes from the sun and looked at her.

She could tell he knew she was crazy about him. He probably even knew she found him mesmerizing. “Want a ride?” he asked, and before she could answer, he’d grabbed her by the knees and carried her to the bank.      [n fell cuz she was chubba lubba]

They licked melted chocolate bars from foil wrappers and sat facing each other in the shade with their legs wrapped around the other’s waist. Angie’s heart ached with the fortune of the days to come.       [this is getting out of hand thought the sister, feeling kind of sad]