Dill thought the inside of the photo booth had a boiled-egg smell, horrible yet somehow edible. Nourishing even. The smell seemed to stem from the thick and velvety curtain, stubborn despite its constant cleaning. And Dill knew it was clean; he took care of the booth. As the booth’s technician on hand at weddings, Dill made sure things ran smoothly. He always filled the paper and checked the ink.
"Let’s try a test photo," he said to Elise, his girlfriend and the photo booth company’s scrapbook hostess. They were nearly finished setting up for the night’s wedding and he watched as she let down her hair, wrapped the elastic around her wrist and stepped inside.
"Do something interesting," he said. The camera flashed four times, the light escaping from the curtain in a muffled, persistent strobe.
Dill waited as Elise exited the booth. She looked at him and shrugged, tucking her hands into the long sleeves of her shirt. Their suggested uniform was black and white and she wore a long skirt with a baggy, waffle-knit sweater. She was an odd mixture of comfort and elegance.
Dill knew that when people asked about their job, Elise cracked jokes. “We’re dabbling in 'Til Death Do Us Part,” she’d say. They’d been dating six years and Dill felt the usual questions bubbling quietly between them. “You should know by now,” Elise had said five months before, during the summer. It was terribly hot that day and he remembered they were sitting on the stoop eating popsicles and watching a neighbor girl draw chalk figures on the sidewalk. Elise was her typical self, cryptic yet playful—it sometimes unnerved him, the way she read his mind. “Don’t you think?” she’d asked, tapping his T-shirt with the cherry popsicle and leaving a red smudge on his shoulder.