Keith groaned. He couldn't believe he had missed such a perfect shot! Standing from the kneeling position he'd been in, he let his camera hang around his neck and grabbed his jacket off the ground beside him. He shook it off and hit it once, and watched as the dirt and dew fell off it. Then, he threw it over his shoulder and began clicking through all the pictures he had just taken. He grimaced at a few, but he also grinned a couple of times. Out of a hundred-or-so shots, 5 or so were perfect, and about half was exceptable. He would print and seperate them when he returned home, but for now he would take one more shot of the glowing sun that the three blue birds he had spotted now flyed around simultaneously. If there had been a few more birds, they could have made a perfect circle around the sun, creating a beautiful shot. Yet, the three small birds that were there, did exceptionally anyway. His other pictures were of his surroundings in general, seeing as he'd been sitting on this green, high hill for quite sometime now, looking down on the world below him, scurrying around busily....He wondered why they never took a break. They forever bustled and rushed; yelled and cursed...they were always on edge and so many were filled with such bitterness....If only they would take the time to breath...Smell the beautiful flowers God surrounded them with...See three precious blue birds flying around the sun, creating an array of happiness; an array of joy. Something that seemed so mediocre; so un-important, was so vital for even the slightest bit of hope. He sighed, and again let his camera fall against his chest, hanging heavily from his neck. Being a heavier device, the strap cut into the back of his neck slightly and to avoid major discomfort, he slipped his pointer and middle finger between the back of his neck and the thick, gray camera strap. He bit his bottom lip, then let out a long sigh and began walking down the hill, being careful to keep his footing strong so as not to trip and fall down the high, steep hill. His thoughts wondered to the delicious chinese take-out he had left in his fridge and he grinned in spite of himself...Tonight, he'd have someone to share it with.

His girlfriend, Anna Marie, was coming home from Australia, after being on a month-long business trip. She also was a photographer, but for wildlife, and had had to go with another Wildlife Photographer: Jocelyn, to get some shots of the newborn kangaroos held in captivity there. She had been so excited to take the job, minus the sadness they both felt in having to be apart for a month...But tonight, he would pick her up from the airport, take her home to their apartment, and in pampering her, show her how much he really had missed her. He had bought rose petals, wine, and another very special, vital gift....

A ring.

It was gorgeous, and rightfully so, for the amount of money he had paid for it...He'd been working hard the past three and a half months to get plenty of perfect shots, and potentially pricey shots....And he had succeeded. He'd sold many pictures and gotten $200 up to the thousands for each one. Every price had been different, and every picture had been worth it. The time in which it took to take the picture, soak and develope them, look them over, send them off, and sell them: Had been worth it....Anything in exchange for Anna being his wife is worth it, he knew. He smiled and realized he was at the bottom of the hill. He walked a bit farther to the sidewalk and looked at the on-coming traffic, searching for a taxi. Finally, spotting one that has just stopped against the sidewalk, behind a tall, black lamp-post, he ran to it and opened the door. He threw down his jacket and took off his camera before getting in, then he laid them both across his lap and maneuvered his hand to reach into his side pocket to pull out 6 pounds. He handed it to the driver and added: "256, Oaksed Drive."

The driver nodded and moved the gear-shift up to drive. When he came to a red stop-light he turned to face Keith and held up a cigarette, silently asking his consent to smoke with him in the car. Keith nodded and pulled a pack of Marlbro out of his shirt pocket. He grinned.

"Got a light?"

The driver chuckled and nodded, throwing it to Keith before taking it back to light his, open the windows in the car, and push on the gas after looking up to see the green-light. Keith stared out the window as they drove, smiling absentmindedly as he thought about Anna. In just a little while, he would have her in his arms again....

In just a little while, he hoped to be engaged...

He blew some smoke out of his mouth and knocked some of the burnt part of the cigarette off against the car door, and after another few minutes, he threw it out onto the curb and rolled up his window. After looking over at the driver for a split second, then looked ahead at the road again, he sighed and rested his head back against his seat. Then, after another few minutes in the car, the driver pulled up to Keith's house. Keith then opened the door and stepped out.

"Thanks." He spoke quickly, grabbing his coat and camera and then slamming the door shut. He walked up his drive-way quickly and pulled out the small, copper key that he had to un-lock his door with, then after walking in and shutting the door, he set down his jacket and retreated to the picture room to start the film developing in the red-looking acid. After that, he went to his bathroom to shower quickly, so that he would have time before having to leave to get dressed and make the kitchen, living room, and bedroom look utterly romantic.

He could do it....Any man could...

Keith loved sarcasm, afterall.....

But he loved Anna, much, much more.