I took this picture a couple of months ago, around Christmas in my dormitory. I had done my makeup, dressed rather nicely for a weekday, and had actually tried to tame my wild afro but I had absolutely nowhere to go. I sat in my room, working on this and that until I stood up and looked out the window. It was a regular day, students milling to and fro, not yet the time for evening activities but too late in the day to have any more classes. I don’t exactly remember the song that I was listening to, but I remember feeling the acute sense of nothingness. Looking out the window, I didn’t feel peace or contentedness, happiness or even sadness. I remember feeling out of place, without context, like I was floating in an endless sea of space. My phone snapped me out of my weird reverie, and after finishing my homework, I returned to the same place I had been just moments ago. Even after standing in the same place, and staring at the same place, I couldn’t bring back the same feeling, and for whatever reason it saddened me. So, I decided I would take a picture, to help distract me, because I knew that today I looked good. I stood at the window for over five minutes, constantly changing positions and postures. I had the camera on a self -timer, and I remember counting the seconds until the shutter clicked. I had the pose just right, the perfect frame and lighting, but I couldn’t re-create the face that I knew I was feeling inside. I changed the self-timer from the standard three seconds to ten seconds, but as I clicked the camera button, I lost track of the time, and then all of a sudden, I was back to that space miles away. A mere second may have gone by but in my shoes, you would have felt what you can only imagine to be the weight of the world, transferred to your shoulders from mine. Click! The shutter went off, the speed of the sound pulling me faster than I could have imagined out of the state I was in. I blinked a few times, and then looked at my phone. My first instinct was to delete it, my fingers were mere centimeters from the screen, ready to hit the retake button, but something in me decided to wait. So instead, I saved it. I continued for another five or so minutes taking pictures, but I knew in my heart I knew that none of them would work because I had already found the one; I just didn’t want to believe it. I dutifully edited it, using the warm tones of the room and highlighted my skin to glowing perfection, but it didn’t change the face. I posted it to Instagram and received many compliments and words of affirmation, but I didn’t read anything that I wanted to see. I showed a few select people in my everyday life here at college, they all admired it and praised it but again, not what I wanted to hear. Still to this day, looking at this picture only serves to give me mixed emotions. As an artist, I am proud of what I accomplished, but as the model I am scared by what I pulled out of myself. Because of the position the photo was taken, I’m not really sure if I’m smiling. If taken as a regular point and shoot frame, would it have been a different look? One that show relaxed but non-smiling lips, or would it have reflected the same hint of happiness I vaguely detect? Is the arm crossed in the manner of nonchalant or one marked by years of self-defensiveness? Or even worse, is it a self-hug stemmed from years of loneliness caused only by the misfortunes of one’s past mistakes. Do the eyes shine like glass from unshed tears, or are they just reflections of her fears in the past coming to haunt her in the future? I call this look a whisp, because it is the most delicate look that has ever surfaced on my face from graves, I buried deep. If it was but a famous picture like the Mona Lisa, I would ponder upon these thoughts and search for a conclusion but since it is about me, I only run from them.