Right time, right place – that was how the expression went. Katherine Davis just so happened to be in New York City when her services were called upon. The young woman was visiting her sister at NYU, getting the call that she was needed at the Best Buy Theater. Katherine was a photographer who was making her presence known to the United States, getting her pictures in magazines and websites as of late.
Jessika decided to go along with her – even though Kat didn’t need the support. It wasn’t a photo shoot where Kat had all the equipment.
The messenger bag on her shoulder, Kat made sure she had everything she needed – her camera, phone, tablet, extra memory cards, and batteries. The young girl and her sister made their way to Times Square to get to the theater. Kat was assured that upon their arrival, they’d get backstage and press passes. Kat had worked with the theater prior, so they had her number on speed dial.
Jess placed a hand on Kat’s shoulder when they arrived at the theater. The fans were all waiting outside, being loud, and gathered around the doors. Kat tried to shake her sister’s hand off of her but there was no give – Kat wasn’t scared of crowds or concerts like Jessika thought. Shooting Jess a look, she eased her grip on her shoulder but still kept her hand there. “You know I hate New York.” Kat rolled her eyes at her older sister as they made their way through the crowds of people.
“Kat, thank God!” one of the assistants greeted upon seeing Kat and Jess Davis. “Thank you for coming on such short notice. I know you prefer, at least, a day’s notice but… this was an emergency.” Kat just gave a smile to the worker.
The assistant handed the passed over to the girls, ushering them in. “We weren’t expecting one of our photographers to call in today, but his wife went into premature labor late last night, so… you were our alternate.” Kat nodded her head as security stopped them. “Shit, I forgot.”
“Forgot what?” Jessika questioned.
“The group performing tonight will be only performing for a shorter amount of time.” He spoke softly. “So, we are checking any type of bag coming through. And…” he trailed off for a moment. “You won’t be able to use your tablet tonight, Kat, I’m sorry.” Kat closed her eyes, feeling her heart sink.
Her tablet was the only way she liked to communicate with people. Kat had autism, and at the age of seven, she just stopped talking. Her parents went through great lengths to make sure Kat got everything she needed – and that tablet with an application designed for her, Kat was perfectly capable to have a full on conversation with somebody.
But now… she was grateful that Jessika came after all.
Handing over her messenger bag, Kat watched as security took the objects out, trying not to cringe at the handling of her camera and tablet. Kat’s eyes widened, thinking about her phone. Gently placing a hand on her shoulder, the worker spoke, “You can keep your phone on you. Just keep it on silent or turn it off until the end of the show.” Kat sighed with relief, nodding her head at the worker.
Jessika watched her sister carefully, seeing the flinching as the camera was roughly handled. “Can we speed this up please?” Jess asked, placing a hand on her hip.
“I agree, we need to open the doors in five minutes, Jack.” The worker commented, reaching for Kat’s tablet. “This will go into the safe, I’ll give it back to you at the end of the show.” He said.
Kat brought her hand toward her mouth, flatting out her hand, she signed ‘thank you’ to him. He smiled at the girl. He waved his hand, allowing Kat and Jessika to follow him to the viewing point. Kat was stationed on the left side with a stool waiting for her. It was mainly used for Jessika when she came with her sister, but today, it would hold her messenger back with the extra lenses.
The photographer looked at the stage for a moment as the worker explained the musical act to the girls. Kat wasn’t paying much attention as she took some practice shots of the stage to get a feel for what she needed to achieve. Messing with the settings on her camera to get the format right for the particular lighting the group has asked for.
Kat pulled out her phone; opening the application she downloaded from her tablet. She typed quickly, the phone was at the max speaker, “Can you guys dim the light and shine a spotlight? I just want to get the format right.” The robotic video echoed through the theater. The worker nodded, signaling to somebody up on the lighting box. The lights dimmed and a spotlight hit the stage. Putting her phone on the stool, Kat brought the camera to her eye, looking through the viewfinder to see the stage. Snapping a couple of pictures, Kat looked back at them.
Once she got the formatting right for the show, Kat gave a thumbs up. “Everything’s good?” She nodded her head with a smile. “Perfect! Thank you so much, Kat! You are a literal lifesaver.” Kat blushed instantly, hiding her face from the worker. She knew the real reason she was called down – the guy liked her and wanted to go out on a date but Kat always said no.
Dating scared Kat shitless. She never understood the idea of dating or really enjoyed the concept of swapping spit. Then again, Kat hated being touched. She put up with it and she no longer flinched as if she was in pain whenever somebody touched her.
“You should go on a date with him,” Jessika said once the worker was gone. Kat rolled her eyes at her older sister, shaking her head. “Come on, Kat! You should act like a normal twenty-one-year-old.” Jessika stated. Kat’s looked away from her sister, keeping her eyes locked on the stage.
Normal – not like Kat never heard that word when it came to her being a non-verbal autistic person. She heard it every single day of her life. She was normal, just her normal wasn’t somebody else’s. Kat was a photographer with a pretty good career on her hands, sure she had difficulties and she couldn’t talk, but that wasn’t anything to look down upon.
‘Normal…’ she mouthed, which Jess caught. She cursed to herself, “Kat, you know what I mean.” Jessika said.
Kat looked at her sister, locking eyes with her. Jess was taken back by Kat’s sudden eye contact, considering how hard it was for her sometimes. Today was not one of those days, apparently. Suddenly a smirk appeared on her lips as she flipped off her sister.
“Classy.” Kat turned back to her the stage, just in time to hear the screaming fans enter the theater. Jessika went to reach into Kat’s bag for the earplugs or her noise canceling headphones but Kat stopped her by gently wrapping her fingers around her wrist. “Kat?”
Kat quickly signed that she was fine with the noise. Hell, she lived in Time Square in an apartment with very thin walls. The noise wasn’t the issue – Jessika was. Kat loved her sister, she did, but Jessika Davis got her nerves, always wanting to stick up for Kat, making her feel better about herself. Kat had learned that everyone was going to defend her but she wanted to defend herself for once.
As Kat and Jessika made their way out of the theater to head home for the night, Kat’s name was called. Turning her head, she saw somebody running up to them. It wasn’t the worker from before; it was somebody from BTS’ crew. “Anthony said I’d find you out here.” The English spoken was near perfect. Kat gave him a curious look. “The idols would like to see your photography.”
The photographer’s eyes went wide, looking at the crewmember. Glancing over to Jessika, Kat had no idea what to say to the man. She had to show Anthony the pictures so they could pick which ones to put on the website for their archives. Jessika smiled brightly. “She’d love to.” Kat didn’t really like strangers, especially people who had a language barrier.
Her application could only do so much to help her out. It could translate and Kat had the option to change the language, but she didn’t know if it had Korean. She mainly used it for Spanish. Taking a deep breath, the crewmember led the girls backstage to where the idol group was. Anthony told Jessika about the group, apparently, they were making some waves in the United States – The Red Bullet tour being their first time on US stage.
Entering the green room where the boys were relaxing before they headed back to the hotel for the night. Their flight to Texas wasn’t until tomorrow morning, so they were taking a little time.
Kat had no idea what was being spoken between the seven of them, but they all seemed on a high from the concert. The photographer pulled out her camera, snapping a couple of pictures as the idols goofed off around her. Kat loved the action shots, but she adored the unexpected photos.
The attention of the idols was gained when one of their managers got their attention. He introduced them to Kat and Jessika – and the instant he did, one of the members was already at Kat’s side, asking about the photography and the camera. Kat wasn’t sure how to explain she couldn’t exactly talk.
The language he was speaking, he was very colorful and cheerful but Kat had no idea what he was saying. The photographer was without her tablet, she wasn’t allowed to keep it on her person when she went into the New York City venue. She was asked back by the manager of BTS to look over the photos - the boys were curious about her work.
The leader called out, making him stop talking. “She doesn’t understand you.” Sighing with relief - Kat heard English coming from the leader’s mouth. “She can’t speak Korean.”
The leader turned to Kat, “I’m sorry. Sometimes we forget that not everyone can speak Korean.” He apologized to her. Kat lowered her eyes, nodding her head with a small smile. “Rap Monster, or Namjoon, whatever you prefer.” He held out his hand but Kat didn’t take it.
She had a thing about touching people and being touched. Kat had to deal with hugging a lot, she grew to tolerate the interaction but she hated shaking hands. Suddenly, her sister came out of nowhere. “She doesn’t touch people.” Jessika’s voice rang out, startling Kat. She jumped, almost dropping her prized camera. The rapper next to the leader jumped forward, stopping the camera from falling. He had his hands under Kat’s, protecting the camera from falling to the floor. “And she actually can’t talk, so if you want to have a conversation, you may want to learn sign language.” Kat reached over, giving her sister a hard punch to the upper arm. “Ow, what the hell?!”
Kat rolled her eyes. Pulling out her phone, she opened up the application as a couple of the idols gathered around her phone to look at the pictures she took. Changing a couple of settings on the app, she found out that the application, indeed, had Korean. “Ignore my sister. She’s trying too hard.” The robotic voice sounded very odd in Korean, but the voice got all their attention.
“What’s that?” The leader questioned.
“This is how I talk to people. I can’t talk like Jessika said.” Kat hit enter and the voice came through once more. “This application was designed for non-verbal people, I just got it modified for my needs – for example, the voice can speak different languages,” Kat explained. The boys were very interested in the application that Kat used.
“These are incredible!” One of the idols gushed, passing the camera to show the pictures around. Kat smiled at the translation that came through. Placing her hand towards her mouth, she signed ‘thank you’ to them, confusing them slightly.
She quickly typed. “Sorry! That was thank you in American Sign Language. I don’t know what it is in Korean Sign Language.” Kat didn’t even know if they knew Korean Sign Language. All Kat knew was she was attempting to learn a couple of different sign languages to make sure she could talk with anyone who was deaf or non-verbal.
Kat giggled as the boys start to sign thank you back to her. While the concert went on, Kat heard some of the fans talking about how BTS was very kind with their fans and loved interacting with them. She could see why - they were eager to please and loved seeing the smiles on their faces.
After a few minutes of going over the pictures, one of their managers came up to the group and said they needed to pack up and get back to the hotel. Looking at the time on her phone, Kat realized what time it actually was – Jessika had a class in the morning and Kat was planning on staying up all night to edit and put her watermark on the photos.
Another manager came up to Kat, telling her to email the pictures to him after she was finished with her editing. She took the slip of paper, placing it into her pocket. Smiling at the idols, Kat headed towards the door. However, her name was called once more. Looking over her shoulder, Kat saw the rapper who was asking her all the questions, sign ‘thank you’ to her, with a bright smile.
The photographer gave him a smile before leaving the room, following Jessika.