Chill winter morning. The train station was almost deserted but one could feel the liveliness floating in the air. It was early, just after sunrise, and there weren’t many people around. Maybe this was the reason for the vitality of the morning – all life seems to have awoken from the night’s sleep and was yet to be sucked away by the countless people about.
The sun was still to rise high in the sky and there were no clouds to prevent it from doing so. The air was fresh and transparent. Only a thick cloud of smoke emerged above one of the benches on the platform.
A boy was sitting there, alone. He was puffing a smoke, his eyes focused in the distance, as if searching for something. He didn’t look on the side where a train usually arrives from, no. He was just focused, only occasionally puffing and exhaling a thick cloud of smoke, corrupting the freshness of the air around him.
“The next train will arrive on track one after ten minutes,“ said the station announcer.
He looked at his watch – ten to seven. He kept on smoking. These ten minutes seemed to him like an eternity. He lit another smoke. “Ten minutes are better compared to a year,” he thought, “yet why do they seem so long now?” He couldn’t answer himself. So many questions, all unanswered.
He saw a sparrow, wandering around, pecking. He remained still, as not to scare the bird away. Another one arrived soon. They pecked around some more then flew off. Together. He smiled.
“The next train will arrive on track one after five minutes,“ said the announcer.
Five more minutes and all will be revealed. He heard the train hooter. Were those minutes gone already? He took a peеk on his watch. No, there were like three more. So the train was early.
It didn’t matter anyway.
He lit another smoke.
The train arrived and settled on the track but he didn’t dare look upon it. He was gazing at a crack in the pavement, smoking. He remained like that for a few minutes, as the place was swarmed with people, leaving the train or just getting to it from the waiting rooms. No-one settled even for a second, everyone was moving back and forth, back and forth.
Except for one.
It was a female voice. There was but one person who called him like that in his entire life. His heartbeat increased, then slowed and remained still for a second. The smoke froze on his lips and he dropped it. He looked up to see who it was.
And he saw her.
It was her.
He could tell that from the first glimpse he got. He stood up and met her eyes.
– It is really you.
She dropped her luggage on the ground and flung herself onto him. They stood like that, embraced, arms around each other, as the station swarm was settling down.
“The train will leave from track one in five minutes,” said the announcer.
They didn’t move. They just stood there, engulfed in each other; her hands around his neck, his arms around her waist; his faced half-buried in her hair, her head leaned on his shoulder. They didn’t care about anything or anyone around them.
Nothing mattered anymore.
Neither the station, nor the sun, not even the sparrows landed near them.
They loosened their grip, still holding each other, and met their eyes. She smiled and touched his side, caressing him gently.
– I guess we are out of context? – she said, leaving him marveled for a second. Then he felt a moisture on his cheek and realised – it was a tear.
– Yes, – he smiled, – It isn’t a waste of a good suffering. I can’t believe you remembered that.
She laughed. There was something particularly wonderful in her laughter.
– It was so silly of you, how could I forget it? Are you suffering now?
It was his turn to laugh out loud.
– You always have to oppose me, don’t you?
– And you always have to counter my questions with a question!
They both laughed.
– I’m glad we finally met. You are better than I thought.
She blushed. He touched her cheek and pulled her towards him.
They kissed. It was a prolonged, succumbing kiss which provided intense warmth in their hearts and souls that they couldn’t shake off. They flew off free; free from their bodies.
Free, like the sparrows.
The doors of the train beeped as they closed.
He woke up, all sweat. The alarm clock was beeping; it showed half past seven. It was time he went to school. He dressed quickly and took a glimpse on the calendar. It was March 10th.
– One day…
cover image by Capukat