Drama Coming of Age Romance

It’s been more than a year since I’ve been in this part of the city. The last time it was with him.

I’m lost in my thoughts when I pass by the gate of that park. I know I shouldn’t enter. I know I shouldn’t reopen that door. But the sound of a little waterfall attracts me like an eerie lullaby.

I can’t help but wonder if that place has changed just like everything else.

As I enter I can smell winter in the misty air. There’s no flowers on the bridge over the little pond where we had walked that time. The light is so different from that day. The color grey has layered itself over everything.

The sun is pale on my cheeks, but as I keep on walking, it slowly starts to remind me of the feeling he used to give me. And even if it’s really soft and imperceptible, with time it begins to burn me. To hurt me, again.

I feel like entering an old dull picture. The park’s paths are the lines of an old letter, that I’m afraid could cause little paper cuts on my cold fingers.

It’s just a glimpse but I see him in a tall figure near the lake. I see his soft gaze in the lost eyes of a stranger passing by. I find myself holding my breath when someone accidentally touches my arm running fast and carelessly by me.

And then I see that bench, and a faded image starts appearing.

Our ghosts are sitting there a bit awkwardly. Our skins are warm not only due to that old sunny day.

-Have you ever been here before?- he asks. There’s a little space between us.

-The last time I’ve been here was four years ago- I say without being able to look him in the eyes.

He wants to know why it’s been so long but I try to beat around the bush.

The truth is that the park where he invited me to is the same place I used to go with her.

-It was with an old friend- I say looking at the new trees that have been planted.

He reads in my thoughts that is something I don’t want to talk about. It’s a box I don’t want to open again.

I try not to get too close to the bench, but even from afar I can feel my ghosty thoughts from the past, since they have been frozen in that place, in the rocks, in the water, in the blades of grass.

The box has been opened again, and smoky images starts slipping away from it. With his ghost, another one appears, on the other side of the pond.

It’s her, out of breath because we’ve been laughing laying on the grass. We’ve stolen school time to secretly spend it together, and even if the day is almost over, none of us wants to go home.

Our home in that moment is not made of concrete or wood.

She intertwines her pinky finger with mine while we’re looking at the sky. This delicate and silent gesture, that nobody can see, screams “don’t go” and it’s stronger than any rope. She has autumn in her eyes, and I know I’m falling like the red leaves on our heads. We just stare at each others without saying any more words.

I make an effort to look away from those young and naïve girls, and my eyes come back to the ghosty bench.

-I haven’t come here anymore. It was just because you asked- I think I tell him.

But it’s just in my head. We stay there a bit but the space between us starts getting bigger.

Suddently it gets colder, but it’s not the season’s fault. I get chills as I stare at the scene, and I know my ghost feels it too as his eyes start to wander away from me. My ghost looks for his smile, for his enthusiasm, but it’s gone. It seems like he’s looking far away, on the side of the pond where the other two girls are.

My long shadow and hers start to get up. I think I hear her laugh echoing throught the trees. She stands on her tiptoes and shyly hugs me. Our faces are so close I can touch her thoughts. I hug her too and we stay there for a little too much. We squeeze a little too tightly. Looking at us, I feel that never forgotten old warmth.

Deep down, I know it’s a real goodbye. I see us distorting like our reflection in the pale waters of the lake.

His ghost gets up too and doesn’t find ways to stop our time. There are just some little useless words left between us. But no answers to all my “whys”.

They are still floating over that haunted bench now, I can see them from here. They haven’t gone anywhere.

Fog starts surrounding me and a little gust of wind smudges both scenes, as a ruined pale watercolour painting, or little pieces of torn paper you can’t put together anymore. Fragile like feathers. They disappear, and I come back to the outside present.

Because that’s what I am to those memories. An outsider. Trying to look in to see what went wrong, what I could have done better.

I’m trying to replay those moments hoping I can find the micro detail that made the card castle fall. The out of tune note in the song that we never wrote.

This place now is only made of unsaid words and ungiven kisses; of hoping eyes and scared, trembling, inexperienced hands that craved intimacy.

Some dead leaves rise up from the ground and fly in circle. It’s a vortex of “what ifs” and “maybes”.

As I walk away, the air whispers a last sentence.

-I’ve learned to play “the sound of silence” on my guitar. We could play together sometimes-

And that’s all that remains. Between me and him. Between me and her. In that park, and inside me, now there’s only silence.

November 18, 2021 17:06

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.