That evening I felt like I was carried out of the book-store by a pair of invisible wings, that had grown on my back. Darius’ words managed to penetrate all my mental walls and settle right in my conscience, making me aware of what I needed. The path to a bright future — the bright future I have always imagined for myself — had never been so clear to me. When you are young, the future is the unknown, that you are yet to explore. The most important, the absolutely crucial part, is that you have to make the right steps at the beginning. What if Columbus decided to turn back a few days earlier, or took a totally different route? That evening, my excitement escalated, as if I were about to set out on a journey to discover new lands.
I had that feeling inside my chest — the feeling you have before leaving a place for a journey. You know your packages are ready to be put in the trunk of the car, you took all the possible bottles of shampoo, your toothbrush, the socks and pants and even the perfume you might never use. I felt light as if the grandeur of the coming day left the present meaningless and free of hardships. Yet, no matter how hard I tried to think of the last evening like this — I could not remember it. Left in the past and not having any influence on the future, they made me live in the present so much, I forgot about them.
After leaving the book-store, I thought the evening was yet too young to head straight home. The streets were mostly free of people; only a stray car could be seen on a crossing, or a rushing worker, who stayed too late at the office. I started wandering the streets mostly trying to remember little unusual, things, that stuck out. There was no particular reason for this, I just liked jogging my memory this way. After some time, I might walk the same places again and remember what I had seen. I thought about Darius and what he had told me. He opened something in me. Like a third eye, right in the middle of my forehead, that could see differently from many others. It did not matter to me if there were those who had that “eye” and that I was surely not the first to make such realizations — great for me, but trivial to the others. I was proud that now I could tell exactly what I wanted, what outcome I fancied for myself. Somebody could say that there was nothing to be proud of; at this age, I must have already been working towards my dream. But again, that did not matter. It was so important for me now, that I was not simply following the words my parents have been telling me for years, but that I finally had the image, the full understanding of what they have been trying to tell me. In some way (in a very big way), this is also a turning point in a young person’s life. After years of following orders, different pieces of advice, coming from every direction like snowflakes during a storm — I finally was not. I was anticipating to build the image of the way I wanted to have as if I was thirteen again and had started a new open-world game — I could be anyone and anything there. Only now I was the main character, the producer and the scriptwriter.
Having considerably lost connection to my brain, my feet started taking little alleys or paths they knew too well, and soon I found myself in front of the tall, green bushes, that covered the way to the top of the hill. Somehow, the heated impulses from my brain managed to travel through my whole body and I felt, that if I sat, I would explode. I decided to open the rusted, nicely shaped gate of the cemetery and took the paved path along the tombs. I have never liked walking in this cemetery, especially because of the looks the old people (who were often seen here) gave me. I felt uneasy, as if I was entering a private world of their own, that they shared with the dead. Here, I was like one of those unexpected and unwanted guests. But it was one of those peaceful places which you decide to visit simply for the sake of not forgetting the atmosphere, the smell of the air. Besides, it had a huge area. So large that I have never managed to walk to the other side of it; something during the walks made me simply turn back — a sudden remorse for being young in this place.
That evening, just as the streets, the cemetery was emptied of any other presence, but mine. I lighted a cigarette and watched the smoke float, like a flying carpet from an oriental story, in front of me. For some mysterious reason, the smoke tastes differently, when the air is cooler — sweeter as if sprinkled with caramel, and lighter. What I truly enjoyed about smoking, was measuring the level of silence around. There were times when I could literally hear how every fiber, every leaf of tobacco burns. Those times were the ones that almost made me know the sound of a private, bitter-sweet, roughly dreadful loneliness. I did not hear it that evening. The wind started blowing my way, chasing the silence and me, probably. The nicotine slowed down the inner race I had inside my head, my walking became more relaxed and I even started yawning, but a new, unusual for this place, smell, touched my nostrils. It was tender and somehow flower-like, though no flower can smell this way. This scent carried a heat within itself and a living, erratic spirit. It was the smell I had wanted to meet again for more than a week and I hurried towards its source.
She sat on a green bench. Her dark hair looked even darker, her skin whiter and if I did not know who was before me, I would run away, as if frightened by a ghost. Her blue gaze was fixed on the distant mountains and the snow that covered their peaks even during summer. She hid her hands in the pockets of her hoodie and she looked as if she was cold. Her shorts barely covered her tights so her white, mesmerizing skin drew me to inappropriate thoughts about the last time we saw each other. I tried to stop my mind from remembering her irresistible nudity and from undressing every piece of her clothing, but I hardly managed to.
Sophie slowly shifted her eyes down, towards the tombs in front of her, then her feet, and finally rose them in my direction. The void, that covered her face, was filled with a slight awe of disbelief, which was instantly replaced by a broad, warm smile, that hunted down any other thoughts, but those of her.