We are sitting in the garden of a coffee house, on really short stools and tiny tables. They call it garden but I see an open garage with trees and stuff. It’s overloaded and full of young folks. Something makes me want to leave.
I can give my seat to others who wants to drink cheap tea and chit chat. I feel uncomfortable and I try to hide it. I can see the alley through the heads sitting around me; everyone is running away from the rain. It’s October. We are hanging out with a bunch of friends I am meeting for the first time. A guy with really long hair is sitting next to me. His hair is so long it touches the pavement, or maybe the stool is just too petite. I don’t understand what he is talking about. The guy looks right into my eyes as he speaks; I don’t know where to look. I am in such hurry to run off, not because I have a plane to catch in a few hours; I want to go away.
“We are going to get up in a few minutes” my friend looks at me and informs his friends. I nod and smile; I say that it’s ok. We pay for the tea and we get up, a few minutes later.
I hope it’s not still raining. It’s not. We walk on the wet pavement with rough stones. These stones may ruin my new black boots. My aunt bought them for me as a birthday present. She also gave me money, in case I didn’t like the boots. I still haven’t found a proper way to spend it; I don’t want to waist it on the bills and all my other unnecessary payments. I might as well keep it forever.
The streets are crowded, we can barely walk. I hold his arm just to make the silence less painful. I am mad at him. Does he know that? Is he mad at me too? He used to make silly jokes about everything when we were hanging out. He used to make the same joke over and over and I bought them every time. He is not talking today. I am not talking either.
We are standing outside of the station. We lean on the board and look at all the people around us. What are they doing? Where are they coming from? Where are they going? Why can’t this kid keep quiet? The station is packed, filled with people waiting for the boat. We watch them. We wait.
The boat is old and not very safe, though it gets the job done. How many people get on this boat every day, I wonder? How many people stand where I am standing and think what I am thinking? We sit on the bus next to each other. I don’t want to be silent any more. I am sure he doesn’t want either. We can’t find so many words to speak so we listen to the high school kids behind us. We walk in the neighborhood to get home. We sigh, we smoke and we float.
We pack our bags. I look around the room just to make sure I am not forgetting something. Maybe I should forget something. We leave. He closes the door; he doesn’t lock it. Our backpacks are heavy. We suppose this is the price we are paying for the better future. We are both travelers, just in different directions. He believes this is the life of an artist; I believe so too.
We wait for the van on the corner behind the traffic light. This is the moment we separate our ways. We put our bags on the cell wall, we lean on it. It’s almost midnight and the neighborhood is quiet. These very few seconds can freeze and I can live them forever. It’s not cold, it’s not warm. I can still hear the birds fly. My SpongeBob is sitting in my hand bag. He’s giving me the biggest smile. Doesn’t he always smile?
The van arrives before I know it. He opens his arms and I hug him. I have to be quick; the van is waiting. He asks me to call him when I get there. Am I still mad at him? Is he still mad at me? Getting on the van is much harder now, with heavy bags and the emotions loaded in. I am looking around carefully not to miss my stop. I keep reminding myself I have to call him as soon as I get there.
The city looks different. No boat, no traffic, no crowd. Do I like this place? My pocket is vibrating and I hear my phone ringing. He makes the same joke he made this morning; it is stupid and I buy it.