”We write down made-up stories to tell the truths we wish we could say out loud.”
5 AM. ‘A good night’s sleep? Merely a memory,’ the young boy thought while trying to scratch his upper back. His left hand reached out to the other side of the bed, searching for something that wasn’t there. He grabbed the pillow, pulled it close to his chest, forced himself to awaken old memories, old scents. Regardless of how hard he tried he could not forget that scent. There were people who got caught up in old memories while listening to music. It was the smell, that haunted him.
He dragged himself out of bed to open the balcony door. His feet touched the raw, biting surface. He was paralyzed, and in some miraculous way his broken heart still found a way to beat. The thunderstorm had kept him up all night. He had never gotten over them, traumatised since early childhood. And the rashes, those damn rashes. He had never gotten rid of them either. ‘Will I ever get over this,’ he whispered to himself, staring at the empty bed.
The young boy took a quick jump to the side, and hid behind the old oak tree. Dirty leaves lying on the wet grass, sticking firmly to his shoes. He observed the old man’s wrinkly face, his tired eyes appeared to be completely lost in the pages. Is it even possible to read a book so water damaged? He decided to move a bit closer, and with every step his heartbeat started to slow down. The air was still humid despite the rain that had been pouring down during the night. The old man looked up. He placed the book in his pocket and moved to the left as soon as he saw him. His eyes gazing at the dark clouds coming in. ‘It will most probably be here within an hour or so.’
‘It kept me up all night,’ the young boy said, scratching his right leg.
‘There’s no rainbow without the rain.’ The old man took a glimpse at his leg. ‘Mosquitos?’
‘No, rashes. Kept me up all night.’ The young boy looked down at his once white converses. He usually didn’t have problems this time of the year. Now he could barely sit still, even though every cell in his body was screaming for silence.
‘Yet, here we are, breathing the same air, watching the same night sky. The same stars, guiding us, and illuminating our souls when we’ve found ourselves astray in the dark,’ the old man replied.
They could hear the thunder from far distant. The young boy scratched his forearm while a tender breeze brushed his cheek. In just seconds the wind got stronger. ‘But it aches. It aches so bad I can’t breathe. When does it stop?’
The old man closed his eyes. ‘If it was love, then never.’