It’s raining: inside me.

One Sunday in fall: late in the morning. A few pairs of hours, by train, and we will meet each other. For the first time. A nice project; desired.

I fill my travel time reading a book and compiling a list of songs that represent the various sensations I feel, now, while I’m reaching you. I try to imagine all facets of a first encounter: from the glances to the words to say, from the smiles to the silence you dial to listen to. And why not: from invitation and proposals. I smile by itself.

The train is a little late; only a few minutes but it seems like an eternity.

I recognize you at once: with your ballet shoes, tall, sleek and lean properly. You look at me smiling through your glasses: you recognized me. My (old) age has passed the examination; the most feared. It has been. We discover ourselves: the smell, the look, the softness of the skin, the hands and body movements are added to complete the fragments of traits that we have envisaged. For a long time.

While I move clumsy in my windcheater – and awkward by the straps of my backpack weighed down by the laptop – we walk on the autumnal waterfront: slowly. Gently we let our footsteps on the sidewalk until we reach the bridge on the river mouth. We walk side by side, stopping now and then to give us a smile which accompanies comments and dialogues. We stop on the top of the bridge to admire the sea at east side and mountains to the west. A round on ourselves, like a dance in front of the mirror, until we come face to face and share a spontaneous embrace and a kiss: tender and dainty. Sensitive and brief. A soft kiss accompanied by the silence of words in our respective thoughts. Moved upon the soul.

That bridge soon become a metaphor of the new perspective of life. A metaphor of plans: large but possible dreams to fulfill right away. Soon. A bridge to cross, that offers the shore of a new life. Leaving behind the so far passively accepted roles. Accepted with many compromises that devoid the line of the future. Your time has been suspending, for very long time, by neglected events. It’s time to cut the umbilical cord.

We go back on the waterfront and the tales we talk about, assured of us in this new dimension, roll out of the mouth without pausing. Without fear or fright: we rely on each other. Confident about each other.

The distressing situations – terrible to deal with and hard to overcome – now seem to present space for a renewal project. There is an air of renewed joy in the eyes; hope has been replaced by reality, by the truth. By life.

Sitting in a downtown cafe we consume – in addition to the drinks – the rest of the few hours available, we exchanged personal belongings useful to underline our reciprocal presence. From now on. We can try to reboot our life; restart the time.

Another train will take me back home soon, and when I’ll come will be already night. No matter.

Railway station platform 4: the train is coming. On time.

We say good bye melancholically and I get on the train. I turn around, the doors are still open, I lean out and look at the signal of the driver. I have time. Quickly I get off the train for a last kiss and for a necessary hug: only for a few seconds. A short, long, moment: the right one. The railway light turns in yellow and sharp we heard the conductor’s whistle. I jump on the three steps just in time. The beating of my stray heart went out of phase: I feel almost a dizzy spell. I gather your moved smile and your green eyes as they prepare to tears; I close mine like to thank the Lord and I repeat myself to feel, at last, happy. I deep breath rearranges the beating of my heart.

I take my place, turn on the laptop and begin to write “a walk on the bridge”; I will attach it to the e-mail as soon as I arrived home. I write something else that I will keep safe: I’ll make you read it when, one day, we will be old.

I turn off the laptop and close my eyes too. I have the hunch of wanting to become the bridge that will help you to cross the stormy river that is blocking your path. That river stirred by to be frightening: that swollen river that has ripped you away from your road. You have to face it, overcome it and continue to live: begin to grow up again. Learning to spread your wings and fly away.

I’ll be your bridge over trouble water.

We have a long road to walk together: building our future career and family plans. Draw up new horizons and reach it. Happiness to sow and reap. I think what happened is the beginning of a beautiful story: to tell to our friend, parents and children. A bewitching story: unique.

A fairy tale, enchanting, delicate, so unbelievable that it seems a dream. A magical event to live day by day with you: together.

Everything has changed inside me: I feel alive again. What an amazing gift that made me life. Thee.

Yes, you.

And what a sneering surprise the life gave me afterwards: this was the end of the story. None the beginning.

Renato Gentile



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