Σάββατο, 1 Ιουλίου 2017

THE VOLUNTEER 11: CLOSURE

He unlocked the door and stepped into the house. There was light in the kitchen. He found Sylvia writing something in an old notebook.
“Oh, hi there”,she told him, taking off her glasses. “I am revising. Tatsuo taught me some new words today and they are really difficult. There is some pie left in the fridge, if you like, I kept it especially for you” she said and put on her glasses again and lowered her gaze in the notebook.
Harry served him a glass of cold water from the fridge and sat beside her. He left the keys of the house on the table.
“Thank you for the pie but I think I will pass” he told her and stared at her.
Sylvia took off her glasses and left them by the keys. She closed the notebook.
“Are you leaving tonight?”
“Yes, I am going to pack my things and leave you the money for the month in an envelope. Thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart” he told her with restrained emotion.
“Jonathan will be upset. You never went fishing with the boat. You went into such trouble restoring it. Oh, I am going to wake him up to tell you goodbye” she said and stood up.
“I am not that good at goodbyes, Sylvia. Give him my regards and tell it to the twins as well. You have been very good to me” he told her and spontaneously hugged her. “Branca will drop by, I haven’t told her, she will figure it out” he told her and moved towards his room.
Sylvia stood still. 
“I will go to my room because I am not that good at goodbyes either. I will give her your piece of pie, when she comes. Good luck Harry and take care”.
He put his clothes in his pack and the box with the newspapers he collected. He left Branca’s nail polish on the bed and wrote her a note: “cuide- se bem”. If he remembered correctly, it meant “take care” or something like that. She often told him that when he was leaving for work letting her snooze in his bed like a cat. He left the money on the kitchen table. Sylvia had gone to her room with her notebook.
He stepped into the cool night and headed for Caveroad to reach the central train station. He felt the chill all over his body. It was like waking up from a deep sleep. The Sierra building looked imposing. He gave it a last look. He estimated reaching the station within fifteen minutes with a quick pace.
He enjoyed the aftertaste that the station left him. A very old arched building with people coming and going twenty- four seven, a place to welcome travelers and feelings. 
Announcements from the loudspeakers, hugs and separations, suitcases, departures and arrivals, wagons that open and close their doors in great fuss, smiles and tears, hands that stand still in the air in uncompleted greetings. For Harry this was a place of serenity. He headed to the big destination board in the middle of the room. He had to choose one. And there, he completely lost it. The elderly news dealer of Karthapark was already standing there staring at Harry, as if he was waiting for him. It was not the day of the week to give away his newspapers. Besides, he didn’t even have them with him. What on earth was he doing here? No, there was no reason to be suspicious. He was at the central railway station. Most likely, he was waiting for someone. Of course, a voice, deep inside him, warned him that this was not the reason. Harry approached him and was able to see the nervousness of the old man. Harry nodded. 
“Excsuse me, but they asked me to deliver you a message. You know who” the news dealer said reluctantly. 
“But how did they know that I was going to be here today on my day off?” he wondered.
“I don’t know that. All I know is that they are waiting for you at Tamarinia station, like before. They want to talk to you about your journey that has been completed. I don’t know anything else, good night” he hastily said and lost in the crowd. 

Harry stood hesitantly for a while. The gentlemen in costumes and horse masks had surprised him once more. He wondered what they wanted this time. Would they have him pass another test for his failure or were they about to preach him that he had completely messed things up once more? As curious as he might be, there was no way of stepping into their trap again. He knew exactly who he was, he didn’t wait for two morons bureaucrats to psychoanalyze him. Yes, he was an adventurer loser, coward guy. But not everyone is a super hero with the cloak of perfection in his life. Yes, he was running away because he could not handle the truth of reality and its consequences. And of course, despite how many miles he ran, he could not escape himself, the so dysfunctional one that found so difficult to tame and forgive. Yes, he had scored another defeat and another runaway in his notebook. Deep breath. He walked towards the train platform. Another new city was waiting for him somewhere in the night, and maybe another chance for internal reconciliation. He was not sure about his destination. He never was. 

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