A moment, an image, a girl ... the cruelest solitude.
|John walks eagerly to his job; on his way, an image disturbs his mind and stops drastically the fast rhythm of his pace. He turns and moves slowly his stressed body and looks straight to the main image in a newspaper. In the image, a young girl with a natural bright on her eyes and an easy smile he knew very well.
Her face emerges from the deepest of his childhood memories, together with images of them playing soccer, climbing guava trees and running across the green fields; touching her lips with his fingers to shush her before kissing her for the first time. He remembers the scared faces of other kids avoiding big plastic ball shots and him counting to ten behind the brick wall of the corner of her house, he sees himself very happy and remembers his own sweet face when he was a kid with his friend.
He inhales deeply and his chest fills with pure happiness, wellness, and a little nostalgia; but his joy disappears abruptly, he loses all his air and exhales like if that was his last sigh. He felt an intense emptiness as if his flesh and bowels were hacked and just an inert shell was left empty instead of his body. He felt the worst of mood changes, the cruelest solitude, every thought leaves him, he remains cold and his skin goes numb as if anesthetized.
John knows this is a sensationalist tabloid, where he daily takes a glance of bloody news and horrible crimes. He also knows that the strong yellow and red typography usually indicates something morbid, and the word death or any of it's synonymous or conjugations will inevitably appear.
He gets closer despite his feet feel nailed to the concrete sidewalk and his hands shake trying to take the newspaper from the stand; he trembles and swallows a big painful blow as if he was a toddler after taking his loudest screech.
Little by little he tries to assemble the pieces of himself and analyze the content of the disturbing news. He hopes to find that this woman is not the girl he knows, that his mind is playing with him; but the name, the age, and the reference to the small town as "place of origin of the victim" ends sentencing and condemning such a beautiful woman to death, and eternalize in his memory that beautiful smile that only he remembers so pure and that apparently nobody else cares, because everyone is eager to go to their jobs.