Art by: Thiago Bianchini
Story by: Federico Fontanella
Their life was a dance around each other.
They met at school, hardly more than children. For years, Jean thought little of him; and for years, Alex thought of little but himself.
They spent long days together with their friends, in the hidden places only children will know – the edge of the small park turned into a sprawling, forbidden forest; the dilapidated shack was a cave of marvels and magic; the pond a lake and its fish mermaids.
They were together, innocent, and happy.
Alex grew into an angry man, brow furrowed in worries and fears. Jean studied and enjoyed life and looked ahead with a smile.
He never knew why they fell in love. She wondered what it really was.
They sit now, older and wiser, in the calm sunlight of a summer’s day, their feet dipping in the pond. School ended long ago, and the wonders of the park live only in memory.
“There’s much I never told you,” she says, her hair hiding her face from him.
He doesn’t answer.
“But I love you. Will you let me tell you that?”
“Lie down, Jean. The grass is soft and the breeze is warm.”
She lies next to him. He sees the wetness of her cheek.
“Why do you cry?”
“I fear you will never know.”
“All the little things I want you to know.”
“Do the little things matter? I know all of you, and you all of me.”
Jean smiles, and cries. His fears will never leave her, and words won’t help.
Their hands meet and warm each other.
Their friends look at them sadly from afar.
They move closer in their dance, now, as they have before. Life will see them embrace each other again. No one knows them better than they know each other, but all they do is wonder who they are. It is a dance that never ends, and each step is a mystery.
Happiness was not meant for them.