SHE WAS RUNNING non-stop while the color of the night stained the sole of her barefoot dreams. What do you do when the only certainty is that you shouldn’t stop? After all, stopping meant thinking, and thinking at that moment wouldn’t be a good idea, given the circumstances. She should’ve said something that made more sense to everyone, or even taken a backpack. Still, the amount of money she’d taken would be enough for a leap into the uncertain future which she was skirting, smelling, groping with her humid eyes.

SOMETIMES the more certain possibility is the return, early in the morning, to the smell of coffee, buns of bread with a veil of butter, the chair next to the plants, wet by the morning dew, to the happy cherry tomatoes waiting to be picked. Ah, those hair clips, so beautiful! There’s no way not to look at one of them without recalling the red comb, always put on the tv.

BUT, THERE’S NO TIME FOR THAT, while from thee crack in the sky little diamonds were falling and rolling over her, and over the night, and the other pebbles which sprout from her sad retinas. She knows that she cannot stop, she though a lot about it, she knew there wouldn’t be a second chance and although she was hurting, as a barb which insists in bothering before coming out. It would be like this she’d leave.

THE IRISH PLAYWRIGHT Oscar Wilde once said that sometimes there are occasions in which the pain would be the only truth. For some people, the only truth is what they own. For her, the suffering was a light of hope amidst the hollowness her life had become. Stopping wasn’t, and maybe would never be a possibility.

STOPPING WOULD GIVE SPACE TO THE VOID. That intense anguish, that pain she’d feel as if her life had lost its tracks. And here, running towards any direction, she felt her spirit inflate her chest. The sadness was coming out from her, as well as her tears. She was running, but slowly she started walking. And started walking slowly, looking around with her new eyes. Hope was coloring the world with new colors.

HE MOVED ON, but for a moment she stopped in front of a window, and in the darkness of the night, she saw her own reflection. Her hair sparkled with the small water drops covering it. She stared, stared but didn’t know what she’s seeing. At some moment in the past, her soul had been so lost that when she looked at herself, she didn’t know who she was anymore. She raised her hand and tried to touch her own image, but the only thing she felt was the cold of the glass. The cold of her own feelings. The cold of the loss of herself.

WITH A DEEP BREATH, she pressed on walking, admiring the city lights. It looked as if the weather followed her feelings. With the rain, with her tears, she started feeling peaceful with her escape. And the sky responded. The rain stopped, the sun began to shine. The heat in her skin warmed her heart. Still not knowing where to go, the only certainty was that she couldn’t turn back.

HER THOUGHTS came in and out of her mind, without making any sense. Feelings of fear and hope, memories of her life, sentences from books she’d read and the talks

she’d had… And she remembered the little comforts in her empty life: the smell of coffee, the warm buns of bread with the buttler veil, and then she realized that she couldn’t remember when was the last time she’d eaten anything. She wanted a new life, yes, but remember that for such, she needed to take care of herself in order to survive the big changes that were about to come. It was exactly like this when forgetting about herself and her own dreams that her life emptied until this point.

AND THE DESPAIR vanished completely. In its place, an epiphany. As if the sun saluted her for her bravery, a wave of energy filled her heart. She sat down on a bench and began admiring the clouds, taking notice of every fantastic shape their outlines traced in the sky. She tamed her panic and all her thoughts rumbling her soul. She was stunned with her courage, with her prowess of detaching from all those chains which were thrust upon her, she felt free for the very first time.

EVERYTHING HAD HAPPENED really fast, but, now that she could think rationally, nothing had been surprising. Her parents have always had that iron posture and rarely did they hear to her opinions. She had never asked about the justice of her actions, about selfishness (or selflessness) of her decisions. Or, thinking now, never did she have to question anything, think outside her routine.

AND, GODS, how liberating that was. Each whiff of the wind that kissed her cheeks was a balm that she had never felt before. She, who in 25 years of existence had never opposed to any rule, to any imposition, found herself there, sitting on a random square, in uncharted territory, unexplored. She, who only knew like through red combs, cherry tomatoes and bread and butter, saw herself covered in grime, tall windows, andcacophonic sounds. Never had she felt so lost, so loose. So free.

IF THE ONLY COMPANION, at that moment, were her thoughts, she, for na instant, meditated over the other side of the coin; about the good acquired experience until reach the 25 years of age. Certainly, the decision of putting herself away, and lunging into a road full of uncertain detours, cloudy shortcuts, made her, at that point of the walk, look at her life in a flashback. “Maybe, many times, it’s needed to leave the island to know for real your true outlines”.

SHE, THEN, recognized that the search for new horizons belongs to the adventurous soul of the human being, but there’s no way to go either to the place we’re truly headed, to unload, internally, the heavy baggage which we fill with all the elements which build us and make us whole. Once reconciled with her past, she took a deep breath and took the way back. At that instant, the words from Guimarães Rosa read in her teenage years, made sense, after all: “the real is not in the departure, nor in the arrival: it lays out to us during the journey”.

A NEW MAP had been traced, reorienting her journey.



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