Down a side street they sought respite from the dying rays of the afternoon sun. They clung to one another as shipwreck survivors cling to driftwood afraid of slipping away and losing one another. The chatter from the other side of the street and the clang of the little silver tram broke their reverie. It was time to say goodbye but neither wanted to let go, silently praying for a few more precious seconds.
The tram trundled past, their hopes and fears reflected and refracted in its shiny exterior taking with it their endless stories to be shown around the city. A bell tolled in the distance, a marker for the end of this union. The girl’s quiet sobs soaked the boy’s shirt, he tried to remain stoic but he could feel the reservoir of tears about to burst their dam. They breathed deeply, trying to find the courage to part.
The boy regained his composure first and slowly and carefully prised the girl’s hands from around his neck, they hung limply at her side. He wanted to look her in the eyes one last time, to remember the love he knew would be there but the girl refused knowing her resolve would fail. The boy turned slowly, still trying to ward off this moment unwilling to believe in the truth of events unfolding. He could hear the slap of her sandals on the cold mosaic of the street, slowly at first but picking up momentum until it sounded like applause.
He refused to look back, his eyes fixed steadfastly on the graffiti festooning the wall on the opposite side of the street. He caught the eye of an old lady almost bent double from age, she refused to look away and merely nodded in his direction, weakly he returned the nod before hurrying away.