• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 09
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Before School

Your mother was supposed to come and pick you up today. School will be starting soon and you’ll need a new pair of shoes. I’ve tried to sew the tear in your uniform, but my eyesight is not what it used to be. I did it in the night, while you were asleep and I was still waiting for her. Three months and not a single sign. And today your first day of school.

I woke up at five and watched you sleeping. It almost broke my heart, the sweetness of your sleep. The uniform folded on a chair next to the bed, the mend clearly visible even in the scant light of dawn. My eyesight is not what it used to be, so I did what I could. I will not lie to you. We all have bruises and scars. We mend them as we can and then move on.

I’ve let out the hens from their coop and fed the cows. Your shoes were still muddy from the field, so I’ve cleaned them with some water and greased them with lard. And just before waking you up, I’ve made two sandwiches, one for the school, and one for you to eat on the way to the station.

I know. I was rather harsh with you in the morning, washing your face with cold water, brushing your hair with too much vigour, pulling your limbs this way and that as I was dressing you up. But you are too clever for me and I could not allow any questions.

That’s why it was late when I woke you up. That’s why I had to be rough and made you eat your breakfast while walking. In the train, I’ve chosen a crowded carriage because I knew you would be silent. And now we are here, on this bench, resting, the sun lighting the top of the buildings like candles in church.


Before School

There’s a chess table in front of us and you attempt to play with the figurines while I talk to you in my mind, telling you all this. But it’s nothing, it shouldn’t scare us, it’s just a mere succession of facts. The chessmen are perfectly crafted and shiny with dew. You forget what you wanted to ask.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to say anything before I leave. I’ll keep my eyes lowered and the knee of your trousers will smile at me with a mouth full of stitches. It’s true, I have poor sight in both of my eyes and sometimes they gather water. Nothing to be alarmed about.

I can’t promise anything about later. By then the sun would have reached the bottom of this well, caressing in its passing our poorly mended lives.