The European Couple

The European couple drag their suitcases along the road, clinging to their backpacks. They’re tall and thin, much like the yellowing trees beside them. Not a single smile is drawn on their faces.

The European couple cross the bridge on their bicycles, on their way to who knows where—the library, most probably.

The European couple sit on a bench outside the library. I can see them from the window as my fingers feed words into a white keyboard. I’m hungry. The girl wears a small dishwater blond bun on top of her head. Or maybe that’s the guy. Or both. They look alike, except that he is much taller than her, and scruffy blondish hairs cover his face in patches.

The European couple pass me by at the library entrance. The guy smells like summer chased him with water and soap but he was faster. I wonder how the girl can cope with that. She wears a long skirt and rather short stockings. They’re holding hands. They move their lips, but I can’t hear their voices; I don’t know what language they speak, where they come from. I don’t know why they’re here, or how long they’ll stay. I don’t even know if they really are European.

For some strange reason, I’ve been running into this pair of unknown people almost every day for the past few months. Meeting them, watching them for a brief moment before getting lost in the crowd is encountering the dramatization of a wish of mine for the future. A pair of bikes, a pair of interlinked hands. A familiar face at the other side of the window, glancing at me, waiting for me to look up and say hello. The discovery of far-off lands in company.

But it is their life I’m witnessing, not mine. As I realize this, my eyes lose grasp of their presence. It won’t be hard for them to vanish from my mind once again—the usual elements of a landscape are so easily forgotten!

Looking away, I’m bound to resume my activities in this world of odds, of lonely prime numbers.

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