A Beautiful Afternoon

July 26th, 2016, 2pm

It was 29°C with scattered clouds. There was moderate breeze.

Another morning. I wake up entangled in my sheets. My eyes are tired and I find myself alone in a house where five people used to live. Now it’s just me. As I walk through the hallway of the house, I talk to myself. I’m trying to remember the task I need to get done before the day ends.

I take a bath and dress up before breaking my fast. I should have been studying all this week for today’s exam. Even though I’m not ready for the test I feel over confident, as I do most of the time when I find myself in this situation. I finish my meal. After washing the dishes I’ve left behind. I go to my room to grab my phone’s charger, my brown half empty wallet, my old bag, my sweater, and my keys.

In the street I take the headphones out of my bag to plug them into my phone. I only have the music that I consider to be essential. The music keep me entertained in the crowd of strangers. I’ve talked about this before, the reason why I like to listen to music when I walk. The sun has been burning with more intensity the past few days. The heat forces my body to cool down, so by the time I make it to the bus stop, I’m covered by a thin layer of sweat.

After a few minutes of waiting for the bus driver, I get in the bus. Still sweating. I sit down next to an open window. The music is playing. I take my phone out. I have a couple of content saved in there so I can study for a while. After some time, I get tired of reviewing my notes. A wave of thoughts flows through my brain, I caught myself staring out of the window.

I get off the bus on the first stop and realize that I’m late. I walk to the building where the exam is taking place and rush to the classroom. As I enter the room I stop and distract some of the people with a “good afternoon”.

The girl that was in charge told me what items I needed to answer and how much time I had to finish. She supervised our last exam as well. I caught her looking at me the last time, while I was deciding how to answer one of the exam questions. I was talking to myself, maybe she was just curious about the way that I was moving. She looks older than me, but I don’t know for sure how much older. I have never seen her smile. Not once. I wonder what her smile looks like. I try to focus on the exam now, to get done with it before the time’s over.

I’m walking to the bus station once more. I chat with one of my friends while I wait for the bus. When it arrives, I get inside. After a while I catch myself staring out of the window again. I’m thinking about the first time I stepped in a classroom this year, full of hopes and potential. Now I’m ending this cycle with a bitter taste in my tongue.

All the decisions I have taken have brought me here. Any change would have taken me to a slightly different outcome. I try to think back to those big decisions I took. Then I imagined my life after the changes, not trying to regret any of them but to be conscious of the fact that the decisions I took in those moments weren’t the best option for me at that specific moment in time.

Time is experience. Every moment that you are alive is a point of no return. We are always moving forward. So when I woke up that morning, entangled in my sheets alone in the house with a whole day ahead of me, I never thought how that day would affect my life. Even though it wasn’t the best nor the most outstanding of all days, I still remember it. I wonder if I’ll remember it in 18 years.

The bus takes me home. I caught myself staring out of the window one more time. The sun’s still burning. The sky is changing its colors. The clouds look full, soft and fluffy. The trees wave as the soft wind kisses their leaves and branches. I close my eyes. I see the beauty of it now, bright and full of life. A beautiful afternoon.

David Wade and No said thanks.

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Robert Tucker

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