Cover photo

Chapter III: "I Am Here"


It’s Day 6.


I was starting to recognize the motives.

She was avoiding eye contact. We hardly exchanged any words yesterday.

Weird, considering how wonderful Day 4 ended.

I told myself that you never really know what’s going on inside people’s heads. So I was trying to keep a typical distance.

Easier said than done.

The truth is, whenever the Fire Girl was nearby, I was feeling drowned, struggling to focus on anything else.

That day, we went with the gang to a beach far away from the camp. I felt a bit relieved that she didn't come.

It turned out to be our best collective experience with my friends, at least in the beginning. We were alone, on a beautiful beach, drinking early, dancing, and laughing.

The beautiful colors of the setting sun gave way to a bright moon that illuminated the seawater and lifted our spirits.

Vibes as high as the sky, and bonds made of love.

⏳⏳⏳

9:00 p.m

My phone rang.

Weird.

Nobody ever calls me; they know I mostly can't hear them.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the Fire Girl's name.

I picked up, straining to hear, the intensity of focus sobering me up. I described the scenery to her. She replied, “Great, I am coming there with an auto stop.”

I hung up, and I thought:

"That’s it; no more hiding the fear under the veil of my discretion.

She will come, I will tell her how she makes me feel, and we will share our weird stories under the moonlight."

I lay down on the sand, staring at the stars, the moonlit waters, and the silhouettes of my friends.

And I waited.

Sometimes dreaming with a smile, sometimes nervous about the forthcoming reality.

⏳⏳⏳ 12:30 a.m

Things usually don’t go as you imagine.
It took her a lot of time to come to the nearby village.

The communication between me, her, and the inebriated gang became a circus. After 4 phone calls, we told her to wait there since we were leaving to continue our night in a famous bar.

Nine of us followed the hiking trail, using our phone lights to guide us, while I was walking with anxious, rushed steps, feeling bad for making her come all this way for nothing.

One hour after the last phone call, we arrived at another beach.

I got out of the car.

I started walking a bit hurriedly, feeling that my body was moving on its own. Random steps into a diagonal line, like I was hearing a call.

I saw a flash, and I knew!

She was there, alone in the sand, playing with the fires.

I approached her very softly, trying not to interrupt her flow.
And I stood there, watching her perform the mystical dance, smoking my cigarette in silence.

The music, the performance, the gentle wind, the calm moonlit waters.

I was completely lost in the moment, as if we were the only two people on the entire planet. Everything else, past and future, had disappeared.

"What's going on?"

"Who am I?"

"How do I get to experience this, and why is she so damn lovable right now?”

The fire was extinguished, and she left her fire staff in the sand as I was putting my smoke down.

Finally, our eyes met.

She came over and hugged me with relief.

I kissed her hair and whispered:

“I am here.”


———————————————————

As I realized a few seconds later, my friends Mponi and Teddy were watching the entire scene.
They told me that it was pretty cinematic.
The image is their living memory enhanced with the help of MidJourney.

You know, a lot of times we are hunting for memories.

Trying to capture the present in order to make the past more special, walking through the future.

You ain’t going to guess what happened next. People can be so unpredictable.

The memories that are taunting us are just happening.

And sometimes the best memories become the most painful ones.


I promised myself that I would put all my talent into the next story.

The rest of that night.

It’s my way to come to peace with it.

Until our next story unfolds,

Much love,

Senti 🪄