The other shore

She stayed a little bit more playing with the others, since no one was waiting for her. The yard, surrender by short, pale colored houses, was still bright in spite of the sunset. When everyone got up and disappeared like ghosts behind their doors, she still remained alone watching a fly that was buzzing idle around her hand.

Reached the threshold, she didn’t open the door: she just stared at that front door of rotten wood. She was convinced that this color was unique, that she saw it just on some rare flowers or on the motif of her grandmother’s silk. Without knowing it, she started to follow the points where the color let the underlying wood half-view. The more her eyes moved from the center of the door, the more the cracks were, until the color melted near the crossbar.

But even when the interest in that pastime finished, she couldn’t get in the house. Suddenly she thought she heard, through the door, a vivid and cheerful chatter, a soft guitar, shameless, the gnarly hands of the women beating on time, a faint oral melody becoming stronger and culminate in a coral chorus. She was remembering, basically, a lot of her past.

Still, she didn’t opened the door.

She turned and cross a stretch of road, shuffling his feet. She chose to going towards the sea, the way down was enough. At the beginning, she stared to the ground, making sure she didn’t trip. Then, she found herself looking up in the warm evening. She thought she was alone.

Passing by a yellow pastel house she really heard some music, the noise of the dishes and the vivid chatter. She looked straight ahead, she looked at the sea, but it didn’t seem like it. Layers of clouds gathered together, some of them seemed like fog, others seemed like a kind of mountain. She was wondering if suddenly the other shore were closer.

Almost like a reflex, she looked down on her hands. Wrinkled, strong. The hands of a worker, of a mother, of an aunt and a grandmother. The hands of a life.

After a life together, her husband had gone a year before. She just understood his jokes, his meaningless phrases he used to say, those phrases that he refused to repeat and that she loved anyway. But she always knew what he meant to her.

Up to a year before, when she wanted, she could have looked into his eyes. In one of those pupils she would have seen, without effort, a bored child, hidden in the darkness, who smiled at her through the window. The same child she met peering at the house across the street, a lifetime ago. It happened the next morning, after one of the various family parties, full of songs and smoke. After those nights, she used to look out the window, just after the dawn, and come back to sleep with the heat of the sun, but now any heat was too far.

The old woman stared at the sea, thinking it was a lake. She wondered, as she did very often in the last year, what there was on the other shore.

If there still was that child at the window waiting for her to listen together to the next song.

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