The Letter – Short Story

I could see his anxiety fall out through the shakes of his hands. He moved around, wouldn’t sit calmly. He would constantly look  at the sky through the window as if he searched for birds to count. Maybe he confused the passionate night and its stars with the reality of the daylight. I think that he thought that the sky was not real, for he wrinkled his eyes and aspirated deeply. Or maybe he remembered someone, some who is now in the ether. Someone who he confused with the clouds, with the birds, or with the stars he sought in the daylight. But it wasn’t until he took his pen and started to draw that I saw that all this daydreaming and wondering was much more than art of his imagination. I could barely see what he worked in paper, for the reflection of the sunlight in the paper made it almost impossible to see. I could only see scratches, patches and drafts, for that was all he seemed to draw. The movement of his hands gave the impression that he was discharging his feelings as in abstract figures. He took paper after paper and never seemed to arrive. Each drawing he did never seemed to please him. Maybe he thought that what he waved in paper was not what circulated in his mind. He didn’t seem to master his hands and his eyes, for he kept shaking and glancing at the sky. Could be that he drew the sky, he drew all the shades there were from the clouds that melted with the sun. But the way his hands shaked, even though softly, seemed to express something more profound. When he finally ended, he finalized with a unconvinced smile. Maybe he was not happy with his creation, or maybe he didn’t comprehend his cohesion. He wrinkled his eyes and blew the paper to clear off the dirt from the eraser. He folded the paper in four, making sure that each fold would match perfectly. Then, with other pen he wrote some letters. I could not see what he wrote, for now the sun was shinning towards my eyes and not against his paper. Now I could understand why he wrinkle his eyes, the falling sun in the horizon is so wonderful that even though you feel it could blind you, you have a desire to stare at it.

For a moment I could see some letters. It seemed as a name that started with the letter D. He signed calmly and softly, as to evade any mistake he could do from his shakes. Once he finished he stared at his letter, or drawing, I was not sure. He stared at it as if it was a mirror and he could see himself in it. Maybe he only sought for a mistake, or maybe he thought if the person that he was going to give the paper to would like it. Once he finished his analysis he putted the art piece in the back pocket of his pants. Say art piece, for all the shakes and passions I saw in his eyes can only mean that something great is taking place. He now smiled. The anxiety from his body melted away into laughter. But not the crazy laughter which you cannot hold, rather the delicate and mysterious laughter that reveals something from the mind. Suddenly the train stopped and its doors opened. Multitude of people left the wagon. The cold breeze from winter entered the train and I started to shake. Afterwards, a unique couple entered the train. You could see how love shined through their eyes. The way they held their hands and looked at each other eyes revealed only but true passion. Then it was when I saw the guy of the paper again, he looked calmly at the couple without much desperation. His mysterious smile melted into a melancholic one. He seamed to see something he needed. I saw how his open hands closed into timid fists. He played with his fingers and caressed one hand with the other. I saw how he held his breath and looked back at the sky. He started to wrinkle the border of his eyes and to count the birds in the sky. Then it was when he took out the drawing and gave it a last small glimpse. Then he tore it into two halves an left it fall softly on the floor. He stood up, fixed his pants and gave his seat to an old lady that arrived. He threw a glance at me and left the train.
I was perplex, confused and stressed. I felt as if one thousand spines crossed through my heart. My hands were cold. I searched the sunlight and tried to ease my shivers.

The train continued his way to town and I rested in my seat. I would constantly glance at the couple who had previously entered the train and enlightened the atmosphere with their laughs and kisses. I would see how they invoked love. I could also see how the ripped drawing moved towards the seat of the couple, for the train was shaky. I took my guts and stood up, walked towards the unique couple and picked up from the floor the ripped dreams. I excused myself for disturbing their perfection, walked back to my seat and took a large breath.

My hands were sweaty. I held the paper with great excitement. I looked over the paper, looked for the signature and recipient. The name was Diane, it was handwritten with a light blue pen, there was a small heart at the end which indicated pure love. He signed as Marc, and as if he tried to persuade attraction he underlined his name. When I knew the names, I knew for sure that that dealt with love. All the other ideas about clouds, birds and sunlight diffused from my incomprehension. I did not smile nor blinked, I just looked at the signature and thinked. I did not know if it was a good idea to open the ripped paper, I didn’t know if it was better to forget the whole event. After several stops and after a long contemplation at the color shaded sky, I decided to open the two halves. I first opened what seemed to be the left half. All I saw was two small hearts and a small draw of a sunset. Even though this three small drawings were simple and ordinary, I could feel a great intensity of passion under these. I stared at them as if I were looking at a great piece of art. I analyzed the way he draw the hearts, they seemed wiggly, maybe because of the movement of the train or the shivers of his hands. Then without much wait I open the other half, only to find one simple frase. “I can’t stop staring at your eyes. Do you want to…” It seemed that the Do you want to was an incomplete phrase. Many different thoughts and assumptions came to my mind. I imagined all the possible combinations of words to form all the possible phrases. My intrigue to know who this man is and who this Diane is was great. I looked for anything that could help me resolve my questioning, but all I found was a heart at the right corner. Do you want to, do you want, do you want to… I would think and say this incomplete phrase over and over again. My head hurt and my desperation increased.

I did not understand, my confusion was worse than before. I didn’t know why he ripped that beautiful and simple letter. So simple but yet sublime. It was something to fall for. The way he ripped it when he saw the couple confused me even more. I could not make a correlation between this beautiful Diane and the couple. I thought that maybe the girl from the couple was named Diane, but I remarked her boyfriend saying her name, Sarah. I had no idea, but I also thought that all my abrumation was ineccesary. I noticed that I become crazy for a simple gesture from someone unknow. I rest in my seat and safed the letter in my back pocket. I waited, the next stop was my destination.

I closed my eyes and enjoyed the last seconds of sunlight. I started to fall slowly, as if I were going to fall asleep and never wake up. I was waked and moved roughly by the train. I had arrived. I took my backpack and stood up. I stretched my arms and took a big breath. I was still thinking about the art piece I carried with me. I felt butterflies in my stomach for I was going to the house of my love. Now I felted more invade by love than ever. Now I felted that I had to find Diane, but as much as I would like this to happen, it would all probably rest as a mystery. As I exited the train and made a rough right turn I stumble upon a girl. Our shoulders tapped but we both ignored the fact. I continued my way and glanced towards the windows of the train. I tried to search for this girl. I could not find her. Finally I was out of the train station and the curiosity still killed me. I searched for the art piece in my back pocket but I could not find it. It was not there. I might of left it on the train, or mistakenly dropped it. Either way I felt as if it was the destiny taking its matters. Maybe this beautiful art piece of love was going to find its way to Diane.

 

José Arvide

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