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With the entry of spring, our stories return. There have been many who have asked us to continue sharing with you these stories of yesterday and today. This new story is titled, Tarongers (orange in Valencian) and is written by Narciso Martín (this link you can know more about the author). The taste of the fruit of this tree and nostalgia, will be the starting point for its protagonist, travels a beautiful path to his past.

We hope you like it!!!


Chapter 1

Little is known about life for sure, except that there is only one. A very certain and too obvious question when the end approaches, but that seems invisible and diffuse in the first years, when childhood and youth impregnate everything with carefree joy and little responsibility. Such truth escapes the understanding of every child, as it should be, and the case of Thomas was no exception. Tomás grew fast, without looking back and not too far ahead, but after two brief blinks, four laughs, two cries and some naps, Tomás has turned fifty-two years old. -My mother, the sixties lurk. If yesterday I played "sambori" and inflated pipes ... -. Despite the disbelief that the mirror in his room arouses, reality comes back from his reflection without a clipper or touch.

And it is at this moment, at a point of no return between being a fifties and being a lord of sixty, when Thomas understands that he is a little lost. That is another truth that almost no one usually escapes. Who is not lost at some point in his life? After a shower with little pressure, a decaffeinated breakfast and a discouraged review of the disastrous news of the newspaper, Tomás undertakes this prosaic Tuesday, so similar to Monday that it already happened as it will possibly be on Wednesday that it will arrive. The days do not seem to differentiate from each other and that which could be suffocating and oppressive, is completely indifferent to Thomas.

Routine is a very ungrateful life partner and ends up making people think, but not before anesthetizing them critically. Tomás distributes butane through the Cabañal neighborhood every morning for twenty-five years. Something that can corroborate his callused and tanned hands, as well as his punished and scandalous vertebrae. During the day of raising and lowering cylinders, of cold cold in winter and warmth and suffocating heat in summer, he usually disconnects his mind as much as possible, always repeating the same clicks and comments, smiling without wanting and counting the hours to finish. But lately this last habit is curious because, when the clock shows the last thirty minutes of work, in those last moments, he realizes that, as soon as he finishes, he saves the truck and changes his clothes, he will return to his life, which has long been nothing stimulating, if not soporific.

Luckily today is not a normal day. Today is a beautiful day in early October. Autumn is always a bit sad, but at this point it seems that summer has not yet realized that it should have already left. It sports a splendid sun and the temperature is ideal. The proximity to the coast makes today a summer extension, which makes the tedious routine more bearable. Tom makes his usual route. It intersects with the same people as always. That has not changed. But today there is a market. And today, after a long time, Tomás will not have lunch with his partner and friend Emilio. -Today there is no carajillo. Today I am going to eat some fruit, that this is getting out of hand. He has commented shaking gracefully and without shame on his belly that, despite not being very prominent, already denotes that he has neglected a lot. The work is very physical and both he and Emilio are robustly chiselled by charging bottles, but Tomás is determined to lead a healthier life or at least try.

That is when, walking through the municipal market, passes in front of an orange stand and something makes him stop. He observes them, they are spectacular. They look beautiful, round, in incredible amber tones. All together, one above the other, they look like dozens of suns at dawn. Tom can't contain himself and takes one to take it to his nose. -Take advantage, big man, they are the first of the season, I have them "gifts" -. The old lady who runs the position encourages him with an unequaled self-confidence. He smiles at her, this time he has not pretended as much as usual when doing so. And, when you inhale the aroma of the spherical fruit, something jumps inside Tomás. A spring, for a long time asleep, seems to have turned on a light, which did not turn on or heat inside its head for too long. A flash comes to your mind, like old footage from a movie in sepia tones. It is a piece, barely a slide, of his distant youth. -What things make you remember the smells ... -

In the end he ends up buying the oranges and goes without haste but without pause to the beach promenade. It is a few minutes away and sits there watching the laggards summer, those stubborn bathers who refuse to accept that the best part of the year moves away so as not to return until next time. Tom takes an orange out of the bag. Look around and can not help smiling, seeing a couple of tourists who have adopted a slightly healthy, reddish skin tone. -These tourists do not learn ... they should be more careful with the sun ... - Then he digs his big fingers into the fruit to open it and eat it in the old fashion, from inside to outside, the most delicious and pleasant way, as well as the most sticky and cumbersome. Why not and peel it with the razor, as he learned to do from his grandfather? There's no answer. It may have been that spring that has been activated and has left on that forgotten little light inside. The fact is that he wanted to do so, like a faint kid and, when he hit the first bite to the orange, the juice is shot by the corner of his lips, splashing in all directions. It is indeed not the cleanest way, but for all the saints that Thomas is enjoying it as never before.

With each bite, with each drop of juice falling down his throat and also through his chin, with each splash accompanied by the aroma of “Terreta”, Tomás feels something he did not remember, it is longing, it is the people, it is his youth and suddenly he finds himself smiling really. He is so strange that he even feels a certain shame and looks around him, in case someone is watching him. After tasting another orange, accompanied by more flashes and childish nose, look at the clock and understand that it must return to the routine. More work, more repetitive clicks, more of the same. At least now the flavor and aroma of yesterday will accompany the rest of the day. Without knowing that each of those fragrances, of those nuances and of those flavors will take you to a place that he had not imagined. Life is a set of surprises, you just have to be amazed and surprised. That is all…


Chapter 2

The long and exhausting day concludes and Tomás returns home. Where no one awaits. The road to it is the same, walk the twenty streets that separate your home from the truck store. Normally that walk usually takes place with a slow pace, almost dragging the boots and without knotting, without hurry to get where they do not expect, but today is different. Today Tom feels something different. It seems to you that today is a good day. He doesn't know why, but his stomach tickles him and tells him that it is. Today he will have some oranges. Yes, sliced ​​and sprinkled with a little cinnamon ... It's a great idea. And that tiny and insignificant detail has him, against all odds, very happy.

And the day passes and the night has arrived, almost furtively and without warning. Tomás is in his chair, watching a program that has been paying less attention for minutes. Not knowing why his gaze has deviated from the screen lights. It takes several seconds with eyes fixed on the three oranges that remain, round and bright, shining on the dining room table. "Els tarongers ..." Think whispering to anyone, trying not to disturb the silence. He does not know how or why, but now he is involuntarily observing the bookshelf next door, at a particular point, on a worn back of dark leather. He gets up, as if carried by threads that ascend as far as the eye can see and picks up the old photo album. Go back to the chair and open the leather cover. She growls slightly, seems upset for so long forgotten. Draw a smile, lunch, the real one. On TV a man shakes his hands very angry, but Thomas is no longer interested. Just remember nice and endearing things preserved in black and white, some in color, and with many cracks in the corners. What times those ... The past comes before him and kidnaps him with kind snapshots, which remind him of many things.

Yesterday is always beautiful. Even when it was not. Something has, maybe remoteness, maybe youth, you don't know what, but somehow everything always seems better, brighter, warmer. Tom dives into the lake of memories and swims for hours in its evocative waters, which barely bring sorrow, and the one that arrives is mild. No regret resists forty years. And so the evening goes on, until, at eleven o'clock at night, Thomas scolds himself. And he goes lazily to his empty room, but not before passing by the oranges and smelling one. Perhaps wishing that sweet and at the same time acid aroma takes you tonight somewhere worth dreaming about.
It's amazing how the night houses all kinds of inexplicable things. It is something that has to do with the moon. It must be that. Whatever it is, the night is that moment in which any event, strange or impossible, may occur. But among all of them the most valuable at the same time as inconsequential are dreams, because everything is possible inside. Some people think that they are a specific place, a place that exists, like another planet or a different universe and each one has its own. Tom has been sleeping for a couple of hours now. The night is cool and without being aware of it swirls spinning on itself, so that the savanna envelops it. It gives the feeling of being a baby in his mother's womb. Meanwhile, something important is happening on Tomás' dream planet, something that could change the course of his life.

He is standing on a high hill. It's a late summer day, it could be this same day. The sun shines brightly, as if it were intended to bring the summer heat to blow of distant flares, but the air that blows comes from the north and soothes such sensation. Dozens of green fields extend in front of Thomas, they seem endless. Hundreds of greenish tones dance evenly, as if following the rhythm of a song that only they can hear and all of them look mottled with amber moles. Hundreds and hundreds of oranges stir in the branches, waiting to be picked. It is a beautiful picture.

Crews of day laborers walk among the trees, picking the fruit of summer. Tom can see them in the distance, like straw hat ant, laborious and delivered. They seem happy. Yes, I would say they are. The earth gives a strange sense of satisfaction. The union of man and earth is ancestral and special. A subtle piano melody seems to travel in the wind. It's strange, but it's a dream and anything can happen in them. The scene of Tomás gathers happiness, which raises his hand and dries the sweat from his forehead when something strange makes him alert. It is as if something does not fit. He looks at his hands and something is in them that is unfamiliar, but he doesn't know what it is. Then another hand, that of a child, approaches his and takes it. For a moment, feel peace and love. He does not look at the creature that is holding him from below, but instead looks back at the horizon. Seconds later, a childish laugh, almost harmonious, catches his attention again and then finally we can see where that playful soniquete comes from.

At his feet there is a boy of about six years. It is beautiful and robust, with some snails in the hair that give vertigo to see them. He is sitting on two empty boxes, eating an orange with snacks, shaking his little hand, his clothes and even his shoes, but enjoying what he is, a child. My mother, how are you getting ... Tom scolded him tenderly and with a smile on his mouth. That's when the kid looks at him and everything stops. That face, that clothes, those boxes, that orange ... the information is there, but it is difficult to decipher it. Dreams are enigmatic and chaotic. They are not easily understood. The surprise on Thomas's face is revealing. You know what happens, you know who that child is ... that child is him. And that man with rough hands and hairy arms is really his grandfather.
The dream fades and Tom continues to dream. At dawn, you probably don't remember anything, but if you did remember, if the dream were recorded, everything could change. We cannot always escape our dreams or our manifest destiny. We cannot always forget who we are or who we should be. We cannot always stop looking for the meaning of life.

Continued ...


Chapter 3

Morning arrives and Tom opens his eyes, seconds before the alarm goes off in the silence of the still dawn. Six o'clock is an hour too early for anything. The night has passed in a blink of an eye and Tom is surprised that he didn't get up once to go to the bathroom or drink water. It's weird in him. It has been a long time since I had reconciled a complete evening, which always has something declined. But today is a strange day, he has woken up before the alarm shakes his ears and he has done it with a strange feeling of mind. It is not normal either. In fact it is so rare that it even worries. When one gets used to not being happy, the same happiness or the hint of a minimal emotion that resembles one can get scary.

Tomás' usual routine runs almost normally on other mornings, but today a little music sounds in his head. Humming around the house, while turning on the coffee maker. Humming while brushing teeth. Humming while showering. What damn song is it and why do I have it recorded? There's no answer. At the dining room table, eat your whole-wheat toast seasoned with nothing and your wet coffee with delicious nothing. It is the new diet that has been proposed to recover the form. On TV the morning news. Misfortune first thing. So it is normal that people do not go happy to the sites. All are misfortunes, tragedies and misdeeds.
Tomás does not pay much attention to the news, for what? It is the usual, he thinks. Until the sports section arrives, it's also the usual thing, but they talk about their team. Valencia drag a very weak streak and could descend from category. That is not something that takes away your sleep, but the child inside you, Valencian at heart like his father and like his grandfather, hurts a little. Fortunately yesterday they won. Three splendid goals, which seem to encourage the fans. To be a Valencianist is to be a sufferer. "Patidors Taronges ..." said his father. Tomás smiles as he remembers and uses one of the oranges left yesterday and opens it with his hands. Again the pringue is produced throughout the table and between your fingers, but the aroma that comes off when splashing the juice sprinkler makes you react. The dream…
As if it were a slide footage, all the information that was reproduced yesterday in stereo and in full color in his mind, now returns to the screen, even in pieces and in a mute black and white. The orange groves. The heat, the piled boxes, the song, the grandfather ... The "yayo" ... But more things also appear on those slides. The town and its steps. The main square with its benches around. The church, small but beautiful, gleaming white as a bride on her wedding day. The patio of the house of his "yaya", with a small garden with tomato plants plagued with huge spheres colored like fire. The bicycle, that bronze BH, with the small wheels, and the bale always loaded behind. The rain of images that seem to have happened throughout the night overwhelms Tomás who can barely run out of coffee while trying to sort everything out. There is more, much more. Some would say that he slept for weeks, but how could he store so much information in a one-night dream? He finds no answer and still feels that it means something. He has that feeling of having to do something or say something, but he can't find the solution.

Touch to go to work. The day goes by slowly, as if wrapped in thick fog. Today he hardly talks to Emilio. Do not joke or smile at customers. Nor does he make funny comments, for which he is so well known. Today he can't do any of that, because something spurs his head. That dream ... Those memories ... why? There is no answer yet. Is there. He knows it, but it doesn't come. About to conclude the day, his companion Emilio, worried and somewhat annoyed by the infrequent silence, asks about his condition. Something is wrong with you, male ... Tomás tells him about his strange dream and his uneasiness when he doesn't understand it, but his friend responds naturally. "Che", that's morriña. So "fassil." Sometimes the simplest answers are correct. The day concludes, in the same silence with which he began, but the theory of psychoanalyst Dr. Emilio does not abandon him. Morriña ... will that be? Nostalgia? Will that. Could be.

Half of the puzzle seemed clear. But even so, the image it represented was still not seen. Upon arriving home, after a long and dragged walk, like so many others, Tomás is determined to do something. Search the house, hunting for an old notebook. A paper agenda of those that were no longer used. That is looking for the drawers. Finally he finds her and his first impression is of a knot in the stomach, since it is not his, he only inherited it from his mother, along with so many old things and already in disuse. Shake the leaves, without any delicacy. Search for P. Once on the correct page, poll the names until it appears. Paquita, Prima.
The phone is a landline and Tom doubts. It may be that when you call, you don't even give a tone, but it also marks and does tone. A torn old voice responds to the other side. It is the voice of his mother's cousin, for him his aunt, as always. More than twenty years ago, since the death of his beloved mother, Thomas did not talk to anyone in the family. It is a strange moment, preceded by a silence that the old woman interprets as annoying and insists on clearing and raising her voice. Yes ... Aunt Paquita ... I am Tomás ... the son of Amparito ... It has cost him to pronounce his name, but that's it. The conversation flows and the old woman on the phone is very happy for the unexpected call. They talk for more than thirty minutes. They try to update in a futile attempt to ignore the years of silence and indifference. There is still a love that goes beyond the last names, because it is linked to blood. That is when the revelation comes to Thomas, who understands everything or wants to do it. His aunt's son, "prim" Luis, his second cousin, with whom he grew up the summers of childhood and youth, is now very sick. They are all very worried and do not know if they will recover.

Tomás, with a lump in his throat, feels the need to leave everything and go to the rescue of a man he has not seen for more than thirty years and who was still his best childhood friend. That kid of mischievous ideas and resistance to whipping without equal, with which he spent the night, played and hunted lizards, today he died. Thomas owed him nothing. He had no obligation to anything. But sitting at the table of his lonely house, with the phone in his hand, he looked at the two remaining oranges from the previous day. Its fragrance, its color, its dream ... the dream ... the oranges ... could not be a coincidence. I didn't want it to be. After all, the signs of destiny are there for us to do with them whatever we want.

Yes, aunt, I'll see you tomorrow. Do not worry…

Continued ...

Chapter 4

It has not yet been done at night, although the days already begin to shorten. It's seven o'clock in the afternoon and the sun starts to redden and the sky already becomes darker, like deep sea. Thomas hangs up the phone and carried by an improper momentum he dials again. It is decided to a worrying point. He would be able to do anything right now in order to fulfill the promise made to his aunt. On the other side of the device answers his supervisor, Mr. Polinario, a normally dry and sour man, at least at work. It is said that outside of him he is a joker, that he likes to share carajillos with anyone who wants to listen to his green jokes, and that he never hurts clothes to invite. -Let's see ... and you, what do you want now, "gurriol"? - Already from your answer shows that today is another day in which he is not in a good mood. He is a person who seems to have been born with a splinter stuck in one foot, always annoying, always irritated and always about to jump on someone. Despite all that, Tom has to get those days he needs so much.
He explains that he has a very sick family member and that he will spend those booklets to be able to visit him before the final rattle. He offers to go to work earlier, so that this allows him to leave two hours before and be able to take a road before night. There is a little awkward silence on the phone, which ends shortly with a - yes, okay, okay.

Thomas smiles victorious. You may have to deal with overtime on your return, but it doesn't matter. He hangs up the phone very proud of himself and, to celebrate, a cold beer is served from the fridge, while he flips through the old photo album again. There are so many memories and so many people that are gone. The picture of him as a child sitting inside a huge wicker basket and with his grandfather on his stool beside him makes him smile. He raises his beer to make a solitary toast and allows himself a thought for that good man whose only goal in life was to work for his family. -For you "yayo" ... -

After that little moment of gift for himself, he stands up. You must prepare your luggage. Tomorrow as soon as you return from work you must take a bus and want to have everything ready. It's two weeks that he'll spend there, so ten pairs of socks, ten briefs, three long pants, two shorts, several shirts and three shirts, his only decent shirts. With everything piled up in the suitcase, supposedly folded, he realizes that he almost carries his entire closet. He doesn't have much clothes. For what? His life is work and little else. For a moment, stopped in front of his scarce and not very decent clothes, he realizes that he has no life. At least not a real life. He has known for a long time. It is not a surprise either. He has been lethargic for years, moving away from everyone without going too far. Hidden behind a routine and inside an old house. It is not a revelation that desorbites anyone's eyes. He had been planning on his head for weeks and yet he catches something unsuspecting. But all that could be about to change. The good thing about having little to keep or lose, is that it doesn't take much to start winning.

Night comes and then passes, slow. The hands of the clock are shaken forward and backward, playing with the mind of Thomas, who cannot fall asleep knowing that, in a few hours, he will return to his village. -The "poble" ... how long. How will it be Will i recognize him? Will you know me? - The questions are piled up in the back of his mind, like a trailer of uncertainty that he must drag along the night road he is in. Luckily there is no concern that does not end up bent by the moon, and in the end Thomas falls asleep. Once on your planet of dreams, you live dozens of experiences, but you won't remember them when you wake up. Today is not one of those special nights.
Dawn, today with more difficulty. The alarm clock had to rescue Thomas from the bed, exhausted by the sleeplessness of the previous night. However, he remains lively and nervous. In less than seven hours it will leave for its roots. It is what you most want to do right now. Throughout the cast, he is as blissful as ever, although he needs some scattered doses of coffee to endure fatigue. By telling Emilio his decision and his conversation with the supervisor, his partner applauds him. -That's what you had to do. With two "collons" ... - both laugh and joke. And, two hours after the end of the day, Tom says goodbye to his friend and jumps almost in motion from the truck to return home.

The way back today becomes light and dynamic. The feet do not drag on the ground, but rather fly. You have the right time to arrive, take your suitcase and leave for the bus station. If the coach that passes through your town arrives on time, it leaves in an hour and a half, but if it is delayed a little, you will have to wait two more hours. Once at home, everything is ready so you shower quickly and then, when you look at the clock and see that everything is going as planned, it stops. -A last gift-. It has a final craving to celebrate this strange adventure. Take the oranges from the dining room, take them to the kitchen, peel them with a knife, cut them into slices and bathe them in viscose and delicious flower honey. Without a doubt, an award won with honor and a more than worthy end to those premonitory and mysterious nostalgia oranges. -Delicious ... -

Continued ...


Chapter 5

Tom arrives at the station when the bus that must take him to his town opens its doors. None of the passengers have yet risen and the driver is getting ready in the passenger compartment, before starting to cut tickets. The line is not very long, few people go to the villages after summer vacations. Tom puts himself at the end of this and smiles politely at the lady who precedes him. He is not very sociable outside of his job. Over time it has been closed abroad. He does not like elevator conversations, or indiscreet questions in the fish market, or anything similar. He has convinced himself that he already talks with too many people in his workday, so the rest of the time he prefers to enjoy silence or at most a good book, if he still had any good to read. However today, without reason or explanation, he feels encouraged and could even chat with someone, if the occasion were given.
Before boarding, an employee of the station begins to collect the suitcases to store them, so Tomás rushes, somewhat indisposed and surprised, to get a couple of things inside. There is nothing of value inside, except for the photo album. He doesn't want to separate from him. Such an action does not go unnoticed by the lady in front of you, which returns the smile of the beginning. - Memories? - She inquires very kindly, as if knowing what they mean by their age. Thomas nods a little embarrassed. - They are very important ... - The woman who gets on the coach asserts and greets the driver politely. - Good afternoon have you ... -

Once everyone is seated in their seats, the bus starts, slowly but surely. It is a relatively short journey. Normally it can be done in about forty-five minutes by car, but the bus is delayed for more than an hour and a half. Such an issue would have bothered Tomás that, despite never being in a hurry, it seems that he is always late and hates wasting time. Again today is not a normal day in the life of Tomás and, sitting in his chair next to the window, it seems perfect that the trip runs through the small municipalities. As interweaving the road with its wake throughout the region. Again a caress of nostalgia grazes the skin and produces a tingling that reaches the neck. Like before…
When Tomás was small, the town was the destination of vacations, from the end of school until he had to return. They were from a humble family and not every year they could enjoy family trips. But young Thomas didn't care. He loved the town. I enjoyed spending there the longer the better. Living with his grandparents loved it. And throughout the summer weeks their cousins, who lived in different corners of the country, were arriving on their annual forced visit, so there were weekly surprises and endless playmates. And of course his second cousin, the "cousin" Luis, for him. So, when you had to go to town, it was your turn to go there and also alone. At that time a boy could be billed on the bus, under the watchful eye of the driver, and upon arrival the grandparents picked him up without further complications. Memories of those journeys without taking off the nose of the glass make Thomas smile. I was always watching people getting on and off the bus. He even said goodbye to those who were leaving and engaged in conversation with almost everyone who sat next to him. Shameless and although no one had given him a footing, he told them his adventures without qualms. - I go to my grandparents' house. I will spend the holidays to my town. I'm going to spend the summer with my cousins. - Before such a vision of yesterday, Tomás has a hard time seeing himself in the skin of that shameless and smiling little boy but, with everything and with that, it brings joy to his face and emotion to his heart.

- Visiting the town? - Says a kind and old voice. It is the woman in the queue who is sitting on the opposite side row and who leans in to converse. She is intrigued by the leather album that Tom has on her legs. He answers yes. He wants to ask how he knows, but he does not, it is obvious, this coach does not travel to any provincial capital, only to medium-sized municipalities or near villages. The conversation, which had begun somewhat slowly and stumbling, with more merit from the lady than from Thomas, is now quite fluid. Both count their short-term plans. He tells the story of his cousin, his aunt and even dares to be honest with the theme of the mysterious oranges, as if they were one more character in the story, even a main character.

The woman, who smiles pleasantly and attentive to the whole story, nods and shows dozens of furrows in her skin, typical of a long and prosperous experience. When Thomas concludes, she tells him that this is a sign. He smiles skeptically, but he keeps listening. She continues and tells him about the fine chasm that exists between coincidences and coincidences. He then tells him why he was traveling on that bus, which runs along an almost obsolete route. She goes to her hometown to pay her respects to her deceased parents, as well as her older sister and especially her husband. The widow with a smile explains to Tomás that if it had not been for a sign of destiny she would not have known her Venancio, for a torrent of water has stopped for more than sixty years and she, being then a sixteen year old girl, she was held incommunicado in the hermitage of the town, on top of a small hill, where a young and strange stranger casually had to take refuge, in search of shelter. In any other way, they wouldn't have met. - I might have even been composed and without a husband, just like my sister, wearing saints. That flood was for us and that is how it rained more than fifty years of marriage and three beautiful children.

Tomás has been surprisingly excited by such a story. He says nothing more, apart from how inspiring it has been and congratulates the old woman for such a peaceful life. But after that, he keeps his thoughts to himself. It falls into the account, as if it were a memory sealed with lime and song, it was a matter of many specific moments of his youth, which no doubt the nostalgic lady had cataloged signs of destiny. Moments that on the other hand Thomas threw away one after the other, waiting for a more prosperous and idyllic future. That feeling of having passed a series of trains to catch the one that shone with gold and promises suddenly depleted his soul. The feeling of emptiness that for years had constricted his chest without reason or explanation, now takes shape, a very concrete one, like an impressionist painting, painted on the basis of fast and vivid strokes, but which shows only a suspended and sad image. - Several trains passed and I ... I stayed to live at the station ... -

Continued ...


Chapter 6

The bus finally stops. It is not the last stop of the journey, but the last one for Tomás, who says goodbye to Mrs. Matilde, leaving her with that charming smile that denotes peace with life. Once in the street, Thomas carries his suitcase and, before taking a walk, stops to take a breath while the bus roars afonously and continues its march. Silence is established and part of the town is shown before the strange eyes of Thomas, who tries to make an effort to recognize something, even if it is a stone, but he does not succeed. It is here, of that there is no doubt, and yet it does not seem the same place as in his memories. Look to his right and a square stretches out before him, it is paved, with many benches and huge flowerpots, and in front of it a building. - Sure ... that's the school -. The past seems to be taking shape, but is modified by works and restorations. Now that he is oriented, he knows that walking three streets up and two on the right will arrive at his aunt Paquita's house.

He then undertakes the path and, as he advances, he observes certain patterns that make him recognize objects without excessive value; some gutters on a facade, a bar, a tree in a corner, a fountain in the distance of the long street and also some bells, which suddenly sound followed by a musical thread. - It can't be ... is it the side? - Is surprised. So is. After a mournful tune, a voice with endless echo proclaims to the four winds that tomorrow morning, at twelve o'clock, a homage will be celebrated for Paquito el Manso. Such a message is repeated three times, while Tomás advances smiling at the memory of the side, despite being a death. Then the municipality rests again in an almost deafening tranquility.

In front of the dark oak gate, the same one that stoked when he was a kid and came to look for his “prim”, Tomás stops somewhat tired of the hill walk and plays with little energy. No one responds so he insists, prolonging the blows of his knuckles on the wood for longer. - That's it! That's it! - It is heard in the distance from the inside and, when the door opens, there it is, the aged and bent Aunt Paquita, who looks at that strange and big man, with an inopportune smile.
- Aunt Paquita ... it's me, Tomás ... - The woman watches him carefully, as if distrusting, narrowing his eyes to distinguish the lie from the truth. Then he approaches, grabs him tightly on the cheek with his wrinkled and elongated fingers and squeezes the meat caught. Then Thomas releases an unmistakable ... - Ayyyy, Aunt! Stop it! - Then the woman gives an exclamation and throws herself with more energy than she seems.
- My Tomasicoooo! -
How beautiful and fleeting are the reunions and all those feelings they carry. They resemble castles of fireworks, but specifically the final, fast, apotheosic and beautiful, but ephemeral and always leaving wanting more. Inside the house the woman prepares a cup of tea and chattering non-stop. Tomás listens to her with a smile of pleasure, one of truth. He doesn't realize it but he's been smiling effortlessly for two days. Having said all the usual in the list of topics of "how we have changed" on duty, Thomas takes courage and asks for his cousin Luis. Then the woman's face darkens a little, but less than expected. - In his house he is with his wife ... the poor man of mine is in the last. It is a blessing that you have come. She will be so happy ... - She tells him that, without explaining, she has put a handkerchief on her head and has gone to the door. There she takes a club more crooked than herself and signals Tomás. He reacts surprised. It is now and not later when they go to see him. It's not what Tom expected to do, but not grim. He meets his aunt and, unconsciously, as advised by his “I” child, he obeys and leaves the house offering his arm to the woman.

His cousin's house is only two streets away and they arrive slowly. They have crossed several people on the promenade and Aunt Paquita has been announcing to all of them that her nephew Tomás, Tomasico el de la Amparito, had come to visit. He has been smiling and greeting everyone as he thought good. Between greeting and greeting the old woman has been explaining the changes that have been happening in the town. Everything he remembered seems to have succumbed to time. All establishments, such as bars, kiosks, shops and others have evolved into other very diverse things.
- Now a young boy rules, the parties have changed, with more things for youth and there is a new municipal swimming pool, which in summer is the star attraction. The whole town congregates there to cool off and gossip. How much everything has changed and how the same remain some things ... - Thomas thinks between explanation and explanation.
And as slow and leisurely teleportation art they are already at their cousin's house. His wife, Gema, has received them and offered them something to snack on. She is a pleasant and attentive woman, but she is sad, dark and with signs of having cried recently. Aunt Paquita is at ease and for a moment she starts ordering things in the house. Bring junk from there to here and even starts to pout in the kitchen. Try to help your daughter-in-law, who definitely needs a break. Suddenly the woman leaves the kitchen, peeking out like a lookout and throws an order at Thomas. - What are you doing standing still there? Go see your cousin -. He, as if by magic, gets up and again nods and obeys. - Good boy ... - Gema accompanies him to the bedroom and invites him to enter, but she does not pass, can not or does not want.

Once inside, Thomas recognizes the stay. Now everything fits. This was the house of the "yayos". This is where I lived in the summers. They should inherit it or buy it. In fact that room was that of the grandparents, to whom they were prohibited from entering. A huge amount of memories flock in his head, but he does not attend to any, since in the bed lies a body resting in a shroud. - "Prim"? It's me, Tomás ... - The man who looked asleep is agitated, getting up and finally showing his face. It is a countenance defeated by the inclement disease, with eyes immersed in dark pools and features marked by penitent weakness. But despite what appears to be a bed of torment, the man smiles. "Prim"? Holy God, what a joy! Tomás approaches, sits carefully and lets Luis look at him carefully. - My mother, how fat you are ... How envious ... - They both laugh and then merge into a strong but cautious hug. Tom has the impression that if he squeezed hard, it could damage him.

How's life. The two are the same age and while one looks strong and even somewhat deep, the other denotes extreme weakness and a sad effigy. And despite the obvious, their smiles are those of those two children who trotted through the town like wild animals, doing all kinds of pranks and taking almost all the neighbors to the streets. In fact, this is how this day concludes, with both cousins ​​and friends, talking in a relaxed way about their childhood, about the details of their current lives and about everything that drives away the sadness of the disease from their heads. Few reunions could have been as perfect as those of these two men who, for an instant, feel again those stupid and brat children who were, laughing for nonsense and letting the past take any grief away from their side.

Continued ...


Chapter 7

Only two days have passed since that tender reunion of the cousins ​​and today the bells ring again, today they ring goodbye. - The "prim" has already left ... - It is incredible how much pain for a person who had not seen in more than three decades. But within Thomas, it is as if the twelve-year-old boy he grew up with had just left. There is no tragedy more terrible than when a little boy leaves early. Tomás feels the same, he can't hold back tears that soak his cheeks. - For this I came back? To see him go? - It is a tremendous shame that boils inside him, as he walks hand in hand with his aunt Paquita, whole and firm, and next to the newly widowed Gema.

The ceremony has taken place normally and sadly and nothing seemed to ease the grief, but someone among those present has managed to make Tomas's tears dry on his face, illuminating him in a timely manner. - It's Mª Luisa, do you remember her? - His aunt tells him without hesitation, that he has stoically endured all the funeral, as if he had long assumed that his son would leave sooner rather than later. Tomás has felt the uncontrollable breath of heat when he sees that woman and, although he has not been aware, his face has lit up like a traffic light in the night. It has been a fleeting vision in the midst of the crowd, but it has been a blessing that has stifled grief and crying for a lost friend.

The hours pass and now Tomás is sitting at the door of his aunt's house. She is weaving beside him and he reads a book, sitting in an old wicker chair. His cousin's wife rests inside, still afflicted. - What should I do now, aunt? - He asks, who has long been watching the words dance on the pages without attending to the message they convey. The woman, without looking up from her embroidery, responds naturally. - Whatever you want ... What do you want? -
The question is well worth answering, but Thomas is silent. Faced with such a dilemma, it turns the matter upside down. Concerned about what the widow and mother will do now. The woman huffs with a laugh of resignation.
- What are we going to do, son? Well, keep going. The penalty will be the fields ... the fields of the grandfather. Now that Luis is not there, nobody will take care of them. I guess we will sell them to someone in the village and then ... God will say ... -
The orange ... Is that it? Tom doesn't say it, but the image of Mrs. Matilde, the nice old lady on the bus, has returned to her mind. He wonders if it will be true, if the signs, as that nice and charlatana woman said, exist and appear like this, without warning and without further explanation. Could it be this other train? The issue is not trivial. It looks like it, but in turn it seems crazy. If something has no explanation, we say it is a sign, it is just that. And Thomas gets rid of those strange clouds of his head and decides to go for a walk, so he will clear. While walking, he is forced to recognize that he is more comfortable there than he has felt in his own home for a long time, but he perceives that in some way he is out of place wherever he is, as if there was no longer room for him.

With each step he takes, the strange weight on his shoulders is diluted, without knowing very well why. He crosses the streets with neighbors who, without knowing him, or perhaps yes, greet him and he also corresponds to them. He returns to his mind that late night so long in which he met his beloved "prim" and the many stories they remembered together. Pass in front of the church and smile. That was where, on summer nights, they hunted lizards that climbed the illuminated facade of the holy building. And where they played in the morning to kick the ball against the wall, until the pastor was angry at the inconvenience. Then he arrives in front of a sign, "camí del riu". How many crazy things they did in that river. Reckless dip, take the snack to the elderly who bathed distractedly or play with others who were in the water. What a pair of feral beasts. It is said Thomas, who remembers that this was how they gave the offspring their interest, or perhaps their dislike, was not clear.

Walking arrives at a huge esplanade, in front of some warehouses. That was where, after the nap time, all the children went. For the facades gave an immense shadow and the ground was so wide and flat that tremendous and controversial sheet championships were played. They played to emulate the runners of the Tour de France, which the grandparents had seen during the nap. Tomás and Luis always cheated and ended up winning most stages. Then the losers had to invite them to a pole in Uncle Ramón's kiosk, which today turns out to be a sad branch of a bank. The walk concludes in the town square, in front of the school. There the verbenas were celebrated.

Tom sits on the back of a bench and remembers sitting there, with only twelve years, drinking a soda and watching the other bank in the distance, on the opposite end of the square. You can see, as if it were happening right now, that among the multitude of people who danced with the orchestra on duty, or who came and went for another drink, the little girls' heads were intuited. All the children watched and made mocking gestures, so that they would get angry. But not Thomas, he only looked at one of them. The prettiest girl I ever saw ...
- Tomás? It's you? I can't believe it ... - A voice bursts into the reverie and makes Tomás almost not fall with his back to the ground. When he regains his balance and looks to his left, there she is. - Ma ... Mª Luisa ... -
She smiles. He trembles. The moment stops barely a second. It is the same, but it cannot be. Of course not. She is a woman like him, with her years, her wrinkles and her aches, but for a moment he only sees that her eyes are just as big and beautiful, that her smile is just as sweet and shiny and that everything in her is the same , despite not being. After the shock and the initial ridicule, they both kiss and talk on their feet. Both had seen each other at the funeral, and now it seems that everything makes a strange sense. The conversation is short. Mª Luisa must go to school for “the girl”. Tomás smiles, nods, conceals the whiplash of pain at such information and says goodbye.- If you want tomorrow at half past nine we can have a drink. I will have left the girl in school and we can catch up. - Tomás, very flushed, accepts, even though he wanted to refuse the invitation. But it is too late and he sees her go away, as if carried by the wind, although not even a glimmer of air runs. It is confusing and upset inside. Signs ... really?

Continued ...


Chapter 8

- And what happened to your life? - Little thing… -
- You married? - No way…-
- What's your job? - Administrative in the City Hall. -
- So single ... - Yes ... and without obligation.
- So divorced, I'm sorry ... - Not that it goes, happily divorced.

The meeting at lunch takes place with that normality of those who chat with someone they have not seen for a long time, but with whom there is a trust of years, the only strange thing is that this is not that case. Since that furtive kiss, one summer night at patron saint parties with twelve years, Mª Luisa and Tomás had not crossed again or to know each other. That's why he feels that confusion that stutters his stomach. How is such trust possible? There is, and it is reciprocal. Both laugh with each other's jokes and seem like lifelong friends. That smile is almost as beautiful and its sonority brings evocations of the wonderful eighties, so casual, so childish, so authentic.

Is an angel…
After catching up, Tomás has been relieved to learn about the sentimental situation of his old friend. Then he has rebuked. You shouldn't be glad for a breakup, but you have done it. It also seemed to her that she was smiling more than she knew that he is still single. - They will be my imaginations ... - But the fact is that the connection is there. It is perceived in the environment. The morning passes and after three hours of uninterrupted talk, washed down with a beer with soda, Mª Luisa gives a start. - My mother! If Valentina is about to leave the school .- The morning has been flying, but does not seem to want to say goodbye. Tom gets up and wants to invite him, but she makes a gesture to the waiter and everything is resolved. - Do you want us to continue tomorrow? - The invitation comes from those lips that seem to need more words and he can hardly say yes.- Eh? Of course, of course ... for me ... yes ... - She puts on her jacket, comes over and gives her a big hug, leaving the stone stranger, even seconds after she has left, almost jogging and with a smile that It seems to illuminate the street.

Tomás, somewhat bewildered but with immense euphoria wanting to explode in his chest, undertakes the return home of his aunt Paquita. - What happened? What am I doing here? - Nothing seems to make sense. Tomás is like a piece of ladies in a game of chess. That is not your place, but it seems so. His head tells him no, but his heart is still giving boats of joy, knowing that tomorrow he will see her again.
He arrives at the house and Aunt Paquita keeps on guard while still knitting a woolen garment without a definite shape, but which seems thick. At his side today is Gema who, despite wearing black dark circles like two caves at night, seems to be calm, reading a novel. It is a classic print, with both women in mourning enjoying a pleasant and cool temperature end of the morning. Luckily the sun still illuminates part of the facade and is very comfortable.

After the meal, the widow retires to rest. He has eaten little, but something is something. Now you need to fall asleep a little. So aunt and nephew relax in the two armchairs and in the background a classic soap opera sounds. Tom looks at the old woman and a childhood flash comes to his mind.

- It's like the "yaya" ... - Indeed, as a child the same touching picture was repeated, only that he was located under the stairs near the television of fat ass and, with some old sheets and tweezers, spent hours riding a kind of tent, where he could later play or even sleep, imagining that he was in some strange and distant place in the world. Today there are no sheets or clothespins, but soap opera. Then Tom interrupts the intricate plot of stepsons, revenges and random slapping, to tell his aunt what happened with Mª Luisa. The woman attends, while a slight malevolent smile is showing up at the corner of her huge wrinkles. After concluding the story, excessive in details and descriptions, the old woman laughs and without saying anything gets up and goes to the kitchen. It is not until he is on the threshold, almost disappeared from the sight of Thomas, when a premonitory sentence is heard ...
- You will still stay in the village and you will fall in love ... - if I will know ... And then disappear to pout and sputter intelligible things.
In the tranquility of that familiar and comfortable living room, Thomas ruminates the augury of that old witch, tender as well as he knew. The fact is that, his first reaction to the absurd prophecy has been to laugh, snorting and shaking his head such nonsense but, as the minutes pass, his head, without wanting to or authorizing him, begins to discuss all kinds of possibilities. The movie in his head has no form and, with everything and with that, it seems clear. At least the feeling it evokes is pleasant. So nice that in the end he falls into a deep and pleasant dream. Of those who kidnap one in the middle of the afternoon and lull him for hours.

Upon awakening it is covered with a thin blanket. There is no one and, after clearing, take a walk. He has seen the entrance door open and there are the two women. Tom says nothing, just watches the scene. He feels as comfortable as he had not done in a long time. Then the old woman repairs her presence and leaves her seam to get up with some difficulty. - Would you mind accompanying Gema and me to do some errands? - The offer is accepted without thinking and the three start walking. The walk becomes somewhat longer than the previous time, but it becomes enjoyable; greetings, anecdotes and serene and pleasant silences. When they want to realize they have reached the outskirts of the town, but the women do not stop, so Thomas says nothing and continues after his wake. After almost forty minutes of walking, under a sweeter sun that is looking for his bed, they finally culminate a small hill in which a man awaits them.

Greetings and condolences as soon as you arrive and immediately Tomás moves away from the conversation that is taking place and advances almost levitating with a stunned face. - It is not possible ... - its denial is absurd, because it is. The fresh breeze caresses the hair of the arms that thanks the freshness, because the sun still heats with some intensity. He can't stop looking at the vast and beautiful horizon. It is as suggestive as it is disturbing ... but before falling into anxiety, a voice pulls it from its ear. Tom reacts something clueless. So the voice repeats the question ... - What do you think, son? Wouldn't you want to take care of family fields? -
Thomas frowns, opens his mouth perplexed and, after a few seconds, before the watchful eye of all pronounces: - I ...? -

Continued ...


Chapter 9

There is nothing to scare someone more than a dream come true. Nothing more gripping than a signal can have the power to turn something unlikely into a palpable reality. It is certainly something that could make the bravest heart dwarf. It is inevitable to feel fear about the possibility of being happy. Why? Nobody knows. That emotion of seeing something that you didn't even know you wanted at your fingertips ... makes you want to take it hard while taking two steps back. In that strange and chaotic vital moment is Tomás right now, who has just seen how, what would have been crazy just a few days ago, seems not to be so crazy. His head tells him that nothing makes sense and his chest rumbles from the blows that the heart is giving, pounding his body, screaming for him to let him out.

His aunt, Gema and the unknown number three watch him impatiently. The man has turned out to be a farmer in the area, who could buy orange groves for a good sum. The enclosure is more than evident. The old woman has seen an opportunity and has not lost the opportunity to seize it, but there is no malice in it. She is a woman who tries to fight to keep something important, something special. All family members, those who are and those who have already left, have all loved, cared for and enjoyed those lands for decades. Whole generations have run through their trees and have lived on their beautiful and delicious fruits.
What to respond to a similar legacy? Tom looks away from the three judges and returns to the horizon. It is certainly the image he saw in his dreams. How is it possible? It simply is not. But then ... why am I here? Nothing. His head fails to channel the thoughts, which are piled on him like a landslide of snow after a crash in the mountain.

Gema, who has been silent for two days, approaches him and takes him by the hand and arm. Tom turns around and observes her strangely and with a rictus of obvious concern. - They are only "tarongers" ... but they are ours, they were from Luis ... Do not be afraid. - He nods. It means yes, but it is restrained. What are you thinking, crazy? What do you know about the field? Then, as if it were witchcraft, Aunt Paquita raises her voice, between impatient and light. - “Tranquil, xiquet”, that if you decide to keep them, Mr. Roig will show you everything that “fassa” is missing.- Tomás looks at her between surprised by his divinatory arts and somewhat relieved by such clarification. The man corroborates what the woman said. It will be good to show you the details of the work, which ensures that they are simple but demanding.

The encerrona begins to suffocate Tomás, who ends up asking for a postponement to deliberate the verdict. It is not what those present wanted, but they understand that the outsider wants to calm down, calm their fears and be able to decide accordingly. On the way back to the house, the walk becomes curiously lighter. None of the three talk about it. It seems that Gema does not care what happens, although apathy is normal for her condition. Aunt Paquita instead smiles as if she already knew the decision in her favor and poor Thomas walks with a frown but still without regret in his heart. The night quickly covers the town with its mantle and all its inhabitants retreat to their dream planets, each to their own, although there may be those who share them to dream together.

Tomorrow dawns rested. He expected more tiredness and even a headache, but that is not the case. It is lively, but it could be because he is going to have breakfast with Mª Luisa and that would cheer even the most distressed heart. Today it is fixed a bit. He groomes himself with more cologne than usual and even shaves his perennial three-day beard. Aunt Paquita sees him leave and without saying anything he smiles at her with that malice that Thomas can recognize. Old witch ... what a little it is made The love does not take away so that he knows that the woman knows more about him than he does. Upon arriving at the terrace, his companion has not yet arrived, so he waits for her with a hot coffee and allows himself to reconsider the matter of the lands. Leave work, leave your home, move to town, work in the countryside ... Everything is a real nut. Obviously I should reject it but then ... Why the hell do I keep thinking about it? And like everything that happens these days in his life, the answer appears at the bottom of the street, radiant as a second dawn and somewhat disastrous as a night of tangled sheets.

After the first moments of Tomás' almost uncontrollable nervousness, the breakfast-lunch runs with the expected fluency. Nothing could disconnect the two Tertullians from each other. They gossip nonstop of those who still live in the town and who have had some other Rocambolesque history. Tom tries to relate his life in the city with some more emotion than he actually has. And in such a pleasant way, the morning slips again between the hands of the clock. Before abruptly concluding the conversation, Tomás tells Mª Luisa the opportunity with dyes of dementia that has arisen. She processes the information and then, after a silence accompanied by drinks of clear of soda, stares at him making him nervous and then asks. - What do you want? What would make you happy? - The question is back on the table and is as simple as transcendental. After throwing such a philosophical stone, she returns to realize the time and shoots to the cry of, - The girl again! You steal my hours, damn it! - And without delay he shoots.

Tomás remains seated, with a goodbye smile. He watches her run as she struggles not to lose her bag when she puts on her moving jacket. He knows what he wants and what would make him happy. He knows it even if he can't discern it. Fear sometimes steals part of that light that shines on the things we want. He gets up, says goodbye to the friendly waiter and walks. Step by step, move forward, the direction? He doesn't know her, but after a while he is where he should be, on top of that hill. Now alone and calm sits. It is still early and the sun is at its highest point. A splendid day ago, with a bright blue sky and fluffy clouds that slowly cross it. Watch the laborers down there, making each of those orange moles disappear from the greenish tapestry and smile.

That image of the dream as an evocative deja vu returns to your mind. Sun, earth, tarongers, peace ... Can this be? Is this what you want, Thomas?
Life does not run through the channels provided almost never. Few stop and observe the path walked and recognize the strokes marked from the beginning. And is that living is random. It is the beauty of existence. Nobody knows the final destination of this trip, it all depends on the train that one takes or lets pass ...

Continued ...


Final chapter

Life is undoubtedly a box of surprises and twenty years pass in a sigh, almost a blink. The essence of a small town, surrounded by fields of "tarongers", is intoxicating. He could dazzle the most unsuspecting of the travelers, although his route was only passing through the place. A humble municipality, full of simple and hardworking people, of cozy shops and stores, of parties with music and dance, of beautiful and deep traditions, can certainly be captivating. Twenty years are nothing ... Tomás walks firmly and decisively for the people. Everyone greets him in his path and he answers with equal cordiality. On his back a worn backpack. He returns with the fall of the day towards his house. On the way, he passes by Aunt Paquita's house, converted today into a pleasant rural house, run by the charming Gem that, as Tomás passes, looks out and gives him a bag to take home. - They are for breeding, some earrings he asked for. - He smiles, raises his hand to say goodbye and continues his step, while wearing the knotted and punished sweater that the old Aunt Paquita began to weave even before he knew he would stay there forever.

The road home still barely slows down. Thomas advances with energy and air to spare in his old lungs, as if a whole day in the garden and six kilometers of walk were a minute. His hair is already cano and somewhat less abundant gently shakes with the breeze, which cools his forehead plagued with tiny drops of perennial sweat. His big hands look dirty with dirt, but this does not prevent him from caressing the heads of the little ones that cross his path and ask him for "taronges." While walking, he takes a pair of large and almost reddish fruits from his backpack and gives them to the children, while they jump and thank the gift. A wide smile of satisfaction crosses Tomás' face, today marked by dozens of light and dark folds, chiseled with sun and cold.

At last he arrives at his home, a small house in the upper part of the town, homey and full of photographs with special and beautiful moments, of those that were so much done to beg. As soon as you pass through the door, a young woman greets you with affection and jokes with not kissing you until you wash those blackish paws. He banishes and runs after her, threatening to brown the girl's clothes. Then a sweet but firm voice is heard in the house. - Less games and washing, gentleman ... - dinner is almost there. He responds with a, - yes my mistress, - and goes to the toilet. A few minutes of soap and water and finally Tomás goes out to the inner courtyard of the house. That is when his eyes light up.

Outside there is a wooden table under a cane roof full of vines. The patio looks beautiful with some light bulbs illuminating the already pressing sunset. The smell of rosemary and citronella is penetrating and Thomas finds it deeply pleasant. Waiting for him are his two most precious jewels; the young and lovely Valentina, with curly hair, contagious smile and sweet look. And of course the reason for its existence, the beautiful and perfectly matured in the sun, Mª Luisa.

For an instant, Thomas stops smiling. It is a unique moment, of those that happen when you least expect it, so try to capture it, taking a mental picture. They are beautiful ... Then he sits down and between the three there is a pleasant conversation. They talk about the countryside, the university, the holidays in Rome and the evening goes on without realizing it. They are a family and they are happy.
At one point the young Valentina, as if a tracing of her mother's youth were treated, gives a start when she realizes the hours they are and, without giving many explanations, she shoots. - Sara is waiting for me, I'm late! - Mª Luisa and Tomás look at each other and laugh.

- Such a stick ... - He says, knowing that this comment comes with a price, specifically a pinch and then a smile. The two are finally alone and, in the tranquility of the early night, they are observed. Without saying anything Tom leans down and gives a sweet and brief kiss to what has been the joy of his life. She strokes her hand, causing a shiver in the shape of her skin on the skin of her arm. Both laugh.
- My first kiss and the last ... - He says with bright eyes. She doesn't understand and Tom laughs, pretending outrage.
- It will be possible ... I don't know why I love you ... The summer of 78. It was the town festivities. You were with your cousin and the rest of the pups in the square. I was with "prim" Luis and the others. I looked at you among the people who came and went. You did not, but you also looked at me. Then the orchestra began to play "Although You Love" by Juan Gabriel. I got up, scared of fear and went straight to you. I stood there and asked you to dance. You looked at the others, who didn't stop laughing, you took my hand and dragged me to the center of the track, camouflaged among the elders. We danced for a while and then ... you kissed me. -
Mª Luisa looks at him excitedly and trying to joke, as if that beautiful anecdote had not happened.
- Sorry but you kissed me, cheeky. - Tom laughs and insists. - It didn't happen there. It was you, I'm sure. - She asks him why he is so sure after more than fifty years. He smiles and drinks the fruity wine that is still in his glass. - Because I was terrified of having you so close. Although I wanted to kiss you barely, my legs answered, I don't tell you lips anymore. - She then takes his face with both hands, stares at him with glassy eyes of love and kisses him, stroking her lips in an endless declaration of love without words.
After precious seconds, their faces separate slightly, blurring the image of both, until they return to focus on the love of their lives again. Thomas hugs Mª Luisa and during that moment, with her close to his chest, he thinks about what they have been in recent years.

How everything has changed. Undoubtedly the value of madness made him change the gas cylinders for some "tarongers" and leave a solitary life in exchange for a wonderful family. It has been, without any doubt, the best decision of all its humble existence.
It is now, in the candor of the moment and in the moonlight when he observes her in his arms, as nested in his chest, watering his shirt of tears of love and whispers softly, stroking his hair with the warm voice, which He has been saving so many years in his small but courageous heart ... - You are the train that could not pass ... -


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