Chapter 5: Meeting

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It's the last day of August, the last day of the summer break. It's so hot that the streets are deserted, but there's a distant buzz of life announcing the end of vacation and the return of daily life to the neighborhood. I'm waiting for Diego where we agreed, on a bench in a park where we used to take walks and chat together. It's our favorite bench, a cool breeze always blows in this corner of the park, even on the hottest summer days.

I got here twenty minutes early. I didn't want to make him wait around and I'm dying to see him. Every time somebody passes by I think it's Diego, until they get closer and I see I'm mistaken. I'm trying to make out a guy's face in the distance when somebody taps me on the back.

"Hey Judith, it's been a long time!"

It's Diego, standing there in his jeans and a classic blue polo shirt. He's grown a lot over the past few months, he must be over six foot now. He's the tallest in class. I wait in suspense. It's one of those moments it's impossible to describe but that stay stamped on your memory forever. Something you've been longing for so long, and suddenly, here it is. My heart's beating much slower than usual, it's like time slows down so I can enjoy every second of this moment to the fullest; I feel the blood flowing gently through my veins, caressing my entire body. My heart beats in time with Diego's; he gives me a complicit look, although he seems a little distant. The silence we share is so eloquent that I don't think I've ever expressed this much. He looks at me sheepishly with a mix of joy and pride.

I get a lump in my throat, I sense the huge effort he's made just to come here today to see me, all the barriers he's had to break and the fears he's had to overcome. I just sit there admiring him for a while. Well, it's probably more like five seconds, but it feels like an eternity. My admiration goes beyond him alone and connects me to something greater.

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