28. The magic of melancholy

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Song: The Beatles - Blackbird

When I entered the apartment, the party was still on. Without saying a word to anybody, I walked into a random bedroom and let my body fall on the bed. It was dark and I was exhausted. Despite the loud music and the chaos of my thoughts, I managed to fall asleep.

It was around six in the morning when the first rays of light reached my sleepy face. A peaceful silence reigned upon the house. After pondering in bed for a few minutes, I finally got up with a plan in my mind. I washed my face with cold water and searched the house, looking for my backpack. Walking on my tiptoes, I tried not to wake up the people spread all over the living room. I spotted my backpack right next to the door, where all the others were accumulated. I sat on my knees and quietly unzipped its pockets, checking if everything was there.

''Going somewhere?''

My fingers froze. I stood up and turned around, facing Gaia who was leaned against the door frame of the living room. She was wearing nothing but my giant hoodie, her hair a complete mess.

''Yeah,'' I mumbled. "I'm just going for a walk.''

''At 6 am?'' She held a bottle of whiskey, her eyes red.

''Yeah, I just need some fresh air.'' I put on my army green parka and threw the Eastpack over my shoulder. Then I looked at her again and something in my heart made me want to become a little ball of dust. "I'm sorry... for yesterday."

"You're not," she said, "and that's okay."

Her expressionless face was too difficult to decode. I don't think she was even trying this time, her face was just... plain, and her voice too raspy to give away her thoughts. Was she still mad at me? Why did it look like she had cried last night?

"You know," I said, "you don't have to be what I said you were."

She smiled. Was is ironic, was it tragic, I couldn't tell. All I knew is that it wasn't a sign of happiness. She sighed and emptied the bottle in her hand. "Nobody knows me, Pit. Not even you. And that makes me feel deeply, deeply alone. And I know it's all my fault, which makes it so much worse, you know?"


"No, it's okay. Don't. I'm sorry, I'm just drunk, I'm talking nonsense. Whatever I'm going through, it has nothing to do with you. Nothing at all. Just go, I know you want to. And everybody else here probably wants you gone. So, have a happy new year, Pit. I'll see you around. The first train leaves at 6.48."

I stood there, not knowing what to do. But I was already dressed and I was at the door and me staying would mean something that I didn't want to mean. So I nodded and she turned around. And then we both went our own separate ways. 

The air outside was like iced poison. As I ran to the train station, I saw the concert posters on the walls. They were everywhere. It was today, wasn't it? The 31st of December, the night I was supposed to meet my favourite rappers. And now I wasn't going anywhere, anywhere except home. I hoped Dario would understand.

On the train, I tried not to fall asleep, which surprisingly wasn't that hard. Train trips reminded me of Noemi, and she was the reason why I couldn't close my eyes, overthinking and overfeeling.

When I finally got off the train, I took the bus home. The air here was more humid and the sun was still hiding. As I walked the main street of my neighbourhood, I saw her. Her mother's car was parked in front of the house, she was standing next to it. She was putting something in the trunk, her hair was brushed into a messy ponytail.

''Hey,'' I muttered, standing maybe a little too far.

She turned her head towards me and widened her eyes. ''Pit!'' she exclaimed with a giant smile.

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