The job was done and the day was almost over. He was in no hurry, but the rest were on the eve of a week-end day. The late-time snow was falling thickly on the thin ground. Empty was the bus-stop and there was no sign of a coming carriage on his side.
On standing there for a while he was watching the warding traffic lights randomly winking in the moisty air. “I don’t know but what if I change my route…”, he thought to himself and headed towards the crossing. On the opposite side there was only a girl of twenty or something. He paid a slight attention to her and her brown eyes in such a weather. The bus was approaching and when it stopped they got into it through the same door. His mind was absolutely loose and he was completely absent at the moment, his tired look on the whimsical weather from a soft seat through the smudgy window-pane.
When the terminus was near the snow fall ceased.
They were expecting the green to cross another piece of the road. The traffic was heavy with the crazy muddy cars rushing by. It was the people’s turn now. They dashed forward and he with them. But at the very moment he felt that he was losing the balance of his steady body. It was quite unexpected and so strange as though the invisible air itself had pushed him to fall. The fall was short. But not for him. He couldn’t remember the last time he was tumbling down that way. His knees were deep in the muddy snow, palms drowned in the cold pave, cars sirening, people’s silence.
“Are you OK?”, he heard a voice. He raised his head to see the brown eyes of the girl. “Yeah, don’t bother yourself with the awkward man”, – he smiled and tried to keep it until she stopped to worry, – “just a few scratches.” He couldn’t let her help him but to demonstrate how he could stand up on feet on his own. People and cars continued their way. Nothing had happened for them but for him. With her slender back slowly fading from his intense view he recollected the episode.
He was seven then. She was with him there. They were together there in the by-road field, falling into the long grass. There were no people, no vehicles, no snow, no pain.
It hurt his knee when he was strolling against the whirly wind. There was no shame, no confuse but the lame and the pain multiplied by seven and the lament of the wintery weather.
Later that evening, the accidental song he had heard before but never listened to attentively caught his ear immediately after he had put on his headphones to listen to the radio waves, frequency modulated. The song was the answer who he was and who they were in the song.
“Was it a sacrifice for the story?”, he stated to himself without hesitation. Strangely, but there was no pain in his knee and the night was silent and white.