The sea, that had the orange red gleam of a beautiful sunset over it, stretched out to the very edge of the human sight. The calm and peaceful waves that almost seemed to touch the sun formed a colourful image that could surpass the sensation of the greatest artwork with ease. Never had he dared to describe this feeling. Never had he even dared to dream of the inexplicable sensation that he felt right now. Not even once did he think and realise that he was but a small part of a world of unimaginable greatness. The greatness that he saw in front of him right now. A soft breeze brushed against his cheeks and playfully blew through his long, wild hair. He ignored the cold winter weather, he ignored his frozen fingertips and he ignored the strong, unpleasant smell of his unwashed clothes. He only listened to the soft noise of the sea that was flowing underneath the Golden GateBridge. The sound brought him back to a sunny day way back in his past. Together with his little sister he was playing in the water of the calm river that he loved to visit so much. With a smile on both faces his parents watched how he splashed water in the face of his sister. Everything he ever did as a young boy, he wanted to share with his beloved little sister. That river was the place where he as a tough older brother stood with his arms in his side and a wide grin on his face, staring into the distance balancing his one foot on a smooth rock and his other foot on an old shoebox that was holding his newest catch. Usually this was but a small fish or a cute little frog that had swam towards his hands as a result of pure coincidence. The little animal would soon regain its freedom in the rippling river water with the utmost care after being proudly shown to his parents. When at one day, after lots of practice, his little sister caught a fish with the size of a grown-ups thumb, he couldn’t be any more proud. “I taught her that!” He had said with a wide grin on his face. The clear river of his holidays had long been one of his most precious memories of life. It had given him the feeling of freedom and it was his very own symbol for happiness. It was a pure form of happiness, that only a child who knew nothing of the cruelties of life, could’ve experienced and the only one who he wanted to share it with was his baby sister.
With a bitter smile he stared ahead of him. If he had known by then what friendship was, if he had known what it meant to put your heart and soul in the hands of another, he would’ve protected himself from heartache. Friendship. Family. Love. The only thing is meant was fear and pain. With every part of it you give something of yourself away. Something you need to survive. A fragile thing in your soul, you lay it in the hands of an outsider that can easily damage it. ‘I didn’t know.’ He said to himself. ‘If I had known, I would have never…’ He had given the most vulnerable part of himself to his little sister. The sister that was no sister. No family, no flesh and blood. In fact, she was nothing. She had never been more than an outsider that had intruded in their family. A choice that could be undone. Yes, that’s what his parents had called her. Something that could be erased. Delete. That easily. If he had known that his love could bear those consequences, he would never have loved her the way he did. But when he knew, it was too late. When he ran towards the calm frozen river to stop it, it was too late. When he broke free from the arms of his parents to jump in the cold water and pull her lifeless body out of it with all his strength, it was too late. “She is family!” “She is black, you’re our real son.” That was their explanation. That was the reason that they had taken away the life of his best friend and his true love and with her, the most vulnerable part of his soul. Only then he realised how pain felt. Everything in his body screamed, but he couldn’t say a word. His head felt like it was about to explode and he felt his heart break with every simple little thing reminding him of her. That one day, that one minute or that one second in which she stopped breathing had given him the feeling of suffocation and breathlessness for the rest of his life. It had forever taken away the possibility for forgiveness.
The salty scent of the sea brought him back to the present, away from the thoughts he had suppressed so often. The water looked so close that he could almost taste the salty smell, yet it was far enough to think away the sounds of the every day life. The snow had changed the nature in front of him into a beautiful white painting and underneath him the wind caused peaceful soft waves. Behind him he heard the busy monotony of the city with hundreds of cars racing by in an eternal haste. The contrast between the view in front of him and the noise behind him calmed him. The realisation that the world went on in spite of everything felt good. Nothing could cause everyday life to stop even for a moment. The world kept turning, the seasons changed and life went on. He breathed in the fresh evening air and he stared ahead at the sky that was becoming more and more purple. No nothing missed her. The sister that was no sister. Only him. Soon nothing would miss him either. Everything would go away.
The cars drove by and the wind played with his hair again. The high whistle of the wind reminded him of the subtle sound of a violin. If he closed his eyes he could almost feel his hands slide along the neck of his violin and the bow fluently gliding over the over the strings. Classic music for him wasn’t only the beautiful arrangement of sounds forming perfect tension and harmony. The music of his violin brought a sweet calm taste on his lips. It felt as soft as a warm blanket that covered him during the winter times giving him the feeling safety and trust. The music gave him an indescribable feeling of addictive happiness. Slowly he lifted his arms up along his body, he moved his head towards his shoulders and he closed his eyes. His wild hairs were lifted up as he played the soft whistle of the wind on his unseen violin. Painfully slow a tear fell from the corner of his eyes. From afar people could see a young man with an overwhelming passion for music standing at the edge of his existence. He wasn’t well dressed and he looked shabby, but it was the untamed roughness of his appearance and the way he was playing the wind with his hands that made it a beautiful image. The tears on his cheeks, the treasure of a man that can only be shown at the most rare moments were seen from the outside as nothing more than a sign of his passion.
The music embraced him. It felt warm, like the arm of a friend showing him his last sign of the friendship. One last time he had hoped to experience it. If only it had been the friendship and not the love of his sister. One last time he looked at the dark red line in the air that was slowly sinking behind the horizon. Slowly he dropped himself over the edge of the bridge. With a smooth twist he turned up for one last look at the sky. A young woman looked at him with wide opened eyes. Something in her expression reminded him of his sister. His last tears were meant for that woman. In his last moments he wished he could’ve known her. He wanted to care for her and love her. His last moments were filled with regret and compassion for that stranger. Between his lips he whispered his last word. ‘Sorry.’ She couldn’t hear it. His last feelings and the friendship he had never fully experienced were engulfed by the cold waves of the sea.
I took some time to translate the story I wrote for a writing contest 2 years ago. The story is quite depressing, especially for a 16 year old, but I hope I conveyed the feelings in the right way 😛 This story is one that I like more in Dutch, for a change. That’s because somehow the words become much more painful in English. I like the power of the English language, but for these kinds of stories I might prefer writing in Dutch to avoid an overload