I bumped into a small boy today on my way home from work. He stood there, in the middle of the street; arm wide open with palms pointing toward the sky. It was already dark and I was wondering where the kids parents were, so I approached him. He didn’t seem to notice me; his gaze was firmly set upwards. I didn’t want to startle him, so I coughed gently. He looked at me and smiled.
– Hi!“ I said, not really sure where I was going with this.
– Hi!“ he replied and looked back up.
That went well, I thought, shifting my briefcase from one hand into another. I looked up and didn’t see anything worth boys’ attention.
– What are you doing?” I asked him, feeling kind of strange, but knowing I had to.
– Waiting for the snow!“ he replied and lifted his arms a bit higher, as if its going to be any moment now.
– There will be no snow tonight“ I said, for once sure of what I was talking about. After all, I am a weatherman. That is, being a weatherman is my job.
– I know for sure there will be no snow tonight, little boy“ I continued, proud to be of service and glad we sorted this out. “ You can go inside, I’m sure you parents are waiting for you.
And then he looked at me again and I wished I could take my words right back. His green eyes were swelling with tears and sadness much older than he was. The moment of pain was palpable in the air around us and as the lump in my chest.
– But no one can say it for sure, can they?“ He asked; last breath of hope swirling in the air with the warm breeze. To warm.
– No, no one can say for sure.“ I told him.
– Then it will snow.“ he said with light back those green eyes and looked up again; his arms rising.
– But, do you have to wait for it here, in the middle of the street?
– This is the best spot.“ he said and I could see he said it with the smile.
The best spot. That’s what he said. I shook my head and slowly turned away from him. It was a dead-end street, I told myself. He will be fine. After a single step, I stopped.
I took a deep breath in, not really believing what I’m about to say and then just said it.
– Who are you?“ I asked.
– I am you.“ the boy said somewhere behind me and I smiled.
– You are me?
– Yes, I am you.“ he repeated.
I looked at him. He was still facing upwards, waiting for the snow.
– How can you be me? I am me.
He looked at me again and smiled; his face changed completely.
– Of course you are you, silly!“ he said, fighting his own smile.“ You are you now and I am you then.
He said it in the most conventional manner, as if was just another fact. Like snow on a clear night like this one, I thought looking at him. After a while he looked back towards the stars and smiled again. I shrugged and left him standing there, not really sure what I should say or do.
Not even a minute later and just around the corner another breeze touched my face and I stopped, unbelieving. I looked up and there they were, thousands and thousands of fluffy white shapes, spiraling down in a gentle, twisting dance only nature could invent. Soon, I was surrounded by snowflakes circling around me, touching my face, sliding into my pockets. I smiled and walked all the way home; something I did not do for a long, long time.