When we met for the first time you were also having problems at home, said to be misunderstood and judged by everyone for not feeling more of a part of that nucleus. I also felt suffocated, carrying a large burden on my back and without the aid of an angel or friend, I think that we have always been destined for this meeting, as if the stars had been aligned for this since our birth.

At that time it snowed so hard that our bones ached and little wrinkles appeared on our faces when the harsh wind of early January insisted on whistling in our direction. They at least let us take part in the feast, and this time even their older brother who was always so busy came to visit you. You liked to describe them minutely while we sat by the window, and there was always that old lady with the face in the shape of a full moon trying to keep the sidewalk clean, and soon after, that same group of children came up to dirty it again.

I tried to draw them in the beautiful notebook I got as a Christmas gift, and even if I struggled, I always missed the symmetry of their eyes, shoulders and noses. We had a lot of fun that winter and even got a little fat and you wrote again for recommendations and that was how I gradually got to know you better. I finally understood the meaning of the hunting hat and the poems inscribed on your other brother’s baseball glove, and you really were in love with that girl. We went back to our respective houses in the spring , and our cheeks became flushed after many months … and soon we would be eighteen, the day we parted with good wishes and a great wave of electricity enveloped our embrace. I could feel its strength from the tips from the feet to my nose.

Time passed and the pointer clocks fell into disuse, and yet we were all still too busy to feel the leaves falling or our bodies rejuvenating again. This time you wore a beautiful navy plaid shirt and had a nose piercing, but that austere tone had not left him. Everything around him still seemed too important to be wasted. I do not know if this time you had returned to talk to your father, or if Phoebe had already graduated from college, or if it was still her name, now that we changed the country… There were many questions to be answered, but at that moment I just looked sideways and realized that you also liked music and like all youth had a Spotify account, as we have not met for a long time, stuck in this web of social networks and streaming services. There was no alliance in your hand, maybe you two did not even know each other, just like you did not recall me, but in dreams we always went back to the same gardens, and you were still clumsy. I really could not see myself through that crowd, and yet we were still those two good-hearted boys with bad notes in the school reports.

By Mariana Sampaio Flor, 26, São Paulo, Brazil