I bought some brioche swirls and strong Italian coffee. I also bought pears and lots of vegetables because he didn’t eat meat unless it was halal. I bought food which I thought he would like. I bought food which I hoped he would eat
When I got to the station he was already there. He looked tired and dirty and his cream puffa jacket was covered in stains and was torn. He had been so proud of his jacket. The last time I saw him it was new. I felt sad to see him like that. We jumped on the train and then he said he wanted to get off, just like that. I was afraid of losing him again so I followed him off the train. It was getting quite late and I told him we needed to get back. He lay down in the park. He was tired, he said, and hadn’t slept for days. He took off his shoes and I noticed that his socks were full if holes. I told him to throw them away and he did. His perfect feet were so dirty.
There we were in the middle of nowhere. The last train had gone. We started to walk aimlessly but we managed to hitch a lift. A middle-aged woman pulled up in an old Renault 4. There were two sullen teenagers sitting in the back. She had been to see her daughter who was married to a foreigner who had the same accent as me. Did I come from the same place, she had asked.
When we arrived home he didn’t want to come in, but he did. He slept and he showered and he ate. We watched movies on a mini iPad. Sometimes I went out to buy food and he stayed at home. The days rolled by and then it was Sunday.
“What are you going to do?” I said. He said he didn’t know, that he wanted to stay with me, but I said he couldn’t. He told me he had an appointment but he didn’t see the point in going. I agreed with him. I said he couldn’t stay here in this country, that he would be picked up by the police. I bought him a ticket to L. He lay in my arms sobbing quietly. Then it was time to go.
I could feel that he didn’t want to get on the coach but he did, and he never waved goodbye. We knew that we would never see each other again. He rang me a few days later and asked me to meet him under the clock tower. He said he would wait for me until 10 pm. I didn’t go. I wanted to go.
I think of him every day and sometimes i think I may have seen him in the park, or on the train but it is not him. I wonder what he looks like now? 10 years older. Perhaps he has a wife and kids. Perhaps not. Who knows.
Picture courtesy of www.wikipedia.co.uk