Here is a beautiful story that happened in a little town not so long ago. All the information shown below was mainly collected from newspapers, medical reports and a Diary- a dusty notebook with purple, velvet covers.
1. A little prelude.
Tim Wallon was a boy like any other. Not too tall for his sixteens, neither too slim nor too heavy. He didn´t wear glasses, but at a later stage in his life he´d discover that he needed them…He was a smart boy, and always had good grades at school, despite the fact that he didn´t study much.
He often preferred listening to others rather than to speak, even though many times he felt that the others were mistaken. But his spirit was quiet, of shy nature, so its wisdom and kindness remained hidden to the rest. Besides, he felt that his conclusions would not be understandable for the rest of the children around him. Tim quickly realized that he would just have to pretend “an inch of stupidity” in order to fit in with the class.
He seemed fairly happy, as accepted being different to others with a secretive pride that nevertheless made him guilty at some point. Probably, the education provided by his parents plus being in a Catholic School had something to do with it.
2. How it all begun.
“Remember those summer days in New England? Mother Nature, green and flamboyant: the leaves whispering into the hearts of the young; the humid warmth, capitalizing every thought…the nights lying on the grass outside, watching the silent sky, filled with electric flowers, all of a sudden blooming in the 4th of July…the barbeques, the naughty games at the waterfront… can you recall everything? How I´d wish!...
….and before all that, this particular summer day, that last day of school…a mighty figure, ethereal, lively, all joyous and full of grace. That was the first big hit. There was a strange force that dragged me towards her- her long blonde hair, dancing as she was skipping, her laugh like an echo of happiness, her smile an invitation to approach. I remember being forced by her magnetic eyes, and the sensation of wholeness, and then the emptiness, the void in me growing larger as I saw her walk away.
Something inside felt wrong: as if my heart denied to follow me after our eyes met.
Her name is Sarah.“
3. The void.
Tim didn´t feel very good after that last day of school. Once again, his shyness prevented him from doing what he really wanted to. He didn´t cross a word with her, and now he would not have a chance until September.
His sadness found shelter in reading, especially poetry, a genre that was recently unveiled to him. But soon this relief turned out to be only a bad remedy, as he started to judge his misery greater than those in books…because her beauty was also greater- or that he believed.
On the outside, he managed to keep being the same nice, kind and easy-going person, although sometimes he had his bad temper let go…
Those were the longest holidays ever. And the pain didn´t make it any easier.
4. Is this it?
“What is it with you, have you lost your appetite? John, I think our Timmy is in love!”
He hated his mother still calling him Timmy. For God´s sake, he would be 17 in September!!...but his mother was always right about “the unseen”, or so he mistakenly thought, because his signs would have been evident to any mother: he had lost all interest in daily things that were dear to him in not so long ago… not so long ago!!…, and so carelessly forgotten- as if all those memories belonged to him no more; as if were part of another life, not his.
“I am lucky that school is over. Otherwise my grades would have been affected- `cause I´m going down….
5. Vita Nuova
“Finally, holidays are over!”...Tim had mixed feelings about the following day, the first day of school. At least, his appetite was back, and he felt as if there was a certain glow on his face whenever he was thinking of meeting her again.
He leaned back on the grass. The stars were so close that he´d bet he could grab one for her. “I´m sure there´s someone up there, on the other side of this mirrored sky, thinking the same…and it´s probably me”. He fell aslept under the ocean above, to the sound of the swimming stars. The moon watched over him, smiling, like a loving mom rocking the cradle of her first born child.
Happy times were back?- not so fast!
“How will I approach her? What will I say to her? Will she ignore me?”- this problem lingered still unsolved in his mind, out of control. And, as much as he hated admitting it, he would have to improvise.
6. There she was walking down the street (Singing ‘duwa-didi-didi-dah-didi-du’)
The song was on the radio of the School Bus, and he could not get it out of his head for an entire week… However, first day of school wasn´t as great as he had planned it: Sarah didn´t show up.
There was a group of Sarah´s friends sitting together at lunchtime…Tim convinced his friend Pete to sit on the table next to them. “So, you still crazy about this girl?”- Said Pete. But Tim didn’t listen and just put his finger on his lips…Pete wasn’t such a smart boy, but he knew when it was time to keep his mouth shut. Tim always loved this about Pete: to him a secret was a secret.
In the afternoon, Tim missed the bus back home on purpose, so he could walk with Pete for a while and chat about Sarah.
7. A friend´s a friend.
According to her friends, Sarah had come back from her summer holidays last week, but she got sick… although there were other interpretations (“I think it´s just the Jet Lag”)
That´s all Tim could “decode” from the pieces of conversation he got from the other table… now he´d explain it to Pete.
“So, that was the reason you told me to shut up!...”
8. The pain is my friend.
Tim started to feel “that thing” on his chest again…luckily, Sarah appeared that very same day.
“I love when it hurts so badly…it means she is around”. Pain was always wellcomed to knock on his door. Pain never lied, although never explained itself. But Tim needed no explanations, just as he never asked for them to Pete when he showed up one day in front of the class with his pants totally pissed- “that was in 2nd grade, and Pete never forgets it, which sometimes upsets me…boy, he can be really stressing about that incident!!”
And Tim was quite curious about how Pete got his pants wet… but it was kind of a matter of honour to keep it like that- unsolved.
9. My baby just cares for me…
I know it´s been a while since I didn´t write here, but there´s a good reason for my silence…and a better reason for my comeback. There is a tiny blonde head which is the only thing my head recalls…and I get dizzy and feel odd when she is around me, when she walks beside me or sits at the same table. Her presence changes me, transforms me. It is a nice feeling, though…is it love?- surely it is! My mother is a good doctor and she already made her diagnosis looooong ago.
So, I have been busy with her on my mind, and got no time for writing…do you understand me?- Neither do I, but maybe if you could see her, you would.
Why did I…? I had to tell someone that I have lost all my powers…my will has evaporated and so my grades… I am failing to get her attention!- pity me!!
So I will just hear some old Nina Simone´s tune and fantasize a bit…”
10. What the Doctors said
After the second time he fainted - now at home-, his parents took him to the hospital.
“…please tell Miss Stone to repeat the echography. We are missing the right side of his heart”- “ We already did that, Dr. Jones”…
Dr. Jones remained in silence for some minutes…”No way, it is medically impossible”. It has been reported by his colleagues that for some days he repeatedly mumbled this sentence to himself .
11. French Toasts suck!
One day he was having lunch alone at a table when Sarah approached him.
“May I sit here?”- that were the first words he heard from her.
Her blue eyes were staring directly at him, blinding him- like sun reflecting on twin oceans.
“is this seat taken?”- she insisted.
“Of course,…of course not!, I mean, of course you can seat here!!”- he was under shock, and the pain suddently appeared very intensely.
“Hi, my name is Sarah. I´ve been told that you speak French. Can you help me?”
Tim didn´t say anything. He was completely absorted. (“the closer you are, the better you look”- he sang to himself)
So she started telling him about her stay in France that summer, that she had met this “incredibly sweet and cute guy” and that they were in love… THE PAIN WAS UNBEARABLE, but Tim managed to hide it by caughing a little.
“I want to surprise him by writing him a letter in French. Will you help me?”
Tim shook his head…a “no” was about to be prompted…
“P-P-PLEAAAASE?” – she just had changed his mind.
12. So far away and so close.
Tim did his best at two things: writing the letters and pretending he didn´t care about her French boyfriend. After class, they often walked together and sat under a tree.
Sarah´s wasn´t very good at writing, so many of her thoughts needed to be refrased before putting then on paper. “You shouldn´t be so explicit about your feelings”…”but I am sooo horny!!, how can you not be direct about that?!”- Sarah exclaimed. And these discussions lasted for the whole afternoon, and the next afternoon, so the letter was postponed and never sent.
Tim loved this situation, as he felt that Sarah was closer to his heart… but he was jealous of the French Toaster!- she really had a crush on him.
Ah, les Femmes!
13. So close and so far away.
Finally, the letter was finished…and so was Tim. Sarah was so excited about it that, when he handed the definitive version to her, she kissed him. “you are the best guy on the planet, and I am so lucky to have you as my best friend”.
Tim was flying among clouds of cotton and angels, and a scent of roses invaded all of his brain cells. Until he felt the old pain and suddently fell down. This time was different. He got struck by friendly fire!!
14. No future.
‘St. Mary´s Hospital. 21:20 p.m.
Tim Wallon, 17. 5ft 7’’ .
Patient entered ER at 21:05 p.m., reporting a great pain on his chest. The subject presents heavy bleeding due to a malformation of his heart.
Diagnosis: unknown. Apparently must be a genetic acquired illness. Not reported on medical literacy.
Actions: bleeding stopped. Cause unknown.
Signed: Dr. H.G. Burroughs’
15. The end of the road?
Those summer days in New England were long gone… or so he felt. Nature, once green and flamboyant, had the intuition of the end, the wicked twist of fortune that causes the longing of past times; the present was not young anymore, and Tim had lost his appetite for life. Suddently, he felt spoiled as a rotten leaf abandoning the tree, going down, down because of that angel…He remembered that night, out alone in the fields, watching the big sky. He was wrong about the person on the other side… Now he could clearly see her. It was Sarah. She was crying, her hands carefully holding a red star.
The silent sky, as a witness, was still filled with electric flowers, and was calling him: the boy with half a heart…no more.
He felt the embrace of a thousand angels, and surrendered.
In the morning of the second day of November, Pete found Tim´s dead body under a pile of leaves. It was the coldest day he could remember.
Many years later, he still feels that way.