Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: sometimes, just one second
(Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)
Leonora walked in with an heavy heart, from days and days her mind was spinning around, restless.
James was sitting at the table, when his eyes were crossing Leonora’s ones, his smile always became shiny.
Mark was a step behind her, the air became immediately familiar.
Leonora looked James, staring him into the eyes:
– I wanted see you so much, I’m so happy you’re here –
James didn’t reply, took the cigarettes out of his pocket.
– We go for a fag? –
She nodded, in silence.
While the smoke was rising Leonora was going on talking and talking, once in a while Mark and James were answering to her phrases; but the tone of their voices was different from usual, more gentle, more calm.
James tried to smile:
– Don’t worry, everything is gonna be fine – he said.
For the first time in a long time Leonora felt the desire to hug him.
She was always so tenacious, determined, strong…but inside she was shaking, the restlessness was consuming her, and James could see it.
She tried to describe the horrible feeling that was overstressing her, that black monster that was taking possession of her head, both the guys were nodding with the eyes of who knows: that feeling of restlessness, that prevented to focus on, forcing the person to jump from a task to another, wearing her out, was something that James and Mark knew very well.
Leonora looked James’ behaviour better, he was trying to be kind, he was worried.
For the whole night James and Mark were her shadows.
Sometimes saying something, sometimes not speaking at all, but they were there, trying to comfort her.
Smoking in that small triangle Leonora felt herself surrounded by love, for the first time in days and days she felt safe, in that little stronghold.
Nothing bad could happen in that moment, and for some minutes her heart became less heavy.
Immediately she remembered why she fell in love with them, yes, both of them, it was the first time that she dared to think it loud in her mind: they were good people.
Of course sometimes childish and silly, or completely inappropriate, but for god’s sake, they were good hearted people.
She rose her gaze and smiled at Mark:
– What is it? – he asked
– I chose wisely – she said.