Why Not

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

The ones that love challenges

You went back home late. A little later than 11 pm. You had a good time. If you were off the next day, you would have stayed another two hours. It was wonderful that , you kept the same student
life rhythm two years after you graduated from college. Well, that was probably due to the fact that all of you decided to stay single. Almost all of you. One of the girls started a family, and
that was not quite in the plans at the time. She should have been more careful. Of course, we should exclude two more guys who decided to live and work abroad. But you talk to each other from time
to time. You were wondering if they would have been impressed by your Road to Santiago story if they went out with you that night. You just told the others what you read after overhearing that
conversation between those two ladies at the café. No, they are not seriously considering it. Go to bed now and that’s the end of it. You couldn’t fall asleep. You were lost in your thoughts. They
were seriously considering your offer. You are the one who didn’t take the other’s enthusiastic plans seriously. They were planning their matching vacation leave. How would they get the required
thirty or thirty-five days off. They were all serious about it. Don’t delude yourself. You leave in three months. You have to start getting ready tomorrow. Now go to sleep. -- 20th August. That was
the date. An early Alitalia flight landed at the airport. You were among the many arriving passengers. You, the Colleague with the charming smile, the Guitarist and Tiny. Only four of you, the
others were missing. It wasn’t really important if the others had a good reason to skip the trip or just found some convenient excuses to get out of it. Your enthusiasm was the only important
thing. You did the entire organization around the trip and it has been impeccable so far. Fortunately, your boss was a man of reason and you didn’t have to humiliate yourself, begging him for a
long leave. Even your co-workers supported you and didn’t complain about the extra duties they got. Well, at least most of them did. “The Colleague”, as we called her since our college days, was a
serious man’s woman. She couldn’t stand one’s silly talk and would cut anyone who was fake or who acted like a boaster. She had worked in a service providing company for one year. She was able to
find satisfaction as soon as she founded her own small company. She put her father in charge while away. “The Guitarist” was called this way, due to his music deviations. Up until the end of high
school, together with four more friends of his, they entertained their classmates and dreamt about the big stage. Life set them apart. Now, years later he always played with passion. His voice was
still as good as before and managed to engage the people around him. His friendship is irreplaceable. “Tiny” is how they used to call him, because he went to first grade one year earlier and
everyone was older than him. Older, only by age. He had an incredible memory and impeccable logical thinking. Two years later he got two job offers from companies that all of his fellow students
dreamed about. He turned away both. He was independent and free-spirited. He went to a company that dealt with educational projects. He claimed that nothing brings more pleasure than finding ways
to share and give knowledge to the others. You all thought this was only temporary and he would one day be a part of something more significant. A sweet melody coming from a phone. Where are you?
In the darkness, all you hear is the sound coming from somebody’s phone and a moving sleeping bag. Certainly, that is your sleeping bag and you are in it. Who knows how many more nights you would
sleep in it. Good morning. Get up and don’t mess around. The Road is waiting. The Guitarist wasn’t considering getting up yet. The Colleague poked him and headed to the bathroom. Tiny grinned and
woke the others up with a not-so-quiet “Good Morning”. The first day. You had something, resembling breakfast and at 6:50 am you were all outside. Great. You watch where the backpacks are going and
start following them. Beauty. The road starts with a trail to the mountain. Time passed with jokes and a mini argument between you and the Guitarist. He expected more time for breakfast. He accused
you of being a lousy organizer. Fine. The first café along the road awaits you. Then you didn’t know, but that first day, your first break would be at about noon. The weather was spectacular. It
was cooler up in the mountain. Your feet and back aches are the main topic of your conversations. You meet people with obviously heavy backpacks. The four of you feel the joy of taking the hard
decisions of leaving the screw around at home. The rule, according to which your backpack is ten per cent of your body weight works. You pass other people and greet them. You have small breaks. You
walk in groups. Then walk individually. Places that have running water gather you with other travelers. You exchange glances, greetings, admirations, small talk about how tired you are. You all
learn. You accept the lessons of the first day. To be free. To never, ever let the dependency from something be in the way of your life path. To feel like every moment from your life was desired
and synchronized with yourself. At first the thoughts in your head make small races, bump into each other, stand on each other’s ways. The days are loading and together with them your thoughts fall
into place. They throw away the unnecessary and fake. You are in charge of the decisions in your life. You release them. You achieve success and then you look for another target, a new project.
Here, on the road, you have the time to evaluate yourself. You were not wrong. Not wrong even in those moments, when you had to lose in the name of your target. The road to one idea takes you to
its fulfillment. Starting conversations on the Road is easy. Tiny was great at this. Each day he would choose a person or a group of people. He would start talking to them. He would become a part
of a group or create a group around himself. Today he outdid himself. He had fun. At the café, after the third kilometer, he made a woman around forty believe that it is very likely that the dark
spots on her hands were out of drinking Coke. Needless to say, the can was left unfinished. The woman swore not to ever touch Coke again. Should she pick health or the weakness of habits? She
picked health. There were people who were interested in Tiny. They wanted to know more about him. They told us about themselves. They shared. Sharing helped make decisions. A boy and a girl proudly
told us how they lived together without the financial support of their parents. It was hard, but wonderful. A man around thirty-five, a teacher in a big city, advised, that children should be given
the opportunity to make their own choices. Choices about everything. Tiny was a good listener. He asked questions too. Every time he felt, someone limited the conversation to their own world, Tiny
opposed and left his interlocutor thoughtful, looking for a way out or an answer. There was no anger and envy on the Road. Here everyone is willing to share, help, or understand the other. There is
no disappointment. The days you spend on the Road, you find real life decisions. No pressure, no stress from having little time for your daily tasks. Everybody found a reason to walk the Road. The
tiny villages by the road. They are over there. Awaiting the pilgrims with their yellow arrows, small cafes, and a bench to rest on every now and then. Alternation of homes full of life, and such
expecting new owners. Owners who wouldn’t race with time. You take a look. There are fruit tree gardens. Some of them by the side of the Road. You bend and take a walnut, a fallen apple or a pear.
Life means tranquility over here. It is probably monotonous and boring? No. A sense of life. A matter of choice. You remove the pressure and substitute it with thought, time for your close ones,
denial to accept the depersonalization and loneliness of the big city. People from the tiny villages have time for you too. They would never ignore you. They will greet you. The locals appreciate
what they have. They don’t ruin it. They keep their villages clean and tidy. They expect to be noticed and welcome other people like them. The party was good. The guitar was on top of one of the
tables. It went to the Guitarist’s hands on its own. Gradually, the kitchen and the tables around got crowded. They shared the food they had just cooked. Somebody cooked more pasta, another had
some eggs to offer. An older lady had quickly made some vegetable soup. Tiny offered salad. Wine was available too. Some of them sang with the Guitarist. Others quietly backed the singing into
their own language. The room filled with emotions and positive energy. They did tons of photos that night. Lots of emails and phone numbers were exchanged. Positive energy filled the albergue .The
limits created by nationalities, languages, age, principles were all down. A man of around fifty-five took the guitar. His tune was American country music. Ovations. The Guitarist was happy. He met
a soul mate. What was going on was a dream. The dreams of all of these people all united, not being a part of somebody else’s rules, limited by formalities, company policies, personal issues. They
were all free to express themselves, the way they were in their dreams. Not that they didn’t party in their normal life. The point was that the Road got them together. No one thought about sleep.
It was all over, just after the hosteliero announced he would turn the lights off. The Road has captured another world too. A world of vanity. You are surprised, that you see it there too. You
learn about it, while the days go by. You meet a type of people that pass you with their tiny backpacks. They make frequent stops at the cafes, and their breaks take a while. Their travels are
scheduled. They sleep in the albergues, where they might find little luxuries. They don’t cook their dinners, they don’t handwash their clothes. It’s like these people, brought their gray life with
them. I wonder if they can really feel the spirit of the Road? They probably can’t, as they are trapped in commercialization. That of course, doesn’t make them bad. But it takes the opportunity, to
get to know a different experience, out of their hands. Who knows. The Colleague got lost. Well, she didn’t get lost, we kind of lost her. She showed up in the kitchen one morning, and then
disappeared. You joked that she probably had collected too much energy from the previous night. She spent more than an hour with a man of around thirty-five over a bottle of wine. Either the wine
was that good, or… You didn’t see her the next two days. Tiny was just offering to try to give her a call and there she was. She was sitting before the albergue. Smiling. “Hello”. A hello and that
was it. You knew something happened or was going on. You knew her for so long. That apathetic look meant something. You arrived. Dinner. The usual salad and eggs with bacon. The Guitarist opened a
bottle of wine. Cheers. You drink silently. The moment came. He was an interesting man. Divorced. No kids. Had his own business for almost ten years. He came here to be alone. Yes, he was no
handsome, but there was this energy about him. You were listening, keeping silent. You were silent, because you were thinking about yourselves. That you were no handsomes either. They asked
themselves what they possessed within. What would one appreciate in them? What had to be sought or changed? Do you have to change anything? It was a quiet night. You walk. You feel like you can
walk more and more. You don’t stop at the albergue you planned to do that. Yes, you know that the people you met, got to know, talked to, became friends with and shared, will be there. But you go
on. You arrive late. You meet other faces. Another introduction, other fates and emotions follow. You walk with these people a day or two. You ask yourself: ”Now what?” Should you wait for the ones
you passed? Or should you continue walking with the new fellow travelers and then hurry? The thought about the unknown keeps you alert. It drags you forward. You hurry again. You think, you will
never see the faces, you left behind. Getting close to the end of the road, the amount of people increases. Not all of them can or want to walk the entire distance. What is the entire distance?
There are no starting points. You meet people that got out of home and started walking the road. They walk a thousand, two thousand kilometers. You meet people, going back to where they started
walking from. Every traveler takes a decision what he desires and what his soul seeks. You feel the connection with the Road. You become one with the road. What are you going to do when this
journey is over? Are you going to miss it? Questions, with answers everyone has to discover alone. The day you enter Santiago de Compostela. You feel the joy of the accomplishment. You fear going
back to the real world. You are nostalgic already, you get cheerful greets and promise to write to the people you walked with. Promise to call them or send them some photos. You are surprised to
discover people that you thought were behind you, or ahead of you. The Road separated and united you, without interfering with the meetings you had to experience, or the possibility to be alone,
when you needed that. ---- The flight back is in an hour. You are all sitting quietly, waiting. The machine will take you back to that life, you left, that life you wanted to change so much. You
are convinced that each of you will succeed. Doing it their own way. ---- The Colleague got married. Far away from her homeland. When you talk, she sounds happy. Tiny went abroad too. He found a
group of people with the same thinking. The Guitarist is here. Sometimes you might see him in his club. He opened it together with his childhood friend. You what? You started believing in love. You
took the road that always tempted you. Love for travel. Buen Camino!

Palas del Rey 29.9.2015

Submitted: May 20, 2018

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Submitted: May 20, 2018




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