- I don't have a bottle opener. Could you open my beer?
- But of course! Two years here have taught me at least that!
He took her beer bottle and opened it using the top of his.
- Here you go. Now I just need to find a corner where I can open mine... - he said, while searching for any sharp corner of a wall or a fence where he could do it.
- This will do the trick...
And he tried once, twice, three times until the top of his bottle finally popped up and fell near the garden fence.
- Come here, sweetie. Sit. I wanna enjoy your company, since we don't have much time together - she told him - Prost!
- Prost! - he said, looking in her eyes.
He sat at the steps of the concert house next to her. They were in Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin. The wind was chill and the sun was almost gone, even thought it was only 5 pm.
- You know, I can't believe these two years have passed so fast. It is almost March and soon it will be all done. Everybody will go back to their countries or move to different ones. Berlin will feel empty - she said.
- I know! Time is going by so fast! I don't remember it being like this when I was young!
- Right? It took forever to get to Christmas or Easter... I remember my Adventskalender took forever to pass!
- Hahaha! Adventskalender... Another cool thing I will bring home from Berlin. Thanks for the one you gave me, by the way.
- You are welcome - she said, with a smile on her lips.
They both took a sip of their beers.
- How did it go? Do you want to talk about it?
- Well... Yes, yes.
- Ok. I'm all ears - he said and took another sip of beer.
- So... He wanted to talk to me. He wanted to explain himself, talk about us, talk about our future.
- He started telling me how much he loved me and how much he wanted to be with me. He told me he was gonna change. Everything I had told him in the past... He finally got it and he would try to change. He would do whatever I wanted.
- And you?
- I just... I just listened. It was hard you know? I looked at him and... It's not like I hate him or anything. I still care for him and want him to be very happy. But the love I had... It is over. I told him, but it was very hard. He cried. I cried - she said. Her eyes were getting watery
- And how do you feel now?
- I feel terrible. There is this thing here - she pointed at her heart - that just doesn't feel right. I... I feel like I am doing something bad to him. Even though I don't know what. - she was crying - It is heavy.
- Oh, baby, come here - he brought her closer and have her a warm hug.
- It hurts. It hurts very much. I don't think I can carry it.
- Come on, don't cry - he told her, holding her even closer - I think I can help you.
He stood up, grabbed her hands and took her in the direction of a garden nearby. The cold wind was a bit stronger there, so she put her hands in her pockets.
- Hey, where are you taking me?
He didn't answer. They went to the middle of the garden, next to a big tree, in the shadows.
- Hummm... I think this is a good spot. Do you think anyone can see us?
- I guess... But only if they really pay attention - she said as she cleaned one stubborn teardrop that insisted in coming down her cheeks - What are you gonna show me?
- Here, hold this - he gave her his beer bottle and reached for his backpack.
- I'm getting curious... - she tried to be more cheerful.
- Just a second... Just a second... Would you please hold this as well? - he said, while handing her a bag of cookies and an empty bottle of coke - I carry too much stuff with me! Hahaha... Where is it? Where is it? Oh, here it is! - he cheered as he took out of his bag some kind of ball - Now give me back all this stuff.
He put everything back to his backpack and took the beer bottle back.
- So, this is the secret. All you have to do is to change things. To transform them. You are the one who give stuff their heaviness. Things are not heavy or light per se - he said, as he threw the ball to the air, like if it were a Ping-Pong ball. A gray Ping-Pong ball - if you learn to control it, you will be able to make things as heavy or as light as you want.
- Are you kidding me, sweetie? You have always been funny! - She said as she turned back and started walking away - Come on! You already cheered me up. I got the point. Now let's leave the dark, come!
- Hey, it is true! Don't you believe? Catch! - And he threw the ball to her.
She did and automatic gesture to catch the Ping-Pong ball. But when it reached her hand she realized it was very heavy. It almost made her loose her balance and drop her beer.
- Wow! What is that? - She asked while dropping the ball on the ground - is this made of lead?
- You got it on the first try! Congrats! Now come back here, sit with me.
She took the ball and walked in his direction, with disbelief in her eyes. What kind of funny joke was that? As she sat, he started explaining.
- This is how you do... - he placed the ball between them, on the ground - You know, as I told you, we often don't realize, but things are not heavy or light per se - he took her hands and placed the ball on one of them - we are the ones who see things in a manner and decide how they exist for us - then he took one of his hands and placed over her hand, creating a cocoon around the ball, half her hand and half his hand - I'm sure you have asked yourself if you blue is he same blue as mine. If maybe what I see as blue is your red. Everyone thinks this at some point. Everyone asks those questions because inside us there is this sleeping power, this potential to create our surrounding - he took her other hand and put it on the other side of the ball - When we are children and see things for the first time, we decide how they will be for us. If we decided it then, we can decide it now. We decide it, girl - He pressed her hands around the ball and took away his, making her hold it alone - We.
As she held the lead ball she could still feel its weight.
- Come on... It is still heavy - she said in disbelief.
- Just try it. Go back... Try deciding again how much heavy a lead ball really is. Just try it. Trust me.
She closed her eyes and tried to do it. She remembered of her childhood. Of her mom dropping her by the Kita. Of the weekend when they camped on the beach. She remembered of holding her father's hand when walking on a sunny Sunday to eat some ice cream. And... And this last thought did the trick. She could remember vividly how much she enjoyed feeling the sun on her skin for the first time and specially, how much she liked how her skin had a different smell after being for a while on the sun. She remembered of understanding that feeling and that pleasure. And while she thought of this memory, there, on that cold march Berliner night, she started feel the sun on her skin. She could feel her father's hand holding hers. She could feel the same safety only children can, when they are open to everything and are willing to try whatever they see in front of them. She felt it all. Even if only for a few seconds, she felt it all. And then she also felt that the ball on her hands was as light as a Ping-Pong ball.
She opened her eyes and saw her friend looking at her with a smile.
- So? Can you do it? - He asked her hopefully.
- Yes! - She said with a triumphantly smile - I can! - And she threw the lead ball to the air, as if it was a simple Ping-Pong ball - This is so amazing! Can we do it with anything? - She asked, while playing with her new toy.
- Well, almost anything, girl. Almost anything... - he explained - I think that it is possible to transform anything heavy into a lighter version, you know? But do we need this? I mean, do we want to have only light things? I don't think so... There are things that must be heavy, otherwise they will fly away... You know what I mean?
- That makes sense... - she answered
- But the important thing is that now you know that you have this power in you... And you decide when to use this.
She hugged him on a weird way, since they were both still sitting on the ground. They almost fell down. He was caught off guard, so he dropped his beer bottle.
- Hey come on! Let's not waste beer - he said as he reached for it on the ground.
- Oh, thank you! Thank you so much for this talk - she said as she handed him back the ball back.
- No worries, girl. No worries. And keep the ball. It is a Geschenk.
For Anne Marie. My good friend.