In the past two weeks, tension has been higher than usual.

You don’t quite think about it, you go on as if nothing is happening, but there is something always there, nudging in the back of your head. Something that is there even though you have (consciously or unconsciously) decided to ignore it.

The other day I left home early, I was on my own. It was one of those wintry mornings, foggy and humid, with a remote and grey sky.

Without realising it, I was walking fast and with my head down.

All of a sudden, I heard a sound behind my shoulders. TUP TUP TUP – someone was running towards me. I pretended not to notice that my heart had sped up, persuaded myself not to turn around and kept walking thinking that everything was alright.

TUP TUP TUP – the sound of the steps grew louder, I kept going, my eyes glued on the mud that covered the road.

It’s alright, I told myself, it’s alright.


I eventually looked up and realised.

It was a five or six year old boy, with a blue coat, undersized trousers and oversized shoes.

He was running at a neck-breaking speed when all of a sudden he stopped. In front of a bakery. And bought a piece of bread, one of those lozenge-shaped, very big ones.

The bread was almost as tall as he was.

I looked at him.

He had a face as round as a full moon, eyes the shape of an almond, and a dimple on each cheek.

He looked at me.

A gigantic smile lit up his face. It was contagious.

He folded the bread in half so as not to trip over it and TUP TUP TUP – off again at neck-breaking speed.

This city never fails to surprise me: there is always something small and wonderful that eventually makes me smile.


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