I walked down the cobblestone paved path and turned left into a tiny alleyway. Walked towards the river and noticed less and less people around. In fact, all of a sudden the familiar city buzz and noise faded away in the distance. Instead, all I could hear were footsteps behind me. Although I wore headphones, steady, confident footsteps were all I could hear. I could sense his presence behind me. And indeed I was right. I turned around and saw him standing still with his backpack proudly perched on his back. I walked forward few more meters and turned back. He did the same. I refused to take notice of his intention to approach me. Instead, holding my breath I took the phone out of my pocket. I stared at it, like it is an alien object. I saw my reflection on its screen. My face had a happy glow and had a soft smile in the corner of my lips. My hand was trembling. I failed to consider this segment as something significant and instead of making an attempt to call someone for help, I slid my camera open and started taking photos of the century old stone bridge! I could not move. I felt frozen in time. I felt like I don’t have strength and that my feet are buried underneath the ground.
– ‘Would you do me a favour and look after my backpack for few minutes?’ – His voice was mellow and his accent was ever so sweet.
I nodded and continued taking photos of the bridge and the monumental buildings behind.
He was gone, but all was left to linger around was his blue backpack leaning on my feet. It had lots of fabric country flags attached onto its surface. I started pointing to those flags I can recognise: Spain, Canada, India, France, Holland, Croatia, Italy, Russia, China, Sweden, Brazil….And there were lots more, including many other unfamiliar to my eye. The fabric flags looked vibrant, bringing great interest by simply making such a stunning contrast with its simple blue backdrop. The energy and the events unfolding out of the bag were stronger then the wind on this chilly wintery afternoon. In that instant, I forgot where I was, as I got transported to a different places all at once.
– ‘Thank you for being my angel guardian!’ – that same voice brought me back to reality! ‘You might want to drink this before you get stone cold out here’! – without a hint of hesitation I took the cup and started drinking the warmth out of it. While I was consuming the syrupy beverage I was experiencing melting sensation inside. I felt wonderful! I felt inspired! I felt powerful without weightiness and limitations. Only when I gathered my senses I smiled at this beautiful stranger standing in front of me, thanked him and walked away!
Walking back to the office I tried to think of this encounter as a note to act upon, but I could not get anything right. I tried desperately to put all details in place but none of the pieces matched. His features got hazy, his body distant, his radiance blurry, and his backpack dispersed leaving all the fabric flags scattered around, tailing off in a beautiful, bursting with colour trail behind. After all, a warm drink and inspired heart is all I had left to remind me of an encounter that it wasn’t a dream after all…M