The Prelude (originally written by Nina - translated by Lella)

Part 1

Stear looked at the ticket he had in his hands, then at his watch: it was 6:43 am... Then he sighed, while he tought that tomorrow, at those same hours, his fate would be drawn and there would be no turning back... That was the first time in his life that he didn't talk to his brother of his plans, but he had left that letter and that would have to be enough for now. Then suddenly someone else crossed his mind.

"At least I did say goodbye to her...", he murmured to himself, "now she must be the happiest girl in Terry's arms... she deserves it... she's been through so much..."

Stear sighed again and began to walk in the freezing streets of New York to the hotel where he had stayed since that morning, awaiting the moment when the ship would set sail to take him across the sea... and to the war he longed to participate...

The boy walked lost in thought, when the warm light of a cafeteria lit him up, making him turn his eyes... In the shop window, there were donuts, pastries and other delicacies that made him remember that he hadn't eaten a thing since lunch; so he went in the place to relieve the hunger and the cold that haunted him. Moments later, Stear took a sip of the recently served tea, while he smiled, thankful for that warm touch inside of him; that feeling was almost as pleasant as the one caused him by being with Candy...

Candy again ... Recently he had been thinking about her so much... too much, actually... but why, they had always been very close, and now that she was with... Thinking about Terry, the boy felt something odd within himself... it was strange, it had never displeased him, at least never as much as his brother, but now that he thought Candy was at his side... Stear blushed and smiled stupidly.

"It can't be... I think I am jealous! He, he... but what a silly thing, what would Paty say if..."

The smile disappeared suddenly from the boy's face, and he took another sip of his tea very seriously... If he liked Paty so much, why hadn't he took his time to give something to her too... His first and only thought to make that box, was Candy...

It was totally dark when Stear left the cafeteria. When he went out in the street he pulled his beret and gloves, and began to walk down the street without noticing that a few steps in the opposite direction, a languid and deeply sad figure was moving slowly towards him, while watching painfully a tiny musical object that she had in her hand... Then the young man suddenly realized he had forgotten his scarf, and went back in the bar to get it back, while Candy, still thinking about what had happened a while ago in the steps of the hospital, went by that same place...

The morning was foggy and cold. The young man settled the hotel bill, he took his suitcase and went out into the street where he called a taxi.

"At platform five, please"
"Right away, sir"

The car set off, and moved through the streets just illuminated by the day that began. Stear had bought a newspaper to take his mind of any thoughts other than his trip, and began to read nonchalantly. Then it happened. Everything happened so fast... The taxi was approaching to an intersection where the lights had just changed to green and all the passers-by stopped at both corners... all but one, who as if sleepwalking, moved forward, ignoring the light change: the driver frantically sounded the horn of his car, and so Stear looked up to see horrified that the reckless person did not react, and that the car didn't stop because of the early morning frost... Then the car finally began to stop very slowly until it was dangerously close to the one who had been about to be hit... For a moment everything froze; nobody moved, nothing was heard, and then she finally looked at her right. Stear could feel a hot iron passed through his heart while some known and beloved green eyes fixed his own ones just a step before the car he was traveling... Slowly those eyes closed, and the girl collapsed heavily onto the floor, while the young man got off the taxi and ran to her side desperately, not stopping screaming her name...


Chapter 2

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