Twenty-One

I could see some thick, knitted material, dark blue, with some dark purple embellishment on it. It reflected light in a beautiful way. First, I could only see this piece of textile, and felt the wind, it was quite fresh and salty. Then I could hear the waves.

And then, I could see the sea. We were on top of a plateau or a rock, it was green around us, wildflowers, moss… the sky was covered, stormy, but there was no rain yet. A young woman was sitting on a rock, she had long, dark hair and Asian eyes. It felt very peaceful being around her. She was covered by a thick, dark blue-purple blanket.

I could hear footsteps, and as I turned around, I saw the Siberian man approaching.

“Meet my daughter” – he said.

The woman looked at me, smiled with her eyes and nodded slightly, then turned back towards the sea. I was to her right, observing her profile. She looked around twenty. I turned back to the Siberian man to estimate his age, and he seemed somewhere between fifty and sixty, or around sixty. Difficult to say.

I turned back to the woman, but she looked older now, around my age. I must have made a mistake a minute before. She looked at me for a second, then turned back to the sea. I watched the water, too, and the sky, and the flowers rocking in the wind.

When I turned back to her again, she seemed to be in her fifties. I realized she was ageing in front of my eyes.I peeked at the Siberian man, wondering what was going on. He was not getting older, he stayed the same age. He smiled. When I took another glimpse at the woman, she was quite old, her hair was all white.

“Will she die in front of me?” – I wondered.

The Siberian man stepped closer, he was standing right behind me and put his hands on my shoulders. I glimpsed at the woman again, she just disappeared, the blanket fell onto the rock, her hair transformed into mist and the wind blew it away.

“She’s gone” – I thought to myself.

The Siberian man stroked my back gently.

Then I noticed something below, a small dot coming out of the sea. It was getting closer to the rocky slope, and I realized it was a toddler, in a long, white shirt. Suddenly, I heard a cheerful cry:

“Father!”

The Siberian man waved back, smiling. The little girl was climbing towards us, growing. She was around 11 or 12 when she reached the top, and greeted us with a big smile and sparkling eyes, giggling.

She sat down next to me, where the old woman had been just before. The Siberian man took the blanket and put it around her. She bowed her head, and blushed slightly when she looked at me. She was probably around 18 now…

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