Shadow reflections

by Claudia Ravaldi

At the park, on a pungent day in early spring.

A woman pushes a stroller. A woman walks with her dog.

The gaze of the woman with the dog catches on the round cheeks of the sleeping infant. He smiles.

“What a wonderful creature. How much does it have?” the gaze of the woman with the dog reaches the low eyes of the woman with the stroller.

“5 months” she replies, with a small, imperceptible grimace on the left corner of her lips. A seemingly tiny shadow stops at the root of the nose.

“Is this your first child?” continues, the lady with the dog. Meanwhile the dog chews a branch, carelessly.

“Yes … no, not really”. Confused words appear on the mouth of the woman with the stroller. The shadow floods the eyes.

Silence.

The woman with the dog waits, questioning.

“Actually, there were two. They are two. Well, they were twins, but …”

The hands of the woman with the stroller draw the air.

A curious thing happens. The shadow that used to be in the eyes of the woman with the stroller flares up in the eyes of the lady with the dog. Dressed in a cloak made of disbelief, sorrow, fear, embarrassment, amazement.

The shadow of pain, when it enters the eyes of others, always disguises itself as something else.

“You’re lucky at least he has it.” Today the shadow has disguised itself as a consoling angel.

Only in this way can he hope to survive for as long as possible.

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