Bookmark #163

Let me tell you about the city where nothing ever happens. Before it was a city, it was still a town, and I was a boy. When I was a boy, I believed this place to be too small. There was nothing but trees, a handful of people, and going to school was an excursion.

So, I left the town where nothing ever happened. What was I supposed to do here, anyway? If you didn’t like walking in the morning and talking to the neighbours, what would you do?

I left, like most people I knew who were coming of age—I had dreams of my own. I would return, though, every fortnight or so, for the world was too large, and the cities too brutal. The cacophony was overwhelming; the town was a warm hug you could always count on.

So, I needed a place where nothing ever happened. I needed to find a bench in a park all too familiar to most of us, and I needed to sit there, and I needed to sip my coffee and not be bothered anymore.

Until, one day, I came back all grown up, dragging my luggage behind me, and I didn’t see the town. It was a city, alright. Perhaps, as I was growing, the town was growing too. I hadn’t noticed it at all.

So, I found myself broken beyond repair, and for some reason, the town felt broken too. Both of us were yet to be at peace with the tragedies of being cut in places; to learn that while being cut was necessary, it hurt nonetheless. Grown as we were, we parted our ways.

It wasn’t until I decided to come back one day, calmer. It was then that I compared our scars. I found that just like myself, it had found its warm new corners where innocent trees once stood. I realised that the town didn’t hurt anymore, and neither did I.

So, like old days, we spent time together again, and the walks didn’t feel strange, and neither did those you once knew. So, began an inside joke, and we didn’t want anyone to know the truth. I started calling it the city where nothing ever happened—I lied.

True, nothing ever happened here. Well, nothing of significance for the world, perhaps. But for us, it was everything; it was where everything happened. It was where a town became a city, and a boy became a man.

Come to think of it, what else could have happened anyway?