Though Russian is my native language I adore English and I love exploring and experimenting with it through my writing. To me writing is another way of communicating with people and sharing my ideas. I am a book lover
No matter how hard the weather forecasters tried to predict the weather, Tom Atwood would never trust them again. Neither would he ever forget one day in May some thirty years ago when he put all his trust in the weather channel and got soaked to the skin in his new dark-blue suit. The suit had never been the same again after that incident, and Tom had never taken weather forecasting seriously again.
As he sat on a park bench with a rather unfashionable topcoat on, he kept looking around nervously and adjusting his coat collar. All of the autumn leaves had already parted with the branches and turned brown. The snow had not yet fallen, but the thin layer of something that resembled snow lay and sparkled on the brownish grass and pavements. The sounds from the playground were muffled as not even the children’s laugh could carry through the thick mist. Tom looked up and sighed. The weather channel had said there would be sunshine. Sunshine and mild autumn breeze.
“Liars,” Tom muttered under his breath.
He put on his tweed flat cap and tried to stretch it down to protect his ears from the chilly wind. Busy with his cap and waiting for the sun that was busy hiding itself behind the grey mass of clouds, Tom didn’t hear the footsteps. A tall man in a smart trench coat and neatly polished Derby shoes watched Tom for several moments with a dim smile; then he cleared his throat.
“Adam!” Tom leapt up and they shook hands. The two men stared at each other for quite some time, but as the wind blew over them, they both landed on the bench facing each other. “Goodness, Adam Thorne! It’s been a long time,” Tom said, adjusting his collar again.
“Yes, it has… I won’t lie and say you haven’t changed,” Adam spoke in a low, though rather agitated voice. “Lucky you, still have all your hair, though.”
“Yeah, well, all of it is grey anyway,” Tom chuckled. The sun came out of the clouds. Looking up at it the two men didn’t even have to squint – the fog was too thick. “Good thing I’m wearing a sweater. Did you know that the damned weather channel said there would be ‘sunshine and mild autumn breeze’?”
Adam laughed at this, “Still hate the weather forecasters, do you?”
“Well, you remember what happened to my favourite suit, right?”
“How could I forget, Tom? You were ranting for days.”
“I loved that suit,” Tom said under his breath, smiling.
“Oh, you did more than just love it – you called it your lucky suit, as I recall. Because you got your first job in it.”
“I did,” Tom nodded and then remembered something else, “I also got dumped in it, though.”
“Oh, right. That was – ah, what was her name? I can’t remember.” Adam snapped his fingers repeatedly. “Was it Jill? Jill Something?”
Tom looked at Adam in bewilderment. “I honestly have no idea. Goodness, I was killing myself for weeks, and now I can’t even remember her name.” He shook his head slightly. “It’s strange to be old.”
“We’re not old,” Adam said reprovingly, “some say that fifty is the beginning of a man’s life.”
“Yes, well, tell that to my children.”
Adam gave Tom a long and curious look.
“You’ve got children?”
“Yes, two girls. The older one started college this year. And the younger is the one who keeps calling me ‘old man’.” Tom smiled affectionately, watching the frost sparkle on the ground and then turned to look at Adam again. “What about you?”
“No. I don’t have any, unfortunately. Rosie and I were trying for a baby, but it didn’t work out.”
Tom, fidgeting a little, waited for Adam to continue, but he didn’t. “You and Rosie are still together, then?”
Adam shook his head. “No, she left me… God, it was 15 years ago. We still keep in touch, though. She’s married, three kids. She seems happy.”
“That’s really good, ” Tom mumbled with a faint smile.
Not hearing that, Adam continued, “I keep remembering those days when Rosie and I were together. Sometimes I think it was the best time of my life. There was Rosie and there was you, my best friend. Even though you and I barely had any money, lived in a tiny apartment, trying to find ourselves in one job or another… I don’t remember all the difficulties, but I remember how much fun we had.” Both men smiled. “And with Rosie – I barely had money to take her out, and there were so many times I had to work overtime to give her a decent birthday present but when I think about it, I remember only the good times. I remember how happy she was when I gave her that vinyl record she couldn’t find anywhere. You chipped in too, remember? God, she was so thrilled, she even cried.”
After this reminiscence Tom and Adam sat still for a moment, each thinking of something from their shared past. Adam was smiling, but Tom’s smile faded and he sighed a couple of times.
“You know what else is strange, Adam?” He said finally. “It’s strange how sometimes you remember certain moments from your past, you know, little things.”
“Well, I don’t remember Jill Something’s name, but I do remember distinctly the day when you burst into our apartment and told me about the bridges.”
“Yes. I remember it so vividly. I caught myself thinking about it over the years many times.”
“What was it that I said?”
“You said you heard this song, I don’t remember who wrote it, but it was called ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’.”
Adam’s brow furrowed. “Did I? I don’t recall.”
“You said it was about friendship, about a person being a ‘bridge over troubled water’ for another person. And then you said it was about us. You said ‘we’ve been through hell together and we are like bridges to each other now’.”
Adam sat still, head bowed low. “Why can’t I remember that?”
Tom gave a barking laugh and patted Adam on the shoulder. “It was a long time ago, my friend. Funny, I feel a little like I’m twenty-five again, don’t you?”