The Third One
I admit, a third person is probably unnecessary to any evolving story, sometimes he is also a hindrance. Back then, he climbed into the train compartment, where two people had just met again through a coincidence rarely found in life.
Years later, it became clearer to me, this bashful looking away from the glamour in the eyes of a loving couple, years after that, I knew, when and where the return of the third one begins.
The stranger stayed in the compartment for many hours and seemed absent-minded. He sat quietly in the window-corner. The train raced along keeping its time, such as life does. Without this third one, the other two would have had a lot to say to each other, although no one knew if the stranger, who was just looking out the window, was even listening. The noise of the fast-moving train seduced them into falling asleep, but the two were wide awake. When would they ever have another occasion to meet so miraculously?
Only years later I wondered why this third person had no face. I wondered what he looked like, how old he was. Was he blond, or dark-haired? Why did he enter an almost empty compartment in which a strange coincidence had brought two people back together? There was something reminiscent of this third person, a strange evocation and warning at the same time. Could the long separation also confirm one's unanimity, the refusal of a tangible happiness?
Even now, at this reunion, they wanted only the flow of things, that were gently floating past out there, the reddish poplars, the turf grey of the alder bushes that mirrored irreversibility.
From time to time patches of dark forest seemed like a scare in the face of chance.
The third man, too, looked out of the window into a past rushing world in spring, with the white shadowy flowering of the blackthorn hedgerows, the upcoming new seedlings, the gentle winding of field paths leading across hills, ways that symbolized heightened goals and loveliness, between the silent growth of the land.
40 years ago today in May, it would have been his birthday, if he lived, he suddenly said and looked up from the work he had taken on his journey.
The third one stared silently outside into the wisps of fog, which announced the approaching evening.
yes, she said very softy, because the third one was present.
The event of their reunion could have led to some unnecessary words for the two, invocations of a no longer compatible relationship, but their silhouettes seemed to vanish more and more in the presence of the silent third man who almost extinguished them.
Perhaps in their unspoken agreement one or the other word might still have fallen, had not the darkness overpowered them, had not a stranger entered into their togetherness without hesitation.
When they reached their destination, they got up from their seats. There were only two people in the compartment, no trace of a third person.