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Saturday, Jan. 22, 2005 - 4:34 p.m.

They were outside the Substation at night; he had just confessed and simply told her, I like you. The three words are a start to many things, but also an end to others. She was surprised, not angry, talking, and explaining why they could not be together, her hands carving arcs in the empty space between them. She has such long fingers, he thought, I had never noticed them before.

Her answer to him, was not unexpected, but still it made him sad. He just had a hole put in his heart for the very first time, by a girl. He was listening to her, but not really. He understands her words, the shape of her lips, but he was quietly disengaging himself from the scene; it was as if there was a camera focused on the two of them slowing zooming out. It was not a conscious act on his part, nor was he fleeing the scene.

He now sees the two of them from the perspective of a future, like an interloper who intrudes not on open doors or windows - but one who chanced upon a crack in time. He suddenly realizes that he has become the Narrator.

The Narrator sees a boy, and a girl standing outside the Substation at night. The girl is talking, and the boy is noticing the elegance of her fingers for the first time. She has her back to a black, iron grilled window, while he faces her, leaning against a pink concrete pillar.

The Narrator adds a voice-over to the visual of the boy and the girl:" In twenty years, they will both look back on this moment at exactly the same time, and understand nothing."

Then he considers the alternates:

The Narrator simply captions the scene with a single word - regret, which fades in and expands slowly like the approach of a word, exceeding the dimensions of the scene.

The Narrator lays on a soundtrack called Tears, by Massive Attack. He wonders if he should switch it to an old Teresa Teng song, but decides then that it would be too kitsch.

The Narrator remains silent, but the visual (which is another form of narration) plays on. There is no sound. The girl's right hand is suspended briefly in mid-air, as if she were trying to stop things from changing so quickly between them.

The Narrator pins up a movie poster of a romantic comedy; the poster consists of a still shot of the scene - a photograph of the boy and the girl facing each other in side profile, framed by the concrete loop of the pillar, a low beam, and the wall with the grilled window. The poster's tagline suggests that the boy and the girl will get married and have (three) children.

The Narrator causes the scene to fade to black, like the last scene of a Alfonso Cuaron film. It ends with a subtitle on a black screen - "They will never meet again."

The Narrator speaks again, as the two of them walk away from each other -"The world is poorer with their loss."

The Narrator has a literary moment, and reads the scene as a page from a book. The page is from the first third of the book and all the pages after that are still unwritten and blank. The relevant lines are - " The boy sees the empty space between them as a void, waiting to be filled with words. He is silent because he is trying to find his words from what she says, just as she is trying to find her words from his silence. "


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