Like life itself. (Story) By Florencia Renata.

in Freewriterslast year (edited)



No one could understand the reason for the closure of the " Juan del Mar Domínguez Airport ", precisely the day on which its 50th anniversary.

Although it was a fairly classic and traditional airport, it was a place appreciated by everyone in the city; Well, it was one of those that you rarely visit, but that you love to see when you pass in front of them.

Its facade mixed colors and textures that strangely evoked the ocean; It did not have the characteristic smell of airports, but it did have one that made you feel "at home".

Only three airlines worked there and their flights were mainly national. Its hangars had less than fifteen aircraft and its staff did not exceed twenty-five people; however no one knew anyone who worked there.

"Fifty years are easy to say, but in our corridors and in our planes thousands of stories have been captured of so many beautiful passengers who we had the joy of taking and bringing to their destinations.

For this reason, all the staff of the Juan del Mar Domínguez Airport have the duty to inform them that on the twenty-seventh (27) day of this month of December, the same day that we will celebrate our fiftieth (50th) anniversary, we will cease our duties.

We appreciate your trust and the times you chose us. All your memories will remain forever in us "

The statement that the administration posted at the airport gates was also broadcast by the main local station. No one was amazed at what they heard and read.

-How is it possible that the airport is going to close? -Commented a man in line at the bank when he saw the statement on one of the windows of the lockers.

-I'm also surprised ... -said a lady who was two places behind him.- Close after so many years ...

-Have any of you traveled with them? asked a third in line.

No one could say an affirmative answer in this regard. It seemed that the "Juan del Mar Domínguez" Airport was only known for being on the main avenue of the city, and not for fulfilling its purpose. Despite this, there was a strange sense of mourning in the city; A heavy sadness covered everything in its path, although it was associated with that place and its imminent closure, the real reason behind the emotion could not be understood.

Christmas Day arrived with a great commotion that came from the airport. The facilities were decorated emulating a picturesque Christmas village. Many, moved by curiosity, came to the place.

Once inside, the magical atmosphere of the airport embraced them. Each space was filled with light, warmth and something that generated happiness. Although they searched the place, they could not find a representative of any of the airlines or the administration; However, no one left, on the contrary, they began to enjoy a pleasant sharing among the acquaintances and strangers present there.

Before leaving, at a reasonable hour, you might notice some envelopes of letters on the table at the exit.

They were next to a sign where you could read "Please take one". As if that was the most normal and common, everyone took " yours ".

When they opened the envelope, they found in it a very kind invitation to the closing ceremony of the Airport; Up to that part, everything was understandable, but what really surprised was who signed the letter: "Señor Juan del Mar Domínguez" . How was that possible? Did that character who gave the well-known airport its name really exist? And most importantly, who was he?

The days passed quickly, arriving on the 27th together with the imminent closure of the now emblematic place. Many more people than those who took the invitation letter showed up at the airport gates. The yearnings and expectations to know what it was all about filled them with enthusiasm.

- At what time do you indicate that the event will start? -asked a young woman without a card to someone who had one in her hands.

-It says "Eleven minutes after eleven" -

Answered after reading it.

-It's a strange hour ... there is still almost 25 minutes left ...

Although people were conversing with each other with kindness and cordiality, no one was talking about why they were there; Because of that, they did not notice the impressive and beautiful changes that the charming façade of the airport underwent every second; only children appreciated the magical show, laughing and clapping, oblivious to the adult world that, distracted from everything, surrounded them.

Suddenly, when the lights and shapes on the front wall of the airport went blank, its glass doors slowly slid open. The crowd began to enter the place amidst a heavy and strange silence.

To his amazement, the facility was completely empty. There was no thing or trace of life in all the space, however people were instinctively locating themselves in different environments of the central hall. Silence continued to envelop everything, while confusion and uncertainty began to appear. The murmurs started in a good way and then turned into a great unintelligible and annoying noise.

They were so absorbed in the scandal trying to make themselves understood between them that they did not notice the enigmatic man with the peaceful smile who was watching them from the top of the internal balcony of the second floor of the airport. Only a little girl with brown hair noticed him, but before the gesture of silence and complicity that he made her, she imitated him laughing happily because she felt part of something that no one else saw.

-Time passes, centuries change, scenery is transformed, and I always find a certain charm in the fact that humanity reaches a point where they try to communicate without success and their solution is ... scream. Fascinating!

Although he did not raise his voice one bit, and despite the hubbub, his words were heard with total clarity by everyone present in the central hall, completely catching their attention. The man smiled broadly at them, he seemed to be really happy for them. He spread his arms like a great host and the little girl began to clap with joy. Their applause echoed from every corner of the room, they seemed to bounce against the walls and collide with those gathered there.

- Thank you very much my friend! -said the man as he descended the stairs to stand in front of the crowd- Welcome everyone! I am ... who I am and I was responsible for the invitation, because those responsible for being here have been yourselves. He observed them for a few moments, smiling before continuing with his words. "Perhaps it was curiosity or the desire to" be "that brought you here today, I don't know; However, I can assure you that everyone's presence makes me very happy at this important moment. For that reason, I ask you, please, take a seat where you like, so you will be more comfortable.

To the confusion of his visitors, behind them were a large number of chairs arranged as in an auditorium. All would assure that there was nothing there moments before; however, after the initial astonishment, each one sat in order and in silence. The mysterious man was watching them with a smile on his face and a flash of amusement could be seen in his eyes.

-Don't you find airports really enigmatic? the man began. Although he had not said his name, they all assumed in a good way that he was "Mr. Juan del Mar Domínguez." That character spoke with pauses, hoping that some effect would manifest itself in the listeners.- There is some uncertainty and expectations in all his environment ... nerves, running, arriving on time, not arriving ... our travel companions, with whom we undertake each destination as well as those we meet in the waiting room or on the plane ... eternal, temporary or ephemeral connections ... connections that permeate the soul and spirit ... meetings and farewells ... to welcome and say goodbye ... everything goes together, hand in hand, and in this place where we find ourselves it can happen thousands of times and at the same moment ... -he smiled with some regret- like life itself ...

Everyone in the room was enveloped by the feeling of having understood a great truth that they had not noticed before. They looked around as if it were a new place for them, unknown until now; only the children contemplated their surroundings with a smile on their faces.

-We let so many moments go by, just to be absorbed in our own minds and perceptions. -continued the man- locked in strange and unreal concepts that take us away from the essence of the human being ... -he kept a heavy and sad silence for a moment- there are no empty spaces in life, there are distractions, misunderstandings, confusion and discontent. ..

-Does that mean that our regrets and bad times are our own fault? someone from the crowd yelled. The reproach was evident in his voice- Life is not an idealistic tale where everything is perfect, where setbacks are solved with nice words and good will ... there are planes that fall, people die, there is injustice, evil and cruelty ... . no, life is not an airport, at least not the one you want to show ...

-I'm sorry for what you had to experience. -he replied fraternally- but yes well in life there are lights, there are shadows too, just as there is truth in the responsibility of the decisions we make, and also in the impact of the consequences of the decisions of others on everyone else ... which indicates the great level of connection that exists in humanity.

-What do you mean by that? asked a confused young woman sitting in front.

-A decision brings positive or negative consequences and these affect everyone who is linked to the source of the decision. The connections that exist between human beings become unsuspected, and sometimes unusual ... -the silence that followed became expectant; The man lowered his gaze and moved between his fingers a silver pen that he had taken moments before from a pocket of his jacket.- Although, there are also cases where the acts are so unexpected that they are called "accidents" ...

-Do you know what I think? -a young man had risen from his chair violently; For unknown reasons he felt a deep rage towards that man in the navy blue suit.- That we are toys in the hands of a child god! He spoke through his teeth, he seemed to spit out every word.

-No ... -answered the other calmly- God would never underestimate the people he loved most; he values them so much that he gives them the freedom to choose, love, live and learn ... everything has its purpose ... even the fact that Susan is no longer has it and had it ...

-How can you know about that? -the young man's muscles tensed and his hands clenched into solid fists.

-That sad day in the cemetery, you swore to say a few words to me when you were in front of me ... -the young man frowned angrily, and the next instant his face relaxed giving the impression of understanding something . His eyes widened in surprise. "Here I am ..." the young man could not say a word "What you never knew was that you were never alone ... the man from the taxi that brought you home, the old man from the kiosk. the one you passed through every day, the child you helped paint the fence in summer, the old woman you shared your bread and chocolate with last fall in the park ... -silent tears ran down the young man's face, his fists they let go, surrendering, -even in the stranger you made friends with when you arrived ...- reflexively, he looked to his right to find an empty chair. Then he looked at the man in front who was smiling fatherly.- Susan is fine and she wants you to be too ...

The young man dropped into his chair and a solemn silence covered the place, which was interrupted by the host's voice.

-Pain is inevitable, but consolation is always near, because love is expressed in a thousand ways, you just have to be willing to receive it. I do not understand the reason why they have stopped loving. Love can make you feel fragile and vulnerable, but it gives you, in turn, the greatest strength you will be able to obtain ... life is not about looking for opportunities to take advantage of them without further ado; Opportunities are given for them to join their most human side, with empathy, patience, solidarity, mercy, recognition of the value and importance of the other ... each opportunity received becomes learning that together becomes experience ... life is about understanding opportunities ... living in the present, the now ... the eternal moment ...

Suddenly, the entire room was filled with an intense and deep azure light, forcing them to stand up and cover their eyes. Moments later they felt that the power had diminished, they discovered their eyes and without imagining it, they had an immense surprise; although they were still at the airport, they were in the midst of a great bustle of passengers, destinations, arrivals and takeoffs could be heard over the loudspeakers. They looked around confusedly, the chairs behind them were no longer.

Like someone who suddenly wakes up from a dream, they began to walk, dazed and with some slowness or clumsiness, in the direction of the front door.

But before leaving the place, they saw a large screen where they could read:

"The board of the Juan del Mar Domínguez Airport is pleased to welcome you at its reopening."

Suddenly the message changed to give way to another:

"Life is based on a constant travel ... travels that allow us to obtain opportunities ... Opportunities that must really be understood ..."

The screen changed again:

"You can learn to live a different life ... It is not about taking risks ... It is about facing your fears .. You can spend a lifetime in the shade fear, but you will never really live that way ... "

The screen showed some marine images along with another message:

"Life is faced and accepted ... In life there is no certainty ... But, as long as there is hope, love and strength to build something good, then determination and union will work miracles ... "

That seemed to be the last message, despite this, they reread it a couple more times, and then, with deep sighs, they left the airport.

A crowd was leaving, a crowd was entering ... no one was the same anymore ... and they could hear the voice of that man say:

"Nerves ... running ... arriving on time ... not arriving ... fellow travelers ... eternal, temporary, ephemeral connections ... connections .. . the soul and the spirit ... meetings and farewells ... to welcome and say goodbye ... "

-Like life itself ... - whispered the young man who had raised and rebuked the man. A smile of peace followed a sigh, as he walked down the stairs to the street with the others.

Although everyone went their own way, they would be united by that unique and indescribable experience lived in the mysterious Juan del Mar Domínguez Airport , with its ocean façade and its smell of home ...

Special thanks to my friend Alexander Pulido for giving me the three words that inspired this story: airport, sea and anniversary


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