English translation of my original story ( Spanish ) https://medium.com/@afhuertas/caminar-hacia-ti-con-los-pies-en-la-sombra-b45f09107d6e
My arm hanging next to my body, making a little bow. Waiting for yours. By then I had become a bit of a professional in the act, of waiting for your little gestures. You’d take my arm shyly and walk beside me while I kept my feet in the shade.
The city almost seems too small when we were walking together. And I say almost because it still makes room for both of us. However, the world seemed to shrink and so at every instant my concentration — and perhaps yours — had to be reduced to certain small and punctual tasks. To hold your hands between mine gently, while I still feel each of your fingers gliding softly over my skin, searching for their favorite place. Or to look in the reflection of your eyes for that undeniable sign that you desire a kiss. And I as I walk beside you, contemplate the signs and make them my own, as I walk slowly under the lights of dim autumn lamps, as I keep my feet in the shadow.
But unlike my feet, my hands have been allowed a place in the light. My touch has been given a privileged place among your list of priorities and this is how caressing you in the light becomes possible. And I memorize your new gesture and your cheeks dare to leave the pale color of winter to be red as summer strawberries. And I walk beside you, along the path we have already followed several times, first as strangers who are forced to share spaces, then as colleagues and accomplices of everyday life and then as lost and confused little creatures, lost little dogs who do not know they have lost in the garden but cannot stop searching. That they will not find in themselves, but in a night gaze that returns with the promise of a morning together.
As I continue to walk with you, you don’t realize that I am actually walking towards you. And destiny and companionship merge in an amalgam of grammar, hope and dream. And every step by your side in whatever direction is a step towards you, in the space that separates our hearts. And I walk with you towards the ocean, following the sound of the waves, and I march unhurriedly searching for your soul among the dark ocean of the things I know about you, and every sincere word is a lifeline, a lighthouse pointing me where to go. I walk towards you, while I keep my feet in the shadow, from the shadow, where prying eyes don’t reach, where other people’s words become mute, from where it’s easier to believe there’s a day after.
I walk towards you, while keeping my feet in shadow, but still occasionally dare to think of what light would be like. And I let faraway places you speak of, materialize in my own dreams. A distant beach, a lake to visit at the hour of dawn and upon which to sail once you stop being afraid to swim. A restaurant where my feet will be in the light, next to yours, eating dishes that before I considered unthinkable, as unthinkable as to stop walking towards you.
You will think that what I want is the day when I can walk with you, our feet together in the sun. But I care less about the future than I care about knowing you well. Knowing how to find you in the mornings, is more important than knowing where you’ll be tomorrow. Knowing that you feel less sad today than yesterday. But you insist on walking in directions I can’t predict. Walking towards you becomes harder, even as I insist on keeping my feet in the shadows. Giving up is even harder.
Night falls in the city, or dawn breaks, or it’s any time, as you slowly decide to let go of my hand now that our time has run out. And I calmly let go of your company, while I keep the kisses on my skin, the sweet words in my ears and all of you in my heart.
Slowly I let you go, not knowing if you will come back to me, if you are too terrified to share with me again a street and slow steps in the rain. And I have no choice but to walk the same streets again, while still keeping my feet and soul under the shadow, where the sun and time cannot exhaust them.