Amongst the documents flew out a scrap of paper, light as an autumn leaf. School ID No. 184/89, released in September 1989. I touch carefully its rough surface. It’s been a long time since somebody had crumpled it in his pocket. Unsightly folds took the form of smooth scratches. Blue stamp put once sweepingly, now faded. Two rusty staples pierce the black-and-white photo that depicts ten-year-old boy who looks familiar to me.
This is the only childhood picture of my husband I have. Many boys in my primary school were wearing the same checkered sweater. They were rushing along the corridor, so busy with themselves that they did not notice us, girls. School bells were ringing, breaks were passing by, and day by day, boys were becoming men.
The boy in the picture grew up so much that he can give me a sense of security today. I’d like to stroke his small arm, which I can lean on now. In the bright eyes of a boy there’s the same seriousness I see today when he makes me a promise. He has never let me down.
The gentle children’s glance touches me. With the same calmness, as a grown man, my husband fought off the severe disease, as a result of which we still cannot have children. Suddenly I realized that our son could resemble the boy in the picture. Until now I never imagined how would my son look like, because I was afraid that I’ll too much wish to be a mother. But today, when I touch a cracked old photo it seems to me that everything is possible.
The text was originally written in Polish and translated by the author.
Author: Emilia Becker
Polish fiction author and The Good Fairy who writes uplifting stories