The hare stared at them motionless. No one dared interrupt that challenge of looks almost as moving meant breaking a perfect balance achieved for a chance of destiny. Never stand against fate. It is not a question of superstition, but of awareness. It’s like feeling poised on a thin rope suspended between the past and tomorrow. Tomorrow could be a catastrophe, the past moment is sadly known in its insignificance, but that suspension, that suspension is so charged with meaning that it becomes the only attestation of existence. I am in the balance, therefore I am.
The certainty of this axiom becomes more founded, if by empathy you understand that you are not the only one to live it. So they both felt. There was no need for words or looks.
They felt, perceived the same sensations and the same emotions and reflections took place in their head. That was for sure, otherwise they would not have felt this way: emptied of action, filled by existence.
They and the hare: four small eyes full of wonder, two big eyes of mystery.
The hare stared at them motionless. It was not clear where it came from. It was not clear why they were there. Vague reminiscences from the world of Alice passed through their heads. In both of their heads, they knew it. But Alice was a child. They were dreamers convinced of realism. This was the point that blocked them. In their research based on the principles of materialism and science, the possibility of that door in the eyes of the hare had not been foreseen. And just like robots in the impasse of two conflicting orders they didn’t know how to move forward. The hare did not give up. It remained there with an open invitation, waiting patiently for them to process the new dimension as something possibly ordinary. It had voluntarily caught them in pairs.
The individual can get caught up in the mystical experience, he can believe in the dream, he can think about the crazy drift of the mind. Not in two, no, sooner or later there is a clear-headed confrontation and the mere awareness of this gives the vivid perception of the now.
The more they stared at the hare, the more they became convinced that they had nothing to lose.
The two girls began to get excited. Their boyfriends had not returned for lunch and did not answer the phones. They waited another hour and then decided to go to the camp, where they found all the equipment in their place, as if waiting for the legitimate owners to resume their use. The arches were resting on the ground, with the arrows nearby, some arrows were inserted in the targets, placed about twenty meters away, the others still in the pockets on the ground. They counted them, they knew they carried a dozen each and there was not even one missing. They also found the bags with documents and house and car keys. It almost looked like they had been distracted by something or called by someone while they were training.
The girls then looked around, saw the grass trampled to form a path to the left of the targets. Fearful, they tried to follow the path, but at a certain point the grass returned untouched and the path stopped.
In a sort of panic, they looked around and, exchanged a concordant look, quickly returned to the car.
The rescuers had scoured the whole area, but no trace of the two boys. They were like dissolved. The guard greeted the young woman on the doorstep with a clumsy attempt to reassure her. She closed the door and embraced her friend. A sense of anguish pervaded both.
It was dark and they had already examined every possibility. Greedy readers, they had also turned to literature: no, it could not be like the protagonist of Faulkner’s book, who goes out to buy cigarettes and never returns home. It could not be a premeditated escape of their boyfriends, there was no reason at all.
The night came, but they could not sleep. Sitting close together, looking down, holding hands not so much for courage, as for not feeling the weight of the emptiness they felt inside.
The feeling of loss opens a gap that takes away the meaning of existence. The certainty of this axiom becomes more founded, if by empathy you understand that you are not the only one to live it.
So they both felt. There was no need for words or looks. They felt, perceived the same sensations and the same emotions and reflections took place in the head. They were certain of it, otherwise they would not have felt this way: emptied of existence, quivering with inaction.
Morning came and they fell asleep embraced. Sleep takes away even the little that remains when the void spreads, the contact reassures of not losing at least themselves. In two you have the idea that something can be filled.
Around eleven they rang the bell.
The sound caught them in a deep sleep, but they both stand up instantly. The guys were there, with nothing with them. On the other hand their belongings had been collected the day before by the guards.
They seemed to be fine, albeit with a dazed look.
A relief mixed with anger caught the two women who threw their arms around their lovers’ necks. From the babbled words of the two young men and their embarrassment they understood that it was not the time for explanations. Thoughtful, they accompanied them inside. The hostess offered towels and refreshments for both. They could take a shower and finally get to the table for the lunch they had agreed the day before.
A couple of hours passed. The girls had set the table and heated the food. The two companions had cleared up, rinsing their faces several times with cold water to eliminate that dazed expression that they saw each other on the face. Finally they sat down at the table. The forks were raised to begin to serve.
– We cooked together yesterday, we prepared the rabbit – the landlady said happily, while her friend nodded with a smile.
One stopped with his arm in mid-air. The other boy looked down, pushed back his chair and hurried to the bathroom.