the empty set

The widest smile


It was last Wednesday, around six thirty in the afternoon. Mathias had left for his camp early Monday morning, and was scheduled to call in early evening.

Emma had been sleeping in his bed and wearing his swimming trunks at the pool erlier in the week. The phone rang. She took the receiver and displayed the widest smile I have ever been given to see.

It was not just her mouth and her lips smiling, but her eyes, her face, her body and her soul. She was glowing with happiness. During that short time, that little girl gave the world a gallon of love.

Time stopped. I closed my eyes, burning this image deep into my memory cells, to feed off it at a later, more lonelier stage.

Beyond the words, the sheer energy that radiated over those few seconds made the world a better place. My world at the least.

The irony was that when I was held the receiver, I only had time to hear Mathias' voice before the dialing tone kicked in. Mathias was calling from a public phone booth, and like most late 20th century children, has little or no experience in using coins to place a call, and hence extend it if required. Unfortunately, I couldn't return the call, as I didn't have access the caller id. The state of my home telecom is currently a mess.

I was dumbstruck with disbelief, but happy nevertheless. What went through between Emma and Mathias made up for all the rest. Sometimes quantity is irrelevant, in the light of the quality of what goes through.

Struck by the widest smile, my emotions travelled at the speed of light.

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Hello, my name is David Roessli. I am a freelance web designer and developer based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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