He was handsome as he smiled at me. His laughter was high-pitched and gleeful. It echoed on the walls of our tiny compartment. Fun sparkled in his eyes. He was staring at me expectantly, his hand stretched far in front of him holding a slice of ham torn off his own sandwich, an offering. He was 3.

I was on the train towards Firenze and with me were travelling a young mother and her son. Toys were scattered all over, as much as the mom had tried to keep them all in one place. She thrust her hair in a quick ponytail, eyeing the boy with half a smile and distracted eyes.

He was staring at me expectantly, his hand stretched far in front of him holding a slice of ham torn off his own sandwich, an offering. He was 3.

A few blocks lay sadly on the seat next to me, forgotten. I took the red one and placed it on top of the blue one. As a way to help the young woman put the toys in one place and to get rid of my own boredom, I stacked up the blocks transforming them into a towering rainbow of colors. If I’m to deal with a kid for 5 hours, he better share the toys.

The tower was a success. The boy looked at me curiously until my high tower was too much fun to bare. He stacked the blocks higher and higher with me, eventually perching on my shoulders for the higher ones. As our bond formed, he was handed a ham sandwich. He shared slices of ham between chubby fingers and drool moved down his small chin. Eyes full of laughs, he giggled happily as I pretended to chew on the ham. Saved by a napkin, I was handed a cookie instead which I did devour. The mother and I exchanged a few words through Italian and Spanish, the two languages allowing some sort of communication, but mostly we were silent.

The tower collapsed. The boy finally fell asleep and I sat back and watched the green scenery of Tuscany race by.

             

The Writer

I write stuff for fun, if it was for a living I would be homeless.

Find out more about me, Stefanie, here.

Quotes

Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go. Truman Capote