Under the Big Oak Tree

Choose a moment in your life and rewind time.

“There it is!” exclaims Francesco, stopping in his tracks. Just behind him, Pietro stops and turns, following his gaze. At the northern tip of the park, an old wooden and cast-iron bench rests in the shade of the big oak tree.

“Are you ready?” asks Francesco, indulging in a bright smile that brings out every wrinkle on his face.

Pietro hangs the cane on his left forearm, takes off his glasses, pulls out a handkerchief from his trouser pocket, and cleans his lenses. “It looks like an ordinary bench to me,” he says, putting his handkerchief and glasses back in place. “An ordinary bench and also rather shabby,” he continues, arranging the grey fedora on his white hair with his right hand. “It’s semi-destroyed. There is only room left for one person to sit. It looks uncomfortable too.”

“You have to trust me,” replies Francesco. “You’re the first one I’ve talked to about it. I discovered it by chance, months ago. And I was afraid that maybe if I told others, the magic would fade away. But for you, my friend, I want to take the risk.” Francesco lowers his gaze to the ground, then raises it back towards Pietro. “Nothing lasts forever.”

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