The courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear. The courage means to realize when you are afraid, to get over any obstacle and move on. I had met the courage when I had met Eva. I felt free after I had done the thing that I was so afraid of doing. I had never been prepared for the biggest act of courage of my life, but I had to do it anyway, without knowing how it was going to end. I had learned that I couldn’t let the fear to decide my future.
We were driving to nowhere, without knowing what future had planned for us. We felt finally free. The Transporter was our home. We were the family.
We had a break of a couple of days on a field. We had found a shop with drinks and food, and we were staying on the grass. Exactly what we needed to enjoy ourselves.
”I admire your courage” says Kate after some drinks.
“Be careful what you say!” Julia notices her. ”You don’t want to regret it in the morning.”
”I admire her, she continues. To wake up every morning and start all over again, to face the same demons, the same troubles, to not let yourself damaged by all of these, but more, to manage to change the people around you in better people, to make them love you, even those who hated you, all of these, my dear Julia, means to have courage.”
I smiled. Kate had changed. She was a better person, but more, I started seeing her as a part of the family. She considered me the main reason for that change.
”Jo, I admit. I hated you when I first heard about you. But when I saw you, something changed. I don’t know why you have this impact on people, but they just can’t say that they don’t love you.”
”Look over there!” I laughed and pointed at Aaron.
”My brother may be a cold person, but he has a good soul” Julia defends him.
”I know, Julia. I think that under that mask of a bad boy is some gentleness.”
”I can’t imagine Aaron romantic or gentle” laughs Kate.
”I haven’t seen him like that, but I want to!” says Julia.
I was looking at them, and I was feeling good after a very long time. I was laughing. I was living.
”I realized something tonight” I said.
”What?” they ask at the same time.
”The most beautiful things in life are not things. They are people. People who make you laugh, live and feel. These people are you.”
I had finally said it. It was about time. I was thinking it for too long. They stopped laughing and hugged me.
”I don’t want to ruin your moment” grumbles Aaron. ”People are trying to sleep around here, and you’re making too much noise!”
”You’ve already ruined it!” says Kate rising her eyebrow.
”Do you want to join us?” I ask smiling.
”It’s clear. You’ve had too much to drink. You can’t stand me, remember?” says Aaron laughing.
He showed again that beautiful smile, white like in the advertising, which made him another person. He put the blanket on his head before I could say anything. “Maybe I can try to get along with him,” I thought. “But tomorrow,” I continued. I was too tired.
In the morning, I woke up with an awful headache. Julia felt the same. I could tell by sounds she made. Kate was all right. She was probably used to drink a lot more than us.
”You got along very well with Kate last night” says Andy.
”Good morning to you too!” I said ironically.
“Morning” he smiles.
“Of course! She’s my sister, after all!” I say with a smile in the corner of my mouth.
“So, you are over everything?”
“Andy, what she did was not because she wanted to, and you know that. Maybe it’s time for you to accept that too.”
“I have considered it…”
“Kate from now is the Kate I had known before she met Helen.”
“This is a good thing” I say.
“After I saw you two getting along… it’s like I’m looking at the old Kate, the first time I met her…”
I smiled, and I went to drink some water. Kate deserved a chance just like the rest of us. I saw the way she was looking at Andy. I knew she loved him. She was still in love with him. I was feeling strange because I was in the middle of it, but I was going to talk to her about it.
“You’re awake” says Aaron walking by me.
“Yeah” I respond ironically.
“Oh, and I thought that we buried the hatchet last night, he laughs. I got scared for a second.”
“I had a thought last night, but I’m thinking different now” I said with a fake smile.
That man had something that was sending me up the wall. Maybe it was the way he was talking, walking or chaffing. Maybe it was the way he told the truth. He was too direct. A lot of people are disturbed by someone that keep saying what is on his mind because it can be painful. Maybe he wasn’t bad, just sincere.
“I think we owe you some acknowledgment” I say.
“For what?” asks Aaron uncertain.
“For you risked a lot taking the gun from that manananggal’s hand. That was the decisive moment, the one that saved us all.”
“I saw an opportunity, and I took it. It’s a good thing that no one died.”
“You know how to fight” I said.
“I had to learn. When you grow up without parents, you are vulnerable, exposed. You have to adapt and to learn by yourself what is good.”
“Wow, you spoke almost like a mature man. Where are all the critics?” I asked surprised.
“They depend on my mood” he said while he put his hand through his hair.
I started laughing. I couldn’t believe that Aaron was the one who made me laugh. I took an apple, and I left chewing. Julia appeared. She heard some of our conversation.
“I see you’re getting along” she says.
“I don’t know what’s with him today. He’s in a good mood, and he’s joking. Some of the jokes are nice. And he smiles a lot. It’s weird.”
“I noticed that too. I haven’t seen him feel this good for a long time.”
Things started changing slowly, and we were getting close to each other every day. Crista and Stefan were euphoric. They were so in love, and they brought life in our group with their love. Kate and Andy started talking more, but I could see in Kate’s eyes that she wanted something more, even if she wasn’t doing anything about that. Deby attached to Julia, and she was trying to make her not to feel weird around us. Only Aaron was left without friends or without a person who he could trust in our group. He preferred to stay in his corner and not get involved with anyone.