The sun had set, only a few rays remained. Above us, the lighthouse sent its greetings into the distance, and soon we found ourselves the last humans on the rocks, beneath us only the angry sea.
“This is it,” sighed Inga, pulling her fleece jacket tighter. Eva curled deeper into me, and I could feel her shaking, a few tears running down her cheek. I wiped them off, stroked Inga’s hair, then pulled her closer, too. We sat there, counting lighthouse rotations and waves, staring at the stars, the Milky Way barely visible against the light of the harbor behind us.
“I don’t want to go home,” Eva added. “But we have to.” “Our cab leaves at six,” “Do you think we could stay awake until then, I don’t want to lose time with you.” Inga added.
“At the Cruz,” her voice cracked, “do you know what rock I left there?” “No” “It’s small, it was the diamond from my wedding ring. I wanted to really leave it behind.”
“I left a rock from the yard outside Uni,” Eva replied, “I am glad it’s all over, now.”
“When I was in Afghanistan, I must have packed a pebble with my boots,” I replied. “I didn’t think there was such a thing as sleeping without dreaming of that time. I’d almost made peace with the dreams. And now, ever since we split before Ponferrada, I have been dreaming of you two.”
We hugged each other tighter. The nurse leaving her bad marriage behind on the Camino, the student walking towards a new life after school, and the former soldier, running away from his nightmares.
We curled into bed, crying ourselves into fits of laughter when one or the other retold a story from those days behind. We swore each other to stay in contact, and seemed to be unable to let go of another until, a sliver of red appearing on the horizon, reception called for Inga and Eva’s cab.
“I love you, Doc, even if you’re an old grumpy man who blesses boots against blisters,” Eva said. “I love you, too, Mikka,” Inga added. We kissed each other goodbye, now it was my turn to cry uncontrollably, and then the door closed and with it a chapter in my life I would not want to miss for anything.