“We never know how to say good-bye to each other, you and me,” he said.

They finished their walk in silence and when they reached Fabio’s ward again he murmured okay, long and drawn out, as if speaking to himself.

Neither of them moved. They exchanged a quick glance and immediately lowered their eyes. Fabio started to laugh.

“We never know how to say good-bye to each other, you and me,” he said.

“Yeah.” Alice smiled at him. She brought a hand to her hair, hooked a lock with her index finger, and tugged on it slightly.

Fabio took a resolute step toward her and the gravel of the path crunched beneath his foot. He kissed her on her left cheek, with affectionate arrogance, and then stepped back.

“Well, at least think about it,” he said.

He smiled broadly, with his whole mouth, eyes and cheeks. Then he turned around and walked confidently toward the entrance.

(From ‘The Solitude of Prime Numbers’ by Paolo Giordano)

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~ by irwin on September 2, 2011.

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