The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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My uncle was a stowaway on a ship to American in the 80s. He told me his journey to get to the USA and there are many parts he does not wan disclosed. It changed his whole life.

“The journey will be long. You will be lonely. You will be hungry. Do you really want to do this?”
His mother’s question echoed in Adrian’s mind as he reached the French border. He was hungry. He was so hungry that he couldn’t think, and he needed to cross the border undetected. He desperately needed to think at this very moment. From behind the bush he hid, he smelled the lunch of a guard, and his mouth salivated. The hunger was overwhelming. He had gotten to the point where he was debating eating the rat that crouched next to him. Focus! The border didn’t look like much, and the guards looked bored. It was a line on the ground, with six guards standing on it, waiting to go home most likely. He didn’t think he would have much of a problem getting across. All he needed to do was take the opportunity of a second of great distraction. He patiently perched in the bush he had been hiding it, waiting for one of the bored guard to go to the restroom, all the while imagining a nice juicy steak in front of him.
The moment came when there was a break in the formation of six, and Adrian darted across the open space he was presented and into France. He did not dare glance back at the guards. Fifty feet in front of him, people were moving around. Fifty feet was all it took to blend into the crowd and rid him of any suspicion should any of the guards see him. Each step felt like an eternity. He sped up his pace. He was almost there.
As he walked, he felt an eerie presence behind him. He knew he was being followed and he knew it was one of the guards. Perhaps it was his hunger, or the adrenaline rush he felt running through him, but he was not phased by the shadow follow him. He was so close to getting some food. There was his motivation towards rational thinking.
Adrian kept walking, and slowly started seeing citizens of France around him. The suspicious guard was still walking behind him, edging closer and would probably grab him any second. Adrian’s nerves were starting to grow. He almost felt the ghost of the guards hand grabbing him abruptly by the shoulder.
Grabbing. By the shoulder.
He knew what he had to do. He grabbed the shoulder of the first person he saw and whispered in their year to relax. The person, terrified, obliged to Adrian’s harsh arm. The guard, upon seeing that Adrian seemed to know somebody, reasoned that he could not be a random illegal immigrant and belonged in France. He turned around.
Adrian apologized to the man he had just forced into walking with him and let him go.
Step one of my Journey to America complete.

The Journey

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