I was in Austria, on a week school holiday, and I was staying with a local family to improve my German. They were very nice and they gave me a small room in the attic all by myself.
The second afternoon of my staying, while I was reading myself to go out and meet my schoolmates, I heard the guitar play. It was coming from outside the door, where there was a small hall furnished with only an old couch. I took my jacket and opened the door, ready to leave, and he was there, comfortably sitting across the couch and playing “With or without you” by U2. He was older than me, dark haired and deep black eyes. I blushed because he was looking at me, I quickly nodded and rushed away.
I had hoped to see him again since that day, perhaps to apologize for my weird behavior, or just because I couldn’t shake his eyes and crooked smile from my mind. But then the last night came, and there was no trace of the boy. After a night spent with my friends, I returned home and lingered at the kitchen table with my hosts. They were drinking beer, of course, and I was drinking myself silly while waiting for him to arrive as well. But he didn’t and at 2 am I felt so tipsy that I had to go to bed.
I went to my bedroom that I had learnt was originally his. It was dimly lit by a little blue lamp in the corner. I threw myself on the bed and stared at the wooden-beamed ceiling. On the bedside table there was his guitar-chords book of U2’s songs.
I never saw the boy again, but I know that every time I hear the U2 song “With or without you” it will remind me of him.