Reading Ali’s name on the accident report had brought so many memories back to him. Ali Dawn, it could have been a namesake, but Brian somehow knew it wasn’t. That was why he decided to walk the airdriver to the aircar. Of course, One would have been fitter for the purpose, any other person with two working legs would have, but Brian needed to do it himself. He wanted to see Ali with his own eyes.
They hadn’t met in forty years; Brian wasn’t surprised that his old neighbour hadn’t recognised him. Brian himself wouldn’t have if he hadn’t read Ali’s name before meeting him. They weren’t precisely friends; Ali was a few years younger than Brian and, if when they were kids the gap could be enough to preclude a friendship, it wasn’t the only reason. That Ali guy used to drive him crazy.
Brian still remembered that time at the Memorial Recreation Ground. Brian was about fifteen back then and he used to hang around that park a lot with his friends. He hated that his brother Gary had just picked the habit to do the same with his stupid pal Ali.
One day Brian was playing football with his mates when his brother and Ali arrived. Brian kicked the ball in Ali’s direction, but Ali realised and stooped before the ball got him in the face. Stupid kid, thank to him the ball got Gary, who lost consciousness. Their parents punished Brian with a month reclusion even if he kept saying he didn’t do it on purpose. It was true, Brian didn’t mean to hit his brother, but Gary gave them his version and obviously they decided to listen to him. Gary was always right and sincere, Brian a liar and an arsehole. But that was an old story; Brian was no longer a kid, and his brother was dead.