Following the music, he crossed the gardens to find the main restaurant of the hotel. From outside, it was like any other old house in the neighbourhood. Inside, however, it was a different world.
The tables spread throughout a large garden, hidden by the side of hibiscus bushes crowded with flowers. The sweet smell of the plants was overwhelming. A large stone sculpture of a woman and a child stood massively in the middle like welcoming hosts. The tables, lit by single candles, added a dark yellow tint to the ambiance that made one feel miles away from everything and everybody. A few metres away, in the centre of the garden, an old man sat in a small stage play an electric guitar. The sound added a relaxing rhythm to the evening, making the soul move. A bottle of red wine was all that was needed to make the moment just right.
Soon the evening became one of the darkest nights he had seen in a long time, and the stars began dancing in the sky, million of them. He always remembered this unusual sight from his childhood. It was one of the marvels lost in the big cities. At night, everything changed under the blue light of the stars. When the evening departed, soon the Milky Way opened a path for the night to take over.
Curiously, the night, the music and the wine made Antonio realize the value of what he had just left behind the day before. After so many dreams of returning, the reality was that he had changed and grown deep roots in a new land. In a way, this realization had begun the moment he left the cold of winter to visit a land that he had once called home, but it was no longer.
For a while, he thought that the absence from the place of many dreams had been far too long for his spirit to keep memories alive. Soon after arriving, however, he realized that, although on the surface little had changed, nothing was recognizable any longer, not even the street jargon. In an instant, he had stepped again into the unknown. This time, however, it was with a bittersweet feeling of going back to the familiar in the cold. Home was no longer here, and it had not been for many years.