After a whole afternoon rebelling in the streets of the most central part of the city, Ganges and Alaknanda sat on the edge of the Great Fountain of Wishes, looking at the infinite beyond it, almost panting because of the exhaustion. That way they could get those water droplets that would refresh them for at least a few minutes, and actually, after a long time of quietness, that would clear them from the drowsiness of the strong July sun. If someone had asked them at that moment, they would have said that it was 457 degrees due to the humid day.
Knan then decided to open a conversation he had had in his head for a long time, for years.
– I don’t want to grow up, Ganges.
– you are 11 years old, for god’s sake. You’re very, very young to think about such things.
– But grown ups are horrible! Look, look at that one. Walking straight and stretched, looking down, but not to the ground, beyond the ground, staring at nothing! He comes back from a job he doesn’t like, going to a house which he settled for in the past, and giving a kiss to his wife to say hello. Not because he wants to, but because otherwise it would be weird.
– Well, there are many types of older people, Knan. Dad is not like that.
– Are you sure? Are you sure you want to have a job just so you can live your life, and then they give you some vacation days per year, making you think that “you’ve earned it”? Are there other types of adults than these? Do you want to “have” – he said, emphasizing the word – to create a family and go to formal events, such as weddings or funerals of people you do not care much about, just because otherwise it would be weird? Will you wear clothes, because otherwise it would be weird? You need to be social, friendly and responsible with your colleagues, because otherwise it be weird? Not smile too much, because otherwise it would be weird?
There was no answer. Ganges picked up a pebble next to him and threw it to the biggest of the fountain’s jets, the one making a curtain. Like when a kid, jokingly, places his finger in front of the mouth of a hose to drench his friends. A rainbow was produced for milliseconds after creating a hole, just at the moment the pebble went through the water wall, breaking the drops into tiny particles that refracted the light into colours.
And then he remembered.
– Well… this is the most important fountain of all Delidia, and it grants wishes, you know?
– Of course! Fountains generally make wishes come true when you throw coins at them, but this one is special. It works only with children, beings with pure heart.
– We are children, Gan! – Alaknanda got excited thinking about what he would wish in a moment.
– Yes. Just think with lot of decision what you want. If you are pure enough, you will be fulfilled.
Now Ganges was smiling. On one hand, he knew that there are no magic fountains; but on the other, he almost had to hold back tears of emotion when seeing his brother so restless and vibrant.
– I’ll say it!
– Do it, Knan.
– We never want to be adults, never!
And they both turned into stone.