Hugo was my main travel mate this spring break, but we met up with different people at different points of our adventure. It happened to work out that we were in Rome the same time as Damien, Emily and Caroline - an australian, a Canadian, and a Tennesee-er who study with us in Denmark.
We had planned to meet up with the three of them at the steps after a few hours of doing our own thing. So, Hugo and I climbed to the top and found a ledge to wait.
It was a breezy evening. I had left my sweater in my backpack, but the sun was giving off the vibe of an early summer night. The shape of the stairs was perfect. People were simply happy. And roses drew some romance like you find in ripped paperbacks.
The sky was a de-saturated blue turning into a yellow haze, and there was an energetic calmess to the atmosphere. We weren't in Rome. We were on a movie set. We must have been. It was too unreal to be an actual city where people live.
"Can you take our picture?" I asked the person I was sitting beside.
Of course, this lead to conversation.
The photographer's name was Sebastian, his friend, Paolo. They were from Brazil, and they had hopped around Italy just like we had before coming to Rome.
We sat there talking into the sunset when Damien appeared below us.
Before I could say anything to him, Paolo turned to me:
"Do you KNOW that guy???"
"So do WE!!!"
It turns out that Sebastian and Paolo had met Emily, Caroline and Damien a few days prior in another Italian city.
The world is huge. The world is small.
Had Hugo and I not picked that part of the wall as our meeting place, if we had stayed at the bottom of the stairs, if we hadn't waited 2.5 hours in the afternoon to get into the Vatican Museum, or if it had been raining, this uncanny reunion would never have happened.
We got another person to snap a picture and we just laughed in disbelief as the sun went to sleep behind Roman roofs.
But the seven of us, along with Hugo's friend Karolina who just arrived in the city, stayed awake.
We had drinks on the steps.