Miles ahead from the frozen land, Alexandr witnesses movement: an endless ocean flowing relentlessly towards the sun. “Where does it go?” Where does it end?,” he whispers ashore.
Flags in the air. Ships in the docks. The city is a living museum where history is carved in the walls, yearning the glory of old days. Shells, anchors, and boats fade with the setting sun. At the Central Square, darkness covers the face of the copper statue once built to challenge the brave to defend the Motherland. Years of battle went by before the white winter decided to rule, imposing punishment indefinitely. “Thou shall not move,” it confined boats in frozen water, preventing men —and dreams, to sail away.
Not from bravery but from the desperation confined souls suffer from, few men dare to escape sailing away into the world’s end. Ashore, it is known that for each sunset a beloved one vanishes from the stream of life. From the ocean’s side, sunrise reminds sailors of the defenseless love left behind.
Standing under the centennial statue, Alexandr loses sight of the horizon. In the dark water, ship lights blend with the stars. “Is there anybody out there?,” the question his mother refused to answer when he was five still roams in his mind.
After a short walk, Alexandr arrives to his house. It is the same house he has lived his entire life. Inside, he takes off his coat. With shaky hands, he lights a candle. Home is nothing but humid walls and broken fixtures. A wooden table. A broken stove. Old furniture in rags. He looks around wondering if it is time for him to pursue change. He thinks of the flowing ocean. He thinks of the vanishing sun. He tries to imagine new places he could call home, none to be found.
He approaches the small altar his mother installed by the window. The last reminder of her wishes for life and love. What life? What love? All Alexandr knows is journeys with no returns. The father sailing away. The mother dying before her time. There are no reasons to remain in that frozen land.
He sees the icon his mother used to pray to, now covered with dust and mold. What is life but fragmented memory? Pieces of mind for others to recollect? With all these feelings in his heart exploding like hand grenades, he burns down the altar. No more pain to remember. No more time to waste. He finally smiles.
Outside, the night begins to fade. The copper statue’s left index finger points at the unknown horizon. A new day is born. Shells, anchors, and flags glimmer under the soft golden sunbeams. The ice melts slowly. Drop after drop, the water returns to the currents of an moving ocean, dissolving the story of a man ready to sail away.