The First Sunrise

Lili Forgács

“Are you ready to climb it?” asked Thomas, curious whether his friend had changed his mind about their plan.

“Yes, I am. I couldn’t be readier than I am now,” answered George in a low tone.

The two of them were standing in front of a huge, approximately five-meter-high, graffiti-decorated wall that surrounded Seattle, the settlement where they lived. The wall had been standing there ever since the boys could remember. Its existence was never questioned; it protected them from their enemies every time they were attacked. Although they hadn’t fought with anybody for more than twenty-five years, one could never be sure what the future might hold, so the wall remained.

Thomas and George had been best friends their whole lives long and had a lot in common. For instance, both of them had always been curious about what was outside the town. They asked a lot of people, but nobody knew the answer. Only merchants could leave Seattle, but they were too busy to talk about the unknown. Their parents had also tried to convince them that there was nothing interesting that was worth knowing about, but the boys couldn’t stop wondering.

One day they were playing ball games together in Thomas’s back yard.

“Hey, George,” Thomas started. “Have you ever seen a sunrise? It is said to be the most beautiful thing in the world.”

“Honestly? I’ve never,” George answered while catching the ball. “Why?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Thomas, don’t do this, please! I know you well enough to know when you have something on your mind. So tell me, what is it?”

“How about if I say that tomorrow we will watch the sunrise together?”

“Then I will response with a question: what if it is illegal to climb up the wall?”

“We will climb up the wall,” Thomas answered in such a way that George couldn’t say no.

The two friends met at five o’clock in a small and dark street that ended at the wall. They had one hour and thirteen minutes to climb up. They thought it would be easier than it was. The wall was unexpectedly slippery, and it was hard to find the perfect cracks that could help them hold on, but finally, with the help of ice axes, they reached the top just in time.

“It’s absolutely breathtaking,” George sighed.

“I told you.”

The boys just stood there for a few minutes and enjoyed the light of the first rays of the Sun.

“Do you think the police will catch us?” Thomas asked.

“Surely, but it’s worth it.”

They waited until the Sun appeared wholly, then left the place silently.