He looked at her neck. The blond short curls were wet, and a small tear of sweat found its way down her back. She sighed, and turned around in the bed. Now he could see her pale face. The skin was white as snow, and her veins shone trough. She had the softest skin he had ever felt, and she smelled like a newborn baby. He remembered the first time he met her.
She sat in a corner in the library with a book in her hands, and looked very concentrated. Sometimes a weak smile appeared on her mouth, and her eyes were shining. He took a random book out of the nearest shelf, and pretended to be reading. He looked at her over his book. She suddenly had a small tear on her cheek.
He didn’t know how long he stood beside the shelf like that, but he just couldn’t take his eyes from her.
- Are you pregnant? She had a twinkle in her eye, but looked deadly serious.
- What? He didn’t understand the question, and couldn’t focus on anything else then her eyes.
They were shiny, and had a colour he had never seen. Green and blue at the same time, but innermost they were brown. Her pupils were big because of the bad light in the library.
She pointed at the book he was holding, and he turned red. “The guide to a good pregnancy”. Of all the books in the library, that was the one he had to pick. That’s what you call bad luck.
- It wasn’t very good planning. He smiled nervously.
- To have a baby you mean? She laughed at him.
- Yeah, my wife wasn’t quite ready for another baby. She has just recovered from giving birth to the twins.
He didn’t know anything else to do then play along. She seamed surprised over the answer, and started laughing again.
- So what’s your name, family guy?
- Adrian. But I can’t give you my last name. If you turn out to be a psycho or anything, I really don’t want you to find me. So what’s yours?
- Ok, fair enough. Mine is Evelyn. And a psycho never tells its last name.
Adrian sat down beside her, and took the book out of her hands.
- “For the first time in my life”. And what kind of book is that, Evelyn?
- It’s a very good one. It makes me laugh and cry at the same time. Do you want to hear the first chapter? It’s not very long. She smiled.
- I can let you read it to me, if you will go with me to the café afterwards. Adrian didn’t know how he came up with that, but it seemed like the most natural thing to ask.
- That’s fine with me. Here it goes. “For the first time in my life, I’m dying. My eyes are dry. Not a single tear has found its way out. I’m numb.”
She continued reading. Her voice was soft, and she read it like the story was about her self. He thought about how it would be like to kiss those lips. If he ever would get the chance. She looked at him.
- I’ve read that book five times before, but I cry just as much every time.
- Damn! Do you read every book that many times?
- No, that book is something special. But often I read them at least two times.
- Well, reading makes you smart. I don’t know how many times my mother has told me that. So coffee then? Adrian tried to sound like he wasn’t nervous.
- Sure. I don’t have anything better to do. She sent him a teasing smile.
They went down the sidewalk to the café. The snow was wet, and Adrian’s shoes got cold and uncomfortable. He didn’t notice. She looked like she did this every day. Going to the café with a guy she had just met. The café was nearly empty, and they sat down at a table in the corner.
They talked about everything, and neither of the two had ever met someone so alike themselves. He forgot the time; it didn’t matter. They sat there for two hours, just talking. Adrian had ordered a cup of cocoa, but had forgot to drink anything. When Evelyn said she had to go, he asked her if they could meet again. She gave him her phone number, without a word. He watched her walk out the café, and hoped she would turn around before she got out of sight.
The phone was red. And it just stood there, mocking Adrian. His guts were gone, he was sure he would make a fool of himself if he called. How could he hear her voice without starting to stammer?
Five minutes later he sat with the phone in his hand, and felt like the luckiest boy on earth. She had sounded happy when called, and they had agreed on meeting each other in the park later that evening.
For the next few weeks, they met every day. The best days of Adrian’s life. Evelyn had a sense of humour he loved. He could say something stupid, and she would never mock him for it. Just tease him a little, in a nice way. There was nothing mean or bad about her. She also seamed to really like him to. That was one the most wonderful things of all. Evelyn could look at him in a way… Adrian couldn’t describe it. Her eyes shone of happiness, and her smile made his stomach feel like a roller coaster.
The first kiss happened a cold night in December, just two weeks after they had met in the library. They had met earlier that day, but Evelyn had to go after just an hour. Later that evening, she had sent him a short text message. It stood he could meet her outside her house after it got dark. She stood there waiting for him, under the big tree. She had something in her hand, and a big smile on her face. She passed him a CD, and explained it was one she had burned. All the songs that reminded her of him. She had written something on the cover:
“I'm sittin' here all by myself
just tryin' to think of something to do
Tryin' to think of something, anything
just to keep me from thinking of you
But you know it's not working out
'cause you're all that's on my mind
One thought of you is all it takes
to leave the rest of the world behind.”
It started raining, and she looked up at the sky and laughed. He loved that rippling laughter. He felt a raindrop on his cheek, and he kissed her. She looked a little astonished. She smiled and started walking back to her house. He called after her, and asked if it really was that bad. Evelyn turned around and laughed again. She ran back to him, looked him in his eyes, and kissed him. – It wasn’t bad at all, she said.
The tears pour down his cheeks, and he couldn’t see clear. It was so unfair. A small frame was hanging over her bed, with a small piece of paper in it.
“For the first time in my life, I’m dying. My eyes are dry. Not a single tear has found its way out. I’m numb. I look at you. Your eyes are longing for me, but I can’t send you a smile. I’m numb. Too numb to cry. Too numb to smile.”
He took the piece of paper out, and drew a butterfly on it. Evelyn loved butterflies. He looked at her, lying in the bed. He kissed her pale lips. She opened her eyes, and looked at him. Her eyes weren’t shining. A small tear found its way down Adrian’s cheek, and landed on her mouth.