Goodnight, Evelyn

Goodnight, Evelyn

A Story by
"

This is a little side-story using characters from a novel I'm writing with a friend.

"

Gracia was seven the first time Jase snuck off to see her. She was in the park, with her grandma Laura, wearing a floral print dress. They were Mother’s Day shopping for Jenn, as the holiday was in three days and Jenn had been a bit glum the past week, the anniversary of her husband’s death nearing.


He had stopped by the house first, to peer into the window of Jenn’s bedroom to watch her apply the tiny amount of makeup she had grown accustomed to wearing and pull a brush through her curls, which had lengthened since he had last seen her. There was something in the way she hesitated a moment after setting the brush down, her eyes locked on her reflection as if having some sort of stare down, the way they grew sad after a moment and she rested her forehead against her palms a few moments before getting up to get dressed… it yanked at his heart, and he left her alone, finding her sadness too painful to watch.


It was easy to find Gracia: he was drawn to her, of course, but she stood out: not often did one see such a beautiful child as she. He watched as the little girl and Laura meandered through shops, smelling candles and eyeing clothing, sniffing perfume samples, admiring artwork. Knowing Laura, they would never buy Jenn anything less than über-feminine, but Jenn loved anything and everything her daughter placed in her hands, so it did not matter.

After an hour and a half, they settled on a set of three large candles: amber, lavender, and vanilla. In triumph, Laura bought Gracia an ice cream cone and they sat down to rest on a park bench, just two benches over from an elderly woman characteristically feeding the squirrels.


He had to find a way to distract Laura"she wouldn’t be able to see him, but Gracia talking to herself would certainly be suspicious. He settled for putting her in a moderate trance, facing away from her granddaughter. It was an age-old trick that never stopped being useful.


He pilfered a bouquet of wildflowers from a cart run by a short Italian man, and, in thanks, altered a small crowd of tourists into going to buy flowers from him. He wandered over to the little girl, with her dark curls and blue eyes almost brighter than his own. She was so transfixed with her ice cream cone that she almost neglected to notice Jase kneel before her.


She glanced up when he presented the flowers, eyeing him cautiously, then studiously, until recognition backlit her eyes, making them glow.


“Daddy!”


She threw the ice cream to the ground and dove into him, her tiny arms wrapping around his neck.


“You... you remember me?” he stammered.


“You’re my daddy; of course I do!” she said happily, leaning back to poke him in the nose.

Jase managed to work a wobbly grin onto his face in an attempt to mask his sadness, and, when he failed, pulled her back into the hug.


“Listen, Babylove,” he said quietly, twirling a finger through one of the dark ringlets that framed her face, “I only have a minute or so before I have to go back, but Sweetie… you’re not going to remember this visit.”


Gracia stared into his eyes. “Why not?” she demanded.


“Because I’m not supposed to be here.”


She narrowed her eyes at him. “Did you go talk to Mommy?”


He laughed, casting his eyes downward. “Oh, no, Sweetheart. Oh no.”


“Why not?” she blinked, wide-eyed. “I think Mommy needs to see you even more than I do. It would make her very happy.”


Jase closed his eyes, pressing a kiss to the little girl’s forehead, then met her eyes once more, shaking his head.


“No,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper. “It would make her very sad.”


“She already is sad, Daddy. She’s been sad this whole time.”


“Daddy has too, Sweetheart. Daddy has too.”


He suddenly felt the strange but familiar electric pulse behind his ears: Seraphim were near, and they would not be too pleased if they found him.


“I’ve got to go, Sweetie,” he said, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. “I love you.” He kissed her forehead again, and, when her eyes started to tear up, pressed two fingers to her forehead, erasing his visit. She was again sitting on the bench, a bouquet beside her.


Laura glanced down, spotting the flowers. “Where did those come from?”


Gracia blinked at them, surprised, and grinned. “I don’t know. Let’s give them to Mommy!”


Laura smoothed a hand over her granddaughter’s hair. “I think she’d like that.”


 -


Jase moved smoothly into a slew of trees, biting back the raging emotions boiling under his skin. He closed his eyes, picturing both of the loves of his life’s faces before pressing two fingers to his forehead, erasing everything.

© 2011


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Added on January 19, 2011
Last Updated on January 19, 2011
Tags: angels, father/daughter, family, love, sad, grandparents, mother's day, flowers

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