I pick at my cotton sheets, while laying on my bed. It’s been two hours since I woke up, an hour and forty mintues since the detectives left and perhaps ninety minutes since the word got out that someone has stolen Alexandra’s corpse.
My phone is vibrating with messages from people in the class, most of which I won’t answer. Although…. I look at one in particular.
“Can I come over“, it asks, from a sender who is simply marked as ‘Stanislaw’ in my phone. I hesitate. Usually when I look for advice, I ask Elena. Although, we are in relationship now, aren’t we? And people confide in each other when they’re in relationships. I type a “yes“, to Nevena.
/There is a girl coming over, and your abode is atrocious. Really Rune./ Huh?/ Your room./ I glance around. Clothes are strewn across the floor. There is a bag of sweaty clothes from my little workouts, clothes I intend to wash (I am not that disgusting, I promise). I don’t think I have vacuumed the room in a week. Or maybe two (okay, three, but I have alot on my plate right now, don’t you agree?). There is the scent of adolescent male to consider too.
Shit. I vault out of the bed and drag each piece of clothing into the washing bin; I pull out the vacuum cleaner and start to vacuum the room quickly. How long will it take Nevena to get here? Twenty minutes on a bicycle, but she has that damn bike, I calculate. Agh, she could be here in ten minutes if she is not in a hurry, and maybe five if she is.
I open the window, letting stale air out, fresh air in. I have built up a sweat, so I run into the shower and fix that. As I return to my room, I hear a putter of a bike, and my phone vibrates. “Should I knock upstairs?”
“No, walk around the side, and knock on a window“, I send. I got maybe twenty seconds; what do I wear? I manage to grab a pair of jeans and a sweater before she knocks. I pull up the blinders and open the window.
I stare into a couple of yellow eyes, eyes that looks at me in a worried manner. “Hey”, she says. ” Hey there” I respond. We stand there, she on the outside, and me on the inside for a while. “Come in”, I say and gesture to the room. “Inviting me to your room, Fallowfell? Awfully bold there” she quips and enters my room through the space between the glass and the sill of the window.
Today she is wearing those leggings that seem to be the fashion ,and her ordinary leather jacket.” I think that you’re an awfully bold woman.” Why did I say woman?! “Girl”, I mean. She surveys the room with an appraising look, before stopping those eyes on me, one eye-brow raised. “You’re going to have to decide, girl or woman, what’s it going to be?”
Oh no, I am not falling for this. “I think”, I begin slowly,” that silence is the better part of valor”, I add with a flourish. “Touche. Now… how are you holding up?”
The conversation had numbed me, distracted me from what I was feeling, but it all comes crashing back. Without meaning to, I pull six helixes from Verde. /Careful..../ I know! I diminish the power, and answer her. “I am not holding up. I am so…. angry. If this”, I hold up my hands as if to seize something, or someone,” if this was just an ordinary graverobbery, then I might have been fine. That body, no those random pieces of bone and flesh they aren’t Alexandra. She’s passed into another place.”
I continue my rant. “But this necromancer, he could revive her. In his hands, the remains aren’t just remains. And what would he do with her? The things I can imagine….”
Images cascade through my head. Alexandra crying. Alexandra being tortured. Alexandra being abused. I cover my eyes with my hands and start to cry. “I am sorry”, I sob. I said that I would act with control, but look at me now, huh? Nevena closes the distance and hugs me.I stiffen momentarly, like a plank, but as the seconds turns into minutes, I relax. “You don’t have to be sorry for having emotions”, she whispers in my ear.
Normally I wouldn’t be okay with a stranger, or close enough to it, touching me, but it feels like I have built up a tolerance with Nevena. We stand there, in my room, embracing. “There, there now”, she says. I pull back and wipe my eyes with a hand.
“I”, I start. “I have to be looking really suave by now, right?”, I finish. Nevena shrugs. “You’d be surprised by the number of morons I have dated that thought bottling up their emotions was manly”, is her answer.
Above them, Hermann sits and smiles. Of course he knows that Nevena has arrived. He heard her bike, and his sonar told him before she was even on the street. He’ll let her stay in Rune’s room for… he looks at a clock… ten, no fifteen more minutes… before he enters and starts to embarass Rune with an anecdote from his early childhood.
This is after all what a father does, and Hermann is the closest thing Rune has to one.