7. The Deepest Blue
After letting her see him for the first time after all this time, the man took no pains in hiding his presence any longer, at least not from her. Emilia on the other hand, found strange relief in the knowledge that she had not gone insane. At first, she was worried that now one of them had made an appearance the other was bound to follow suit sooner rather than later. Yet, no such thing occurred.
The man seemed to simply follow Emilia around, especially when she was out unaccompanied and would disappear in the blink of an eye as soon as she made it safely home. Then, the next day he would be there again and the process would be repeated without fail.
Nevertheless, weird as it was, she learned to live with his ghost like presence in her life and after the first two weeks she became so accustomed to it that she felt secure enough as to not glance behind her every few seconds. All silly thoughts about her being led to insanity were gone. He was real and she was not crazy and that was it.
The thought of what he was doing here after all this time crossed her mind more than once but she never found the courage to ask him and he did not seem inclined to tell her anything. The man was never very talkative but now he did not bother her at all. In fact, there were sometimes she could not even feel him following her. However, nights as dark as this one, she was fully aware of him adjusting his step behind her to be as close to her as possible and she felt grateful to have someone look after her, even if he was the last person she would select were she ever given a choice.
As she turned on one of the darkest corners on her route, she shivered involuntarily. Deciding to pretend that it was out of non-existent cold she hugged her cardigan closer to her body. No, it was not the time to think how that spot gave her the creeps long before she started fearing her own shadow. She would be past it in a few more meters so there was no point on inflicting this kind of terror on herself.
Suddenly, as she was still clutching her cardigan tightly not managing to convince her body that she was not afraid as it insisted upon trembling, she felt the weight of a large fabric thrown over her shoulders, its warmth reaching her bones instantly.
“You should get this boy of yours to drive you home at nights" he said in his naturally husky voice.
“His name is Miles" she informed him adjusting the jacket on her body as she slipped her arms in the ridiculously long sleeves.
“When did I ever care about names, girl?” he scoffed.
She stopped on her tracks ad spun around to face him. They had reached a clearing where his face was left exposed to the mercy of a lamp that bathed his features in its harsh light.
For only a moment she had managed to startle him causing him to take a small step back. That gave her the chance to actually see his eyes for the first time. For so long, she had thought them black and cruel. Now she found they were the deepest blue she had ever laid eyes upon. It reminded her of the midnight sky that stood so far above them.
Was it a scandalous thought to consider them beautiful?
“I care" she said softly still gazing his eyes in awe.
“You always cared about meaningless things, girl" he said breaking their eye contact. “Now stay quiet and keep walking. I haven’t got all night"
She did what he said.