In the morning she looked like a child to me. It was early May and the trees’ blossoms had already fallen as she, my younger brother, and I sat outside for brunch. When my younger brother tried to flirt with her, she didn’t respond, she just kept looking away. In her eyes I could see something my younger brother had failed to notice – the sadness, the longing for something that was evidently not there. Then she caught my eye and her lips curved up. I didn’t return the smile. I wondered what this girl was about, what my younger brother saw in her. She seemed so plain. Her black hair was braided; she had put on no make-up and was wearing a baggy white dress with long, long sleeves. My younger brother suddenly noticed that this girl he wanted to make his was smiling at me. So he quickly got up and suggested taking a walk.
In the afternoon she looked like a child to me. As we walked through the empty streets towards the meadow with the yellow flowers she and my younger brother playfully skipped about. I trudged slowly behind them. When we got to the meadow, her face lit up with delight. She ran around picking flowers and putting them in her hair. My brother was overjoyed. She laughed sweetly when he leaned toward her and tried to take her hand. But I saw how she pulled away as he did that. When he took her hand again, her eyes looked towards me instead of him. I then noticed that her eyes were a lovely turquoise. They seemed to ask for forgiveness. For what, I didn’t know.
In the evening she seemed to have grown up. My brother had gone out. He had wanted to go with her, but when she refused several times, claiming to be tired, he petulantly stormed off. She and I sat at the dinner table. It was heaped with food, but I didn’t eat. I was looking at her. She seemed so elaborate. Her black hair was long and wavy, she wore make-up that made her turquoise eyes appear even lovelier. She had a strapless purple dress on, which clung to every part of her. I watched her hands – she was putting grapes in her mouth. Abruptly she stopped and looked at me. Her eyes were smiling, laughing even. It seemed she was finally content. Without talking we got up and went to my room. She lay on one side of the bed, I lay on the other. And she fell asleep, with her long black hair all about her.
When dawn came I was awake before her. But I didn’t get up, I stayed beside her. As soon as her eyes opened, she leaned over to give me a kiss. I looked at her – her make-up was smeared, she had tied her hair back and the clinging dress was gone. She looked so clean, so pure, so immaculate. It was morning. She looked like a child to me. And I thought, “She’s so young, she’s so young, how can I take something so big from her?” As her piercing eyes looked at me, bewildered, wondering, searching for the answer around her, I got off the bed. I knew she was looking, but it wasn’t there. It wasn’t on the ceiling of the room, it wasn’t under the bed. And I knew for sure that it wasn’t in me and I left.