Eva watched him through her bedroom doorway as she dressed. He always seemed uncomfortable in her apartment, stiff and hard-edged. He never knew what to make of the dried roses and old postcards, her seashells and ribbons. She observed him as he stared at the pile of pinecones and leaves that she had gathered from her walk in the park. He picked up a pine cone and held it loosely. Then with a slight shake of his head, he set it back down.
She dabbed perfume on her wrists and neck. She had been so happy before he arrived. What happened? She loved peonies. She followed his reflection in her mirror. He appeared disoriented, as if he didn’t know what to look at and what to touch. He sat on the couch and turned on the television.
“How does Italian sound?” he asked over the sound of the TV. “You know, the place on Ninth?”
“I love that place!” She thought her voice sounded overly cheerful.
She wrapped a scarf around her neck, and looked at herself indifferently in the mirror. Then she walked to the bedroom window and parted the curtains. She gazed out at the trees, the cloudy sky, remembering. Something about that kind of sky and breeze.
He called out from the living room. “Ready?”
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