In a book fair, under the angry sun, Rosie met Eliot
The smell of old books was spicing the air. All of a sudden it was interesting to breathe. Rosie was searching through the piles of books. She was gently touching their covers until her hand stopped moving. Rosie opened one of them that felt particularly lovely to her hands. She opened it on a random page and read aloud:
He touched me, so I live to know
That such a day, permitted so...
Suddenly Rosie couldn't finish reading. A sound invaded her mind and touched her thoughts. The sound of warm and gentle velvet falling, was so familiar and yet very unexplored. Rosie looked up and met Eliot's gaze. He was looking Rosie's direction but somehow through her, where exactly, she couldn't tell. He was holding a thick notebook wrapped in something resembling a Christmas paper. His pockets were full of fountain pens and his eyes were glowing. They were green with little diamonds set far behind. He smelled like a mint ice cream. For some reason Rosie got all flustered and she almost turned around to run away. Eliot just smiled at her broadly and said: 'Good afternoon!'
'Hello,' Rosie replied not entirely sure what to say next.
'Can you hear that music?' Eliot asked.
'Yes... it's beautiful. What are you doing here?'
'I live here, kinda. All around...'
'Isn't it too cold?
He shrugged, 'I like cold!' When Rosie didn't comment on it, he suggested:
'Do you want to explore the tepid moonlight? Like two little moths?' Rosie nodded and followed him.
It seemed like Eliot really lived in or all over Southbank. He knew every little corner, people saluted him. It would appear that this was Eliot's home only if he was able to belong somewhere. He said people didn't belong to places only the memories did.
'Where did you use to live? Surely there was somewhere else before?' Rosie asked him.
'Hmm yeah...I used to live in the house surrounded by a meadow. It was such a beautiful place! Imagine waking up and smelling all kinds of flowers. One day though the meadow disappeared and there was a cliff instead. We were all stuck and couldn't leave. There was nowhere to go... Everyone was slowly suffocating... then I couldn't stand it anymore and just jumped off the cliff. The funny thing about falling is that it's actually not that bad. It could be very liberating and it could make you see the things you didn't before up above...' he seemed to be spacing out.
'And the house on the cliff? What happened?' It took good few minutes before Eliot replied.
'When I felt like I was ready come back, the house wasn't there. No house, nor the cliff but the meadow.'
Rosie knew that behind the porcelain skies, there were fever nights and below fever nights there was a broken rainbow and under the broken rainbow there was love. She never felt so happy with a person before. Surely, she loved her mama and Nana and the old house with glow in the dark stars, but living under the broken rainbow with Eliot was something else. The feeling of not being alone in your thoughts and wonders was somehow so elegant and soul soothing that she forgot how it felt to be alone. Again, she forgot about her journey to Soho. Did it even matter anymore? How could she possibly feel happier and cosier than now? Only her beloved narwhals reminded her of Soho. Singing to her every morning and sticking out their tusks into the first rays of sun.
Love with your eyes closed
Rosie and Eliot spent days watching people, daydreaming and absorbing the heavy energy. There was a blind couple coming to the banks of the river every evening. They sat on the very same bench, quietly looking at the river or at whatever they imagined river to look like. Eliot told Rosie their story. The woman was born blind, she was the most beautiful creature in the whole neigbourgood, so delicate and a very talented violinist. She played with her feelings, people used to say. Despite her beauty and talent, she was a very sad and mean woman. There were many men who fell for her. Wealthy, handome and powerful men but she always scorned and send them away.
There was another person though who loved her so very much and unconditionally that it felt rather inhuman. She knew it but the very same knowledge didn't mean a thing to her and she treated him exceedingly bad. He was her servant. People said sometimes she was so cruel to him, didn't give him any food and made him sleep on the cold floor in front of her bedroom door. Often she beat him with her whip. He didn't seem to mind and did everything she asked him to. Just to be in her presence was more than enough for him. After endless nights of wondering how could he get closer to her and understand her better, out of despair, he pierced his eyes and became blind too. When she found out, she smiled and caressed his bloody cheeks. 'Now you truly understand how I feel,' she said and kissed him gently. Since then they were inseparable.
Eliot said that sometimes they wouldn't talk to each other for months. Their silence made them closer. If your thoughts and feelings are so entwined, what else is there to say anyway? Words are so restraining and pointless in so many ways.
Rosie didn't know how Eliot knew the story, he probably just made it up but she didn't care. She wanted it to be true. Although it scared her so much. To her this was indeed true love, the problem was that Rosie wasn't sure if she was ready for it.
After some time Soho started to penetrate Rosie's thoughts. It became urgent and somehow alarming. It drove Rosie mad and she couldn't sleep. The sleepless nights became impossible to endure. Rosie started to realise that she had to continue her journey and she had to do it alone. Without Eliot. She knew he'd understand. He probably knew all along anyway. Her heart was hurting and everytime she tried to walk away, her feet went backwards to where Eliot slept. Rosie looked skyward and concentrated on moving constellations. The stars seemed to give her the strength and she could hear her narwhals singing and leading her towards Soho.