Monday, October 21, 2013

She collected eyes

She collected eyes. They fascinated her since she was little. Her mom used to tell that, still a baby, she tried to touch her eyes with her little fingers. She touched her eyelashes, felt them delicately and, at times, pulled them; which would put an end to the game. Another childhood story she was told preannounced her future interest. She used to remain for minutes looking at people’s faces, blinking when they blinked, moving her eyes to accompany the other’s movement.   

When a child, she would cut eyes from  magazines and glue them in countless notebooks. She was interested in their colors, shapes. As she grew older, other nuances began calling her attention. When she was young she was given a photographic camera. The new tool provided her with different possibilities. She began to focus not only on eyes, but on the way they looked, the expressions of joy, surprise, fear and pain; the reflections of light and the reactions to different stimuli. The powerful lenses, purchased with the savings of her meager wage as a local library employee,  provided a distance adequate to her shyness. 
It was at work that she saw him for the first time. A College professor, he was returning a children´s book. The masculine hand and the little bunny on the cover made her curious. She raised her head, her eyes. She was captured there. His eyes. Eyes of indefinite color. In the shadow they seemed deep as the ocean, but she knew the shade would change with the different lights of the day, the different humors. She knew. With a half smile, he said: “It’s my daughter’s.” She smiled back and only then saw, behind the counter, the chubby little  girl holding his other hand. When returning the book, their hands brushed and she felt a shiver all through her body. He smiled again. "Would he have noticed?"
After that, she saw him every week. Sometimes a children´s book, sometimes a detective novel. They always talked, briefly, the weather, the traffic, the weekend. The chubby little girl sometimes pulled him by the hand, asking him to hurry up, calling for his attention. While she listened to him, she enjoyed diving in those waters. She would go deep, but would not take long. She felt the danger in that deepness. She was afraid. She dreamt of him every night, scraps of the looks he gave her every time they met, the eyes she would feel on her, even from afar, still by the entrance door. Eyes that undressed her while returning children’s books, eyes that caused her body to vibrate.
They continued meeting. The hand, which handed the book quickly in the beginning, now took longer, the eyes acquired a different brightness. She knew. She understood about eyes. By that time, she had forgotten about her camera. Those eyes were all the eyes. Those eyes were the only ones.
One day, he came by himself and waited for her at the end of the workday. They left together and parked by the lake. The sunset brought different hues to his eyes, hues she could only have guessed before. The fixed gaze on her body, the desire, the intense sparkle, the kiss, the hands taking over her body. She let herself drown, let herself be swallowed, then, and time and time again. Sometimes, he would come in the middle of the morning, green as the ocean. She would find an excuse. They would go to the same deserted place. He stared at her and she made herself naked, surrendering to the waves, the ocean, the hands, the movement.
“I’m going away”, he said one day. “I have a lot at stake. My wife begins to suspect.” She listened in silence. “Where was this wife the whole time?”, she asked herself. Of course there was the chubby girl, but today having kids didn’t mean much. “This can’t go on.”, his eyes were dull. She remained in silence, feeling cold:
-          When are you leaving?
-          In the beginning of next month.
-          Would you please take me home?
At home, she cried all night. She did not go back to the libray. After a week trying to reach her, the library supervisor decided to call the police: “She lives by herself, officer. She is very quiet, but she has never missed work like this.” A neighbor from the Lake region provided a tip. He told them he had seen a couple talking inside a car by the lake around two days ago. Since he drove by a few other times and the car was still there, he began to find it suspicious.
They found the car empty, a few feet away the body of a man shot in the back lying on his stomach. Covered by flies, he emanated a putrid smell. When they turned him over, the peculiarity, the passionate índex. Her body was found at the bottom of the lake. She was wearing a long green dress. She had her pockets filled with stones. In almost every aspect, she reminded a romantic maiden, an Ophelia. She carried a curious little bag tied around her wrist. Inside, the eyes, no light, no life. She collected eyes.

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