“I am Evelyn.”
She had not meant to imitate his speech pattern, but the structure was so direct that anything else would have seemed trite.
Rocking, Evelyn smiled again and sighed, a sigh of contentment. It was then that he took the book from his knapsack. He had held the book in his hands as one would hold a mug of warm liquid on a cold night; lacing his fingers around it’s spine. He handed the book without words. The cover was smooth and there was nothing written on it.
That had surprised her. She had not opened the book at first but ran her fingers over the smoothness of its cover. It had a pleasing texture, so she had continued to rub her fingers lightly over it, savoring the texture.
Her nostrils had detected the pleasing scent of ancient leather. Her eyes had taken in the early spring day without seeing all of its colors. The greens and yellows and the occasional splash of pink of the rambling rose and other early spring blooms she had failed to properly notice. She remembered noting that his clothing was a study in browns and wondering why he had not yet stopped wearing winter colors.
She remembered how he had prodded her gently to start reading. Reluctantly she had stopped her sensuous rubbing and opened the book to the first page. It was blank. Odd, she had said aloud and turned the page. It began without introduction telling Universal truths in short simple sentences. She had read ten pages before looking up. It was so applicable. Her life and hopes were spoken of in this book. She understood that. Here were the lessons she had never learned in school.
“The book is for you,” he had said to her as though he had heard her unspoken question. “The rest will come from me; should I leave another will take my place.