Friday, March 9, 2012


   He’d found her in the 1960’s which was funny really because he certainly hadn’t been looking. Tim had been a dedicated fan of sowing his wild oats. It hadn’t been a roaring success to begin with but after a while, he got to know a few more people and the party invitations began to roll in; this helped.
   It was at one of those very parties when he saw her. She was a beauty like no other: blonde cropped hair, wide blue eyes decorated with thick, black eye liner and lashings of mascara, soft pink lips and that skirt. All the girls wore mini skirts then but those legs really were something else. He still remembers having to rearrange his trousers for comfort and gulping down a harsh shot of whisky to calm his nerves.
   Eva had been 19 then, full of confidence and free of care. For an hour he observed her; effortlessly mingling, laughing wholeheartedly with a troupe of awed friends. A piano played and she sang along, sweetly, like a nightingale. He was transfixed, as were the other guests.
   He tried to speak to her later but, by that point; she’d had rather too much to drink and wasn’t interested in anything anyone had to say. He scribbled a note with his phone number and slipped it into her hand. Upon waking she was the first thing he thought of and despite staring at the telephone, willing it to ring, she never did. He was crushed.
   It was on some other date with some other girl when he found Eva again, several months later. They’d gone to a club and there she was, one of the acts, singing her heart out in a tiny little gold dress. She was sensational; he applauded with gusto at the end of each song, six in all. He tried to get to her dressing room afterwards and although he caught a glimpse of her perched on a stool, nibbling on a chocolate, the door was soon closed.
   Tim dawdled home in a miserable sulk, quite forgetting about the quiet brunette he had arrived with. His mind was on Eva, beautiful songbird Eva, her coquettish eyes and stunning legs. At least he knew where to find her again, this notion slightly cheered him.
   He had a dream about her that night; she was wrapped around his body, eating chocolate and whispering erotic words into his ear. He bounded out of bed like an excitable puppy that morning, full of resolve and clarity. She would be his; he would make sure of it.
   After work, he returned to the club and slipped inside, ordered a drink and waited. A couple of mediocre comics later, there she was, taking his breath away and stirring his loins, in a long black dress with a split right up to her porcelain thigh. Her voice silenced the crowd and he could not drop his gaze.
   Before she had reached the end of her final song, he found his way to her dressing room and, heart thumping, opened the door. He quickly placed the miniature box by her mirror and scribbled on the tiny tag: Eva, the songbird, for your sweet tooth. Love from an admirer. He sneaked back out into the corridor.
   Only seconds later she sauntered by. Tim watched as she checked her reflection and noticed the pretty box. A lump formed in his throat as she read his words. She swung around to face the door and saw him. He smiled as she opened the lid and took out the small chocolate heart. She grinned, slipping it into her mouth in one go, oozing caramel on her bottom lip. His knees felt peculiar at this image, he could have done with a seat.
   Eva walked seductively towards him, positioned herself up close against his body and planted a soft slow kiss upon his mouth and left, again closing the door behind her. His tongue licked the delicious caramel she had left on his lips. He couldn’t quite believe this had happened. Dazed, Tim set off, with a silly smile upon his face all the way home.
   The next day at work was agonising. He answered the phone robotically and almost correctly filed some reports; he couldn’t get Eva out of his head. The second his shift was done he threw on his coat and walked briskly to his Sister’s shop. Stacked high with handmade chocolates, it was a dizzying sight. He wanted a new flavour but there were so many choose to from. Eventually he selected a dark chocolate bumble bee filled with honey and chose another gift box. This time he wrote: Eva, the songbird, thank you for the caramel kiss.
   Humming happily to himself, he made his way to the club. Eva was even more exquisite than before, she wore a silk red dress adorned with a large bow that made her look like a present to open. His mind wandered back to his dream and to their kiss.
   Again, he left halfway through her final number and the dainty parcel was situated in the same place. Back to the corridor, he stumbled, a laugh catching in his throat at the delectable game. He heard the clip-clop of her scarlet high heels and closed his eyes in anticipation.
   She brushed passed him, hesitating for a second but then continued to her room. He waited for her reaction. She grabbed the box, almost expecting it, and opened it up. He saw the smile spread across her face and she bit into the chocolate bee. A contented sigh left her sticky sweet lips as she popped the other half in. Her finger coaxed Tim over and his heavy feet shuffled towards her. Wasting no time, Eva kissed him hungrily, her tongue quickly finding his. The chocolate and honey tasted sublime and he rapidly became intensely aroused, a fact that did not go unnoticed.
   They left together that night, hand in hand, laughing about Eva’s sweet tooth and how perfect it was that Tim’s Sister owned the wonderful chocolate shop. He vowed to bring her a chocolate every single day and she liked that idea very much. She stayed over at Tim’s bed-sit and quite simply never left.
   They travelled around Europe, shared adventures, before returning home to marry and collapse into bliss and domesticity. They had a baby daughter in the spring; Honey, she had her mother’s large blue eyes, songbird voice and sweet tooth; they adored her. They discovered that what people say is true, that once you have a child time just flies. And it did. Before they knew it Honey was at school, leaving school, getting a job, moving out all the way to Australia. And then it was just the two of them again. Tim kept his promise and without fail continued to deliver the daily chocolate.
   Of all the days it was their fortieth wedding anniversary when the blood test results came back and Eva told him she had cancer. She was incredibly brave which, somehow, hurt all the more as his tears never dried. She was given eighteen months to live but as she was so sick, her slender frame couldn’t last quite that long.
   Every day he visited her in the hospice, chocolate in his pocket. He knew she couldn’t eat it, he assumed she gave it to a nurse once he left but a promise is a promise and Tim didn’t forget. Even during the darkest days when she was confused and not really the same Eva, he’d arrive with praline or hazelnut or toffee or fudge. Never honey again, that was just too sad.
   It was hell, watching her weaken and finally slip away, the curtain closing, the spotlight fading. It was pain and bitter torment carrying on, getting up in the morning and seeing her beautiful face smiling from the wedding photograph. Still he visited, every day, her ashes had been scattered in the crematorium gardens and he’d had a plaque attached to a wooden bench. Eva, my songbird of chocolate kisses. Keep singing. And he’d leave her a little chocolate.


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