-CODA- chapter xv
““Hey,” Levi greeted when he stepped in front of Erwin.
eyes did not falter down, wide and full and set just above Levi’s head.
He heard himself mumble a few incoherent syllables in response, but all
he could focus on was Marie walking behind, the low sunlight gilding her
body. She could not be real.
He froze, guts
churning to his own name uttered in a gasp. Behind the tremor of
surprise laid her voice, familiar, silky, gentle. Erwin’s breath locked
in his chest. She stopped a few steps behind Levi, her hair waving
against her hips and wearing the shy sunlight like a halo. He blinked,
three, four times, each expecting her to vanish when he opened his eyes
again. It wouldn’t be the first time for one of his ghosts to be lurking
at the corner of his eyes. But she remained there, eyes on him and her
smile, half-sitting on surprise still, was warm and candid. She was no
figment of his imagination. She looked too bright to be a ghost.
Younger, too, than how Erwin remembered her. The years had curled her
lips upwards, full and steady and filled her eyes with light and amber,
and no shadows to weigh them down but those of her own eyelashes. She
was no longer the ugly spirit that lived in the absent piano and shed
tears in his bed at night.
Erwin exhaled a stuttered breath
from his nose. Years of her haunting cast and shadows behind closed eyes
swept away in a single moment.”