“Twenty-three thirty, sharp,” he’d said.
“Bring a change of clothes.”
“Okay. Anything else?”
“No. I’ve taken care of the rest.”
She’d hesitated. “I don’t know what to expect.”
Their bodies had been bathed in an intense red hue. The shadows in their faces and in the corners of the room had been solid and opaque. The smell of chemicals had permeated the air.
“I know; but I do.” He’d given her fingers a squeeze. “We’ll be fine.”
She’d smiled. “I hope we’ll be more than fine.” He’d tried to hide his amusement but she had seen it.
“I must go now,” he’d said. “You won’t see me again until Friday night.”
Her face had fallen a little. “Oh.”
“It won’t have even mattered come Friday.”
“Maybe not to you.”
He’d given her a look of irritation, the bright red light accentuating his expression. “We don’t have to see one another, then, if you’re going to be sour about it.”
“You know I’m only teasing.”
“I know you half-way believe what you tease me about.”
“You also know I love you,” she’d said. “That’s never half-way.”
“I have to go,” he’d said again. He’d continued to look at her for a few seconds. “It really is for the best I don’t see you this week.”
“I have work to do. A lot of work to do.” She’d remained silent, staring at him through the red haze as she’d waited for a more thorough response. And he’d sighed. “I can’t focus if I’m constantly being reminded of this coming weekend. I’d get nothing done.”
“Oh.” She’d nodded. “Okay, I understand.”
“I really must go,” he’d said again.
And she’d shrugged. “Then go.”
Adolf had lingered a few seconds longer before he’d slipped out of the darkroom; and Eva had gone back to developing the film she’d been working on when he had stepped in. Film containing photos of only him and his extraordinary presence.
When she had finished that night she had requested from Hoffmann a copy of one she had become particularly fond of. He had complied.
This isn’t going to be continued. I know of its errors so don’t criticize it. I’m fully aware. And don’t get too attached. It’s coming down once I get around to actually rewriting this story–since I won’t be using any of this material–when I get over worrying about achieving absolute perfection and making absolutely no mistakes.
But for now, since I know people have been curious and I have not delivered on this, here ya go. The shitty rewritten draft to what was once known as “Cynefin.”
© Elizabeth Klarke