Slow, steady, and unhurried steps of her feet that almost floats in the air — while her body lies
on the couch of her old apartment. Her apparition was lost on the airy night of December.
Her feet turned cold and weary, her breath smells like fury and her heart grew solid and unsteady. It beats just the sound of the drum rolling, her pulse radiates of fear, and her lips shut and dry. She turned around and her body keeps still and sounds asleep. As if, it was a normal night and just and peaceful.
She flew right through the door and stroll around the street of Evergreen. It was silent and streetlights turned off. It was smokey and dark. The pavement seems boring and bleak—her dress swayed and the cold air seemed welcoming to her chest. She passed by several houses and happened to find a bookshop. It was vintage and awkward. Its structures did not seem appealing nor look like someone owns them. But she manages to get past through it and books welcomed her—like how ghosts welcome their favorite strangers.
She passed by some old and modern books, carefully slipping her tender fingers to its hardcovers, flipping through endless pages, and breathing the dusty nostalgic aroma of the '90s. “It never gets old,” she says. She flips and flips, flies through the stairs, and find more pages. Circles all the important words, digesting all the heartfelt quotes—this has been her dream.
Suddenly, the lights filled the room, her eyes closed and her heart is racing through her pulse. An unknown hand grabbed her and pushed her to the wall. “Who are you, young lady?” Said the man with a gritted teeth.
Slowly, the woman opened her eyes, and there in front of her revealed a young man with hazel eyes and the smell of strong coffee in his mouth. His aromatic smell of vintage soul and modern scheming look. She dared not to speak but the man in front of her just pinched her pulse hard and peered at her.
She dared to look at him, and they both just stared at one another.
“I- I just want to read books,” she pouted. And the man avoided her face.
“But this place does not exist anymore.” He cleared his throat and loosened his grip on her.
“I- I'm just traveling by,” she added.
“I know. I am too.” He said, avoiding her gaze.
“You're an apparition too?” The woman asked. And she waited for a proper response but he just gazes upon the empty shelf around her.
“To go back,” He whispered.
“Are you the owner?” She asked once again, hoping she will get an answer from a stranger.
“Go home or I might do something you will not like.” He turned to her and gawked.
The woman sighed and went home with questions and strange memories she did not know she has.
It was the second night of December and she floats in the air. Passed by several houses and went to the old bookshop. She continued reading books and the man found her again. But this time, he was silent and cleaning around the area. The woman smiled and tried to talk to him.
“What is your name, young man?” She asked. The man froze and stood there, stiff. She laughed and did not expect an answer. Rather, she went upstairs and kept reading.
“John,” He held out his hand this time, formally acknowledging her presence.
“Emilia,” She smiled. Both of them spent the night reading books and talking about modern literature...And philosophy.
On the third day of December, she did not wake up through her apparition. Instead, she woke up with a soul, feet's touching the ground, and a face that is mirroring her reflection through the mirror. She exhilaratingly went out to find the bookshop, passed by several houses but did not found where the place was. She went back to her old apartment and tried to locate the bookshop.
However, it was only an empty lot she found when she tries to find it by heart and soul. The disappointment was evident on her face and her heart beats rapidly—ceased brows and lips shut tightly.
“John?” She whispered.
“John?” She calls him out again, hoping he'd hear her.
She steps into the burnt-out place. It was only an empty lot with wild grasses scattered and a tombstone lying there, in dust. It was named after Emilia Blythe. Suddenly, a familiar arm hugged her from behind. It was John, and her tears swelled around her eyes—while her heart ache and memories flooded her mind.
“I couldn't save you back then, Emilia, so I went back from the past and live in my dream to see you.” He whispered with comfort and longing.
“It's not your fault, John. I am sorry I forgot about you.” She cupped his face and peck him on the forehead.
“We can work this out and live forever in my dream.” He said with pleading in his eyes.
“But I am only a fragment of your imagination, John. You can let me go. It's not your fault,” Emilia said with conviction.
“I am just a vintage soul, a wayfarer amid the longing dawn and I am a fragment of your imagination. This place exists but it's all in the past now, you can let me go,” She added and let go of his hands.
“Wake up, dear.” She bid him her last goodbye.
John woke up with his heart racing and hopeful eyes. The people around him gathered and created strange noises in which he got confused, he opened his eyes and saw familiar faces around him.
“Thank God you're awake!” An elderly woman hugged him and kissed his face.
“It's a miracle you woke up after five years, son.” He remember his Father's voice and held his hand.
“Where's Emilia?” He asked, hoping he'd get an answer.
“She's gone... Remember?” Her mother broke the silence.
“Like 10 years ago, son.” She added.
He went back to the old bookshop, where Emilia was there. He traces all the books she touched and flipped through the pages where she left.
It was old and aromatic. It was vintage yet modern. The good thing was, his parents renovated the bookshop while he was sleeping for 5 years. He went upstairs and found the section where Emilia was always staying. He scanned all the books and touched every single page of them.
He flips through the pages and found a quote there, it was written with a bleak ink,
“We will meet again,
your old vintage soul”
He smiled and ripped the page out, then the door clicked and the bell rang. He immediately went downstairs and greets the woman in front of him.
“Can I borrow books from section 5-” The woman was cut off when John hugged her. Her face was confused and red.
“Emilia?” He whispered.
“Uh, I'm Emily,” She awkwardly answered.
John laughed and gave her an apologizing look.
“You look like someone I know,” He said.
“Sorry,” He added.
“No worries,” Emily answered with a half-smile.
And they both smiled at each other.