“Since she is now with you I’m gonna take my leave, bye Eve.”, awkwardly raising his hand towards the little girl he dashed off.
She looked after him for a few seconds but then turned back around towards the cashier.
A moment later he could hear the cashier’s voice over the speaker asking the mother to come to her checkout.
He went back in the aisle he was in when the girl first asked for his help. After looking for a second, he found the jam his mother wanted and went on to the next thing on his list.
He collected a few more items before the last one, parmesan cheese. In front of the refrigerated cheese selection he run into her and her slightly distressed looking mother.
She was going on about how she had to say close to her and not run off just because she couldn’t get the cornflakes she liked.
Quietly and almost invisible to the woman he walked up and started looking for the right brand.
The little girl seemed happy to be back by her mother but also a little annoyed about the scolding. He smiled faintly.
When she noticed him, she tucked her mother’s hand and pointed at him, quickly he turned to look the other way in the faint hope that he wasn’t meant and left alone if he wasn’t looking at them.
“That’s him mom, the boy that helped me!”, her voice sounded happy and excited. Not being able to escape now he turned his head back and politely nodded towards the both.
Her mother first looked at her than at him. Reaching out her hand towards him she apologized for the troubles and thanked him for his help.
Before he could take her hand the little girl quickly grabbed it and pulled it back towards her, she earned a confused and slightly angry look from her mother with that.
Connor just raised his eyebrows surprised.
“Eve, what is it?” Eve shook her head and grinned towards him.
“He doesn’t like to be touched, mom. You gotta say thanks with words.
” His head turned red faster than he imagined, he slightly raised his hands and tried to find something in his mind that he could say to make it a little less weird.
“Oh okay”, the mothers calm answer caught him off guard but also released a ton of weight from his shoulders. She turned back from Eve towards him.
Her eyes had faintly the same sparkling power as the ones of her child. She nodded towards him and deeply smiled.
“Thank you for helping my little star. She is sometimes nervous around people she doesn’t know.
” The spark in the same awfully boring walnut brown eyes, he couldn’t help but smile bashfully back.
His cheeks were still red, and he averted his eyes, he felt like he didn’t deserve that glow in their eyes.
“I … I did nothing really…”, he mumbled and fiddled around with his fingers.
He felt a little warm flame in his chest, it wasn’t the all-consuming flame of hate he knew before but a warm gentle fire that hold him warm.
“Yes, you did something! Can I maybe get you something to repay you for your struggles?
” she laughed cheerfully and when he slightly raised his head he could see Eves face, her sparkling eyes, glow and grin at him.
Slowly he shook his head while glancing up in her mothers’ eyes, the same sparkle was in them.
“No, I don’t need anything but thank you.”, he really didn’t need anything. He would just collect the rest of the grocery and then go back home.
He felt a bit better for himself for being able to help the little girl. That was enough.
“Mooom, can we get an ice with him? Pleeeaase?”, Eves eyes had a begging shimmer, he would have never been able to say “no” to that face.
Her mother looked surprised and then turned back at him with a questioning look.
“Would you like to eat an ice with us?”, he was about to deny the offer again but the he got struck with Eves eyes again. He just couldn’t say no to that face.
“I … uh… sure, it would be a pleasure. I just have to finish the groceries before that.”
“Of course! What else do you need? Maybe we can help you find it.” She smiled broadly as if she was actually happy that he would accompany them. His gaze went down to his shoes again.
“Just parmesan cheese, then I am done.”, he mumbled while looking up to the refrigerated section.
“Oh okay, I think it’s right… here! There you go.” She holds the package towards him and smiling thankfully he put it into his basket.
Together they went to the checkout again and payed for their individual groceries. As they went out of the supermarket Eve pointed at a near by ice cream café.
“They have the best ice there! Let’s go there!”, she sounded excited.
“All right, all right. No problem.”, her mother laughed. While silently walking besides them he could feel how the warm, caring flame inside of him grew bit by bit.
He felt like he was in a dream, no one was screamed at. No one threw a tantrum out of nowhere. He was on his tiptoes, ready for an explosion going off at any second.
This calmness, secure feeling just didn’t feel real to him.
Eve brabbling on about how she wanted him to try out the new ice cream that place had and her mother scolding her a little about leaving him to choose what ice cream sort he wanted.
While this was a small quarrel they both kept on smiling and laughing, it wasn’t serious. Eve didn’t have to be afraid to push some buttons and then having everything blew up around her.
This just felt too surreal. He didn’t feel included, it was just a scene that was rushing in front of him.
He was the observer of this weird unnormal situation, this perfect illusion that only happened in movies.
Way too fast for his brain to comprehend what was going on he was pulled out of this observing role and asked by the icemen what kind of flavour he would like.
Completely overwhelmed in the situation, he just stood there for a few moments too long. Eve jumped to his defensive again.
“He would like to try the new galaxy ice cream!”, she exclaimed cheerfully, she herself was holding one of there purple sparkling ice creams herself.
Giving the icemen his approving nod, he was soon handed his galaxy ice.
“Thank you.”, he mumbled while trying the ice cream, it was a synthetic sweet taste. The galaxy ice cream was probably just invented because of the galaxy hype lately.
Eve and him both had galaxy ice cream and her mother had yoghurt flavour.
“Did you know that galaxies are made off stars?”, Eve eyes sparkled again, this time also in fascination.
“What? Really?”, he asked her while a smile spread across his before baffled face.
“Yes! Every star is a sun just like ours! Did you know that?
”, she kept on rambling about half true universe and galaxy knowledge and he kept on smiling and grinning at her making surprised and fascinated faces.
Whenever he made a surprised face she felt even more fired up to keep going.
They had sat down in a corner of the café and her mother was reading a magazine while the two of them kept on philosophising about the stars and why they seemed so unbearably far away.
“Yes! You are made of stardust! Everyone is! I am too! Doesn’t that sound cool?!”, her voice overthrew itself when she told him that.
“No way! Even me?”, his throat got a little dry and he registered her mothers concerned glance she shot at him at that question.
He had just given them a glance about his real self not the him that played with little girls and thought about why the aliens hadn’t visited us yet. But Eve didn’t seem to notice.
“Yes! Even you! Everyone! You, me and mom too!”, she grinned at him and expected a shocked face like before when she told him that black holes aren’t actually holes you could fall into.
Instead he looked at her with a deep smile and an emotional look in his eyes. Maybe he was. Maybe he was made of stardust. Not only pain. Not only hate.
He was made of hate, suffering and a little bit of stardust.