feliciaevreux Felicia Evreux

Eric's anniversary gift to his girlfriend Annika is delayed. He has to think about a distraction, fast. Annika's books become part of the equation as Eric tries to gain some time.

Histoire courte Déconseillé aux moins de 13 ans. © Felicia Evreux

#books #bookworm #anniversary #delay #engagement #ring #gifts #love
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Love and Books

Eric and Annika are in a long-time relationship, they moved to a modern open concept apartment a while ago.

They are celebrating their eighth year as a couple this day.

The 28-year-old man is sitting in the living room watching tv, his phone goes off with a notification, he takes it to read on the lock screen that the shipping of his order is an hour delayed.

He had to think fast. He scratches his chin and lets out a heavy sigh. He desperately needs a distraction since he previously promised his girlfriend that her gift would be in her hands before they go out to dinner.

Eric quickly glances at the bathroom and walks closer toward the door to hear the sound of the water. Annika is still taking a shower.

The gift she gave to him is resting on the coffee table, giving him a dirty look, and judging him since he didn’t plan better, what he selected for her wasn’t here.

He walks to his side of the bed and opens the first drawer of the nightstand to take out a metal box, from there he takes a smaller box, and he opens it to reveal a pair of white gold earrings that had small diamonds surrounding each hoop. These earrings were one of his mom’s most cherished possessions, now it was Annika’s turn to wear them. Eric was supposed to keep the earrings since they belonged to his recently deceased mother but he thinks that they are too pretty to keep in a drawer, and Annika would flaunt them a lot better.

With the earring box in his hand, he walks straight to Annika’s bookshelf with a memorable idea, he grabs one of her favorite mystery novels and opens it at the half to start passing pages and sees a quote highlighted with black ink.

Carrying five books, he takes a seat at his desk and starts writing the quotes he selected on his laptop.

To give it a nice touch, he changed the font into a cute but legible cursive. Happy with the result, he turns on the printer.

Then, he takes the sheet of paper with the freshly printed words on it and cuts it into five long rectangles, he folds it once and places the quote in the middle of the three respective books.

Eric opens a drawer and finds a package of white-colored small organza bags; he rolls the paper that contains the first quote to place it inside a bag.

Afterward, he hides the box of earrings in the spot that occurred to him and sits down to wait for Annika to come out of the bathroom.

26-year-old Annika walks out as she’s trying to get rid of the knots in her wet hair with her fingers, Eric walks to her to intercept her before she enters their room to do her makeup.

– I have something for you – he calls to get her attention

– You do?

Eric nods and takes the organza bag out of his pocket to offer it to her.

– What is it? – she takes the bag, dubious

– A preview of your present

– Really?

– Yes. You just have to find it to make things interesting

She shrugs and takes the piece of paper out of the bag.

– Let’s do it your way – she smiles, excited, and unveils the first quote –. Her name, sharp and jagged like a star cut from cardboard with pointed scissors – she reads out loud and gazes at Eric with an arched eyebrow

– Go ahead. The two of us know you already figured out who wrote that, and which book it belongs to

Mama knows her books! Annika says confidently to herself and turns to her bookshelf to take her copy of The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and shakes the book until a piece of paper falls to the floor.

She then clears her throat to read the next quote.

– Music and beauty are salt in my sadness – she turns to Eric –. It’s from The Time Traveler’s Wife, am I right?

She looks at him and he smiles.

– I’ll never forget that movie. It’s pretty traumatic – he avoids her question skillfully

– I prefer the book

– Of course you do, you’re such a bookworm

Eric shakes his head as he sees she’s taking out the right book. His left leg trembles, a nervous trait he never could overcome. She’s nearly finished, and his gift isn’t here yet, also the time of their dinner is closer.

– And I’m proud of being a bookworm, thanks a lot – she sticks her tongue out at him and lowers her eyes –. You have a great talent for observation. Ears, eyes, and heart, all at once – she looks at her boyfriend –. You didn’t forget it’s my favorite

– Of course, I wouldn’t be able to forget it, I even remember that you cried and then you made me cry

Annika reads the next quote and purses her lips.

– Which book is this quote from?

– You’re supposed to find that out yourself, my love

– Books are better than tv – she repeats, searchy

Eric’s hands start to sweat, he unlocks his phone once again to find out how much time it will take before he receives his order.

Even as he reads that the delivery man is near, he can’t help but start biting a nail.

Eric looks up to see that Annika is taking out the book that contains the last quote. He makes a face, nervous about what is going to happen next.

Annika unfolds the paper and reads quickly.

– Really nice eyes to draw – she repeats

– Yours aren’t just really nice – he couldn’t help but give her a tiny clue, she’s been doing such a great job and it was a special day, he ended up helping her despite his thoughts of letting her look for the quote in every single book of her bookshelf or whatever that could give him more time

Eric loved her eyes and liked to remind her every time he could. The windows of her soul were so ravishing.

Annika smiles widely and walks closer to the living room’s sofa, in the wall where the back of the couch is placed, there is a painting of a pair of gray eyes, as deep as hers.

She looks closely and sees there is an unusual bump in the upper left corner of the black frame.

The doorbell rings and Eric runs to receive the package whilst Annika is focused on taking off her flip-flops to be able to reach what was there.

Eric closes the door and opens the package in the kitchen, hurriedly. Inside the cardboard box, he finds a red gift bag with a red bow that has a white heart print. He sighs relieved after reviewing his order is correct and made it the way it was supposed to.

Eric looks up to see Annika putting the earrings on, he smiles and walks to where she is with the bag in his hands to then sit next to her.

– I love them. Thank you

– I’m glad – he smiles and cups her face in his hands as she cut the distance to kiss his lips –. Happy anniversary

Once they pull over, he gives her the gift bag.

She looks up at him as soon as she sees the ring, he tries to swallow the lump in his throat.

– Will you marry me? – he asks as he takes her hands in his.

Note: This short story was once a script for school, I ended up writing something else for the final, and I didn’t want to keep this for myself since I find it pretty sweet.

The quotes I incorporated into the story are from novels I have on my bookshelf, I’m a bookworm, just like Annika.

Look them up, I swear they’re masterpieces:

* The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: “Her name, Ivory, sharp and jagged like a star cut from cardboard with pointed scissors. Her name as a weapon.”

* The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: “Music and beauty are salt in my sadness.”

* The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton: “You have a great talent for observation. Ears, eyes, and heart, all at once.”

* The Bookworm Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts: “There are these inventions called books. I’ve heard they’re even better than TV.”

* Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis: “They’re really nice eyes. I mean, to, like, draw.”

I hope you enjoy it!

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Felicia Evreux The works published here are protected internationally in accordance with the Berne Convention and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties. If you would like to use material from these books other than review purposes, prior written permission must be obtained. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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