Denise woke up early the following morning. The reaper watched her as she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. She stopped and stared at the spot that the reaper was standing at. It was almost like she could see him. The reaper blinked at the human girl, with his arms crossed in front of his chest, the same as the previous day. Denise then swung her legs over her bed and then prepared herself for the rest of the day.
The reaper, just like the previous day, wore long black denim pants and a white T-shirt. Reapers do not wear robes, except for when they have to take the souls on the last day. It’s ceremonial.
The reaper disappeared from where it was standing.
Denise got out of the house with the goal of buying a new dress. She just hoped she could be able to afford it. Her money could only get her so much. It was also an excuse to get out of the house and not have to see her family for a while.
She told her mother that she would be back in a couple of hours. She did not tell her father that she was leaving. She didn’t tell him purposely.
The reaper walked behind Denise and carefully watched her. Why was she so sad? Was it that she knew that she would be dying?
Even reapers did not know how their next target was going to die. They just knew when, so that they would be able to take their souls.
At the mall…
The reaper took human form after Denise had bought the dress. She was in a book store and the reaper realised that she would be a while. He went behind a shelf and became visible to the human eye. He was wearing the same outfit, with green flip-flops.
He walked towards the young adult section where he knew Denise was looking for a book. He noticed that for a while Denise would stare at a book, and then look away. She would stare at it again, and then take another one and read it’s description instead.
He acted like he was looking the books over until he stood near Denise. He paid close attention to her and when she was about to take the book that she was eyeing the whole time, the reaper outstretched his arm towards the book.
Their hands touched.
They looked at each other before they both simultaneously moved their hands. They both laughed nervously, the reaper scratching the back of his neck nervously.
“Oh, sorry.” The reaper said at the same time that Denise apologised. Denise was mesmerised by the reaper’s voice. She did not expect it to be as deep and…mesmerising.
Denise did not know what to say. She just looked at the reaper, unable to utter a word. The reaper took the book from the shelve and smiled at Denise. He quickly glanced at the cover.
“Golden Age?” Was the name of the book. The reaper read it out loud as he turned the book to see the summary. He nodded, as if in approval, and Denise just watched, still speechless. “It seems like a good read.” He handed the book to Denise. She took it, but looked confused.
“I…don’t understand…” The girl was honestly confused.
“You buy the book. It’s the last one.” It luckily was. The reaper gave Denise a charming smile. Denise also smiled as she realised.
“Oh, no. You also want the book.” The reaper laughed.
“Not as much as I want your name.” Denise giggled as she felt a blush start to rise. The reaper watched Denise’s red tinted face. The smile still on his face. That colour…looked good on her.
“Denise?” The reaper mused as he made a thoughtful expression. “What a lovely name. I’m Mark de Jager.” He held out his hand and Denise took it, the colour on her face seeming to darken.
The reaper smiled and then looked at the shelves again, feigning interest.
“I think mystery books are good reads.” He mmmed as he looked through the top shelve. “What about you?”
“Um….” Denise was flustered. She had not expected to start a whole conversation with the guy. “I like romance.”
“Ooh.” The reaper took out a book and turned it to see the back. “A good romance warms the heart, I believe.” The reaper smiled and he lifted his head from the book and looked at Denise. “I think I’ll buy this one.”
Denise glanced at the cover.
“I’ve read that one.” The reaper already knew that. He had seen it while he was in her room. She had the whole series, meaning that she liked the books. “I really liked it.” Of course she did.
“Then I will like it too.” The reaper looked at his wrist watch as his eyes widened at sudden false realisation. “Thank you. You were such a great help. Hope to see you again soon.”
“Yes, um, you too.” The reaper nodded as he turned, ready to leave. He stopped on his tracks and turned back around.
“I’ll be at the Six ‘o Clock cafe tomorrow at midday. You can come, if you’re free.” The reaper did not wait for an answer, but walked to the till and paid for the book.