The reaper did not go to Denise’s house that morning. He stood outside the Six o’ Clock cafe in his invisible form. He watched the cafe with a frown on his face. What was he feeling? Why was he feeling it? He put his hand over his aching heart. Was it normal?
The cafe manager came, opened the door and stepped in. The reaper watched the door slowly close behind the manager.
He sighed as he looked down at his bare feet and then back up at the store again.
“You also came here?” The reaper, shocked, looked down at Denise as she stood next to him. “How weird is that?”
“You can see me?” Denise laughed.
“I mean…?” What did he mean? He was not supposed to be seen by the human eye. She was not supposed to be able to see him.
“It’s fine. I understand.” She did not. She could not. She had never been in a situation where the least likely thing was happening.
The impossible was happening.
“Do you live close?” The reaper looked at her confused. “You’re still wearing your PJs.”
“I am, yes.” He wasn’t. Reapers preferred to not sleep. He just found the outfit comfortable. Long black pants, and a long sleeved grey T-shirt. “I woke up a while ago.” The reaper easily lied. Denise nodded, showing that she was listening. “This was the first place I thought of.”
Denise chuckled. “Good one.” The reaper did not understand that Denise thought that he was joking. He wished that he was. “I was thinking about food.”
“Are you hungry? They’re about to open.” Denise smiled.
“Is that you inviting me for breakfast?” He was just trying to be polite. The reaper went along with Denise and smiled.
“Is that you saying yes?”
“I’d like to have breakfast. I didn’t have any this morning.” The reaper frowned, knowing how constantly upset Denise was at home. She probably left the house early because she was upset and was not even able to eat breakfast. “I didn’t bring money though.”
“That’s fine.” The store was still closed though. The reaper still stood there, watching the store and made himself visible to the human eye, excluding Denise. She could already see him.
“Tell me, Denise, what’s your dream?”
“Dream?” Denise acquired. “Like what I want in life and stuff?” The reaper nodded. “I’d like…” Sadness. The reaper felt a pang of Denise’s sadness, but it disappeared as soon as it came. “To get a good job.”
“What about travelling?”
“That’s my second dream. I can’t really travel without money first. A good job will open many doors for me.” She said dreamily. “What about you, Mark?” Mark, the reaper, looked down at Denise, but she was looking at another direction.
He had never thought about it. He had never thought about the future. Only collecting souls until the end of time, but the more time he spent with Denise the more he actually thought about a different future. A future with Denise. The only human that he actually got attached to.
It was not a good thing.
“France.” He had gone to France a lot, and for the first time he thought about how beautiful of a place it is. He liked the Eiffel tower the most. He saw it being built, and for the first time he was realising how lucky he actually was. “I would like to go there one day, maybe even live there.”
“It does seem like a wonderful place. I’d prefer Italy though. The birthplace of pizza and pasta, my two favourite foods.” Denise said smiling. Her stomach grumbled and her hand instinctively held it. Her smile turned embarrassed.
The reaper laughed.
“They’re open. We’ll carry on inside.” Denise nodded, suddenly forgetting how to communicate.
Pizza and pasta? The reaper thought as they walked toward the cafe. He’d remember that.
They carried on. They spoke about the most senseless things and the reaper did not mind. He liked that Denise was smiling. She ordered chocolate pancakes and so did he. She said that they tasted like heaven. He agreed after taking the first bite.
Their time together ended an hour and a few minutes later when Denise got a message. She looked at her phone and the reaper felt her sudden mood deflation.
“I have to go. I’m sorry, Mark.” Denise hurried to stand up. “Thank you for the meal.” Denise started to leave.
“Wait!” The reaper stopped her as his heart beat, for the first time in his existence, quickened it’s pace. He did not want her to leave. He wanted her to stay so that they could talk about nothing in particular again.
Denise turned around and her eyebrows short up in question.
“When can I see you again?” The reaper couldn’t help the desperation that leaked from his voice. Denise smiled.
“Just like today, we’ll see each other when fate gives the opportunity.” The reaper was confused and Denise saw that. She smiled. “Goodbye, Mark.”
The reaper did not see Denise for the rest of the day.
Where do reapers go when they are not looking for their next mark? Where do they go when they are on holiday, because reapers too need to rest from their jobs? Reapers too, do get tired. Do they read books? Listen to music? Have a favourite song? How do their houses look like, or do they live with no rest at all?
Reapers are similar to humans. They need to eat, not as regularly as humans, but yes they eat. They do not need sleep, but they can if they want to, because just as humans, sleeping is a type of relaxation. Others prefer a simpler way of relaxation; sitting down on a plush sofa with a warm cup of Earl Grey tea and watch reruns of Friends on The Reaper Network.
You see, reapers and humans are quite similar.