you are my sweetest downfalli loved you first, i loved you first
our days are numbered,
early bird of the summer;
you'll fly south just as the fall begins
Parker was a wiry, tough 16 year old, with tousled black hair and clear blue eyes. He had the look of an emaciated hawk about him. He had a quick temper which often manifested itself in his fist connecting with someone else's jaw; as a consequence he was labelled a troublemaker at school, which made him sullen and resentful. There weren't a great many things that stirred Parker's interest and it showed in his apathetic, lazy way of drifting through life.
Parker worked part-time at a bookstore; a bookstore which was hardly visited by anyone, if one was to be truthful. Parker did not much like reading so often he would sit at the counter, staring at the people walking past instead. He liked to imagine all the different lives that were passing by - all lives, he imagined, that were much more exciting than his. Sometimes his eyes would connect with a stranger's and he'd look away in embarrassment. He always looked away.
Until the day his gaze fell on a girl about his age, a carefree thing with wavy, unruly red-brown hair, passing by. She happened to glance up at him; Parker did not drop his gaze. She stared at him innocently, curiously; a small smile spread across her face. She tapped on the window twice, a melody with her fingertips, backtracking to pull open the door of the bookstore to tumble in with the Autumn wind. Parker watched her as she leafed through a few books on the shelves; watched her open the cover of a dusty red book and inhale the musty odour. Presently she approached the counter where Parker stood. She stared at him, much longer than necessary. 'Can I help you?' asked Parker, finally, after what seemed like an infinite amount of time.
The girl flashed a quick smile, the product of a private joke only she knew. 'Sure. Want to have lunch with me?'
At that precise moment, Parker forgot how to form the words 'no'.
The girl was Eve. She was intriguing, a mystery, a puzzle. Eve should have been nothing more but a chance event in Parker's life; a dreamy Autumn afternoon spent doing nothing and everything with a girl he'd only just met. It was 2am when Parker stumbled up the steps of his house, pulling the girl by her fingertips. As he fumbled for his keys, there was a soft sigh; a momentary pressure of lips against his cheek; a gust of wind and Parker was left holding the empty air.
Eve disappeared. Completely. Utterly. Vanished. Nothing. And maybe Parker should have let her go but he didn't. Eve turned into an obsession that he would never quite get over.
Late one night, he heard two taps at his window. A pause. Two taps. A pause. Parker threw open the window, her name on his lips. A magnificent white blue bird was perched on a branch of the tree that grew right outside of his window. It was like nothing he had ever seen, though he knew, somehow, for certain, that it was Eve. He softly spoke her name. The bird came no nearer, though it let out a soft chirp.
As if on a cue, squawking erupted from his bedroom. Some time ago Parker had captured an injured blackbird, and though it had recovered, he had been loathe to let it go. He turned from the window to stare at his caged bird, and suddenly, with swift surety, he took its cage, unlocked the door and thrust the bird outside. It swooped low, then flew away. He watched it alight, nearby, on a neighbour's roof. He glanced at the bird whom he thought was Eve. With only a heartbeat's pause, he followed the blackbird he set free.
Parker's body was found underneath the tree outside his window. The girl who was found with him was inconsolable, weeping over his body as though it was her fault, her distinctive red-brown hair a tangled mess, a blackbird perched on her shoulder.