I don’t remember anymore when I saw Eva for the first time. She was always there. Our mothers became best friends before we were even born. When Eva’s father kissed her mother for the first time, she ran straight over to my mother’s place to share the secret. They shared everything over years and decades, and somewhere along the way, they had us.
When Eva’s mother was seven months pregnant with her, her husband (who was an alcoholic with some serious mental issues) threatened her with a knife and tried to push her off their balcony which was on the 7th floor. Now I’m imagining Eva standing right there, only 42 years later. On the same balcony, at the break of dawn, on the last day of winter.
Was it still so dark that she could vaguely see the darkness below her? Did that make it easier?
Eva. The coolest girl I have ever known. Back in the 90’s, when we were both trapped in the narrow coordinates of our small hometown, it was with her that I could discover new worlds anywhere. When we were making things together or going for long walks, I could never stop looking at her nimble fingers, watching with excitement what they would touch, what they would lift from the ground. Always curious, what it would be this time, that she has noticed and I haven’t. Eva could find beauty in pretty much anything.
I longed to see things the way she did. Almost like my older sister which I never had, I adored her. Long before I could give this feeling a name, I knew she was special. I loved everything about her; her slender figure, the way she dressed, how she created her own space, how she chose objects that would surround her. I loved her elegant handwriting. All of that embodied what I would much later recognize as a truly personal style - something so rare, something that cannot be learned and what comes from deep within a person.
Such was my Eva: charismatic and ephemeral, with an aura of unique warmth that surrounded her.
Leaving after her funeral together with my mother we met a guy. He told us that he saw her falling off the balcony, on that very morning, while he was smoking a cigarette. He made a sound as if a bag of potatoes was swishing through the air and hit the ground. I felt like punching him in the face. But then I thought, that was just a body. Eva is elsewhere now.
Since she’s been gone, I see her everywhere. In the light trapped in my kitchen sink. In the line of a tree branch. White flour dust on my black cake form. And now I know, that she will always be present, for she changed the way I look at the reality. Through her, I will see beauty in humble moments; that kind of beauty she had been teaching me to recognize, as long as I can remember.