Eve rested her head against the seat. Closing her eyes, she felt the room shift slightly under her lids. She swallowed the stale mix of vodka and limes. She had only had a few before boarding. She didn’t feel drunk, but she wasn’t sober. She reached down into her purse and fished out a bag of trail mix. Popping a few of the chocolate pieces and pretzels into her mouth she tucked the bag under her thigh. Eve leaned back into the headrest.
The room swayed through her closed eyes. The plan was taxing. Heading down, picking up speed until it reached the tipping point and took off into the skies. Eve wanted more trail mix. Looking out the window, the streets and lights of the city were woven around in a delicate swirl. Apparently they had taken off. Her new life was beginning and she had cat-napped through the trickiest part. Maybe it was a good sign of things to come.
Lilith hadn’t had to change her name. Especially with most of her students addressing her by her surname. It wouldn’t have really made a difference. But she had wanted to. The person Lilith had become wasn’t a good one. She was certainly smart and clever. In a daydream the faces of her old friends flashed before her eyes as her former lover opened his birthday surprises.
The first gift Peter had opened was a singular movie and a ring shaped candy. The movie was actually a horrifically sterotypical lipstick lesbian porno. Two girls, friends for a while, lonely, drunk, just dying for something to give them that release. As Kevin high-fived Pete, Gracie blushed and Ally threw daggers coated with tears toward Lilith. Lilith just smiled.
The next bundle of gifts was the full collection of Peter’s “guilty pleasure” – a television show for young female adults and teens. It did ring true that two people could keep a secret, if one of them had been incinerated in a kiln. On top of it was a book. A plain book with a plain cover featuring the lips of a very pale girl. Lilith had the same copy, just beat up at home. This one was brand new. The story, like Lilith’s copy, was an old told and retold tale of an older man chasing a drastically underage girl. Going to questionable lengths to get what he wants, what he desires. Lynn squealed out, “I love that show! Def borrowing it from you for a marathon rewatch!” Kevin and Gus made fun of the show itself almost as much as they did Peter for watching it. Peter raised his eyebrow at Lilith. She only smiled back.
The last gift Peter had opened was a light blue t-shirt imprinted with a baby in a holder on front. It had come from a movie Lilith had never seen, but what immensely popular. Wrapped inside of it was a $300 bottle of wine. As everyone else at the party gasped at the luxurious gift, with a hint of a blush both Kevin and Krystal shifted uncomfortably, looking in opposite directions of each other and Lilith. Lilith had simply smiled.
Looks passed through the friend group like wildfire. Suspicions were developed, in some cases confirmed. Gus looked at Lilith with growing puppy dog eyes. Eyes that were concerned but cautious.
“Yay presents,” Lilith had said breaking the growing silence. “Time for cake!!!”
As the cake was brought out, Lilith snuck up behind Peter with a large knife. Wrapping her arms around his waist, she slid the knife into his palm.
“You have to cut it,” she said, “it’s the rule.”
Peter smiled as his girlfriend snuggled herself against his back. She wasn’t usually so affectionate, but it was kind of nice. Her hand wandered to his jeans’ pocket. He felt her lift up onto her toes, her body pressing against his. Lilith watched as goosebumps ran across Peter’s neck. On her tippy toes, barely able to rest her chin on his shoulder, Lilith waited until he had cut the cake. Reaching around she picked up the piece he cut and fed it to him. Whispering into his ear, Lilith wrapped herself around his body like a stripper on a pole. Facing him, she watched as Peter continued to chew and swallow. Lilith leaned forward, “happy birthday babe,” she cheered as she gave him a hug. Once more her lips pressed against his ear. Her breath caressing the edges as her voice slipped in. Her friends grabbed their slices of cake. Lilith picked up Peter’s piece and continued to feed it to him. The wheels in his head speeding but going nowhere like a hamster. As he had his cake and ate it too, Lilith smiled.
She smiled from the time she left the party early until the time she got to the airport bar. She called her friend as she waited for her drink. Her phone had blown up as she left Jumpin’ Jacks. Texts from Gracie and Ally appalled at her joke. A voicemail from Krystal crying in the bathroom. Texts from Kevin upset by Lilith’s joke and Krystal’s drinking to cope. Gus had sent her four or five texts and had left her a voicemail. He ranged from curious, to disbelief, to concern, landing somewhere more drunk than Krystal in Lilith’s voicemail box.
Eve’s eyes fluttered open. Her thoughts picking up almost as quickly as the plane had. Her home would be rented for a year, then made available for purchase. Her job was waiting for her. Eve wanted more trail mix. Stuffing a small handful into her mouth, spilling the rest on her lap and the floor, she was asleep moments after she swallowed.
“I left,” she said, “I’m free.”
“Oh Lilith – I’m so happy to hear that,” Professor Stewart exclaimed, “when – “
“Not Lilith,” Eve said into the phone, “Eve. Eve Voss.”
“When does your flight land Ms. Voss?”
“8:00 AM,” she said as she sipped her drink, “I’ll see you in the morning Professor Stewart.”
Her old life with Professor Stewart crept into her dreams and wove with her new life. Her new relationship. Yes, she was done with Lilith Hase she was now Eve Voss. Professor Eve Voss.