“Cathedral” [2]

. . .

The schedule afterwards consisted of Aya spending a lot of time like a personal assistant. Paperwork, the calls, the reservations, the taking lunch or dinner to Levin in the magistrate library, taking care and helping with lesson plans.

Although the explanations along the way from Levin were absolutely helpful and new to Aya, but the awkward feeling lingering was not really going off.

Another late night and Aya comes to her room tired.

Throwing the bag on a bed, not even bothering to turn the lights on, she walks to her small kitchen in the apartment in the dorms – to make some tea.

She pulled out her phone, that is at lowest brightness setting, as her eyes hurt from all that information intake throughout the day.

Few pokes at the contacts and she rings someone.

“Hey there,” – She says sounding exhausted, as the other end picked the receiver,- “I’m alive. How are you doing?”

“Missing my wife this side of the world.” – A warm voice filled with love and affection answers back.- “Have you seen her, by any chance? She’s not tall, nor short, is very cute and does her best at work, and her name is Aya, seen her?”

Feeling of relaxation engulfed Aya as she made her tea, whilst listening to her husband on the phone.

She shared all worries, all the news and every bit that bothered her. He listened and spoke of his days, then he kept on saying how much he loves her and misses her.

“So, does that queasy feeling still persists around Levin?” – He asks.

“Can’t put my finger on what exactly is off, but yes, the queasy does not stop. I actually found out that there were only three students throughout his career whom he picked by himself. I’m third. All the rest, assigned by academy did not last even three days. As you know, I’m here for two months now.” – Aya speaks.

“That sounds dodgy. Interesting how other students he picked went on in life.” – Husband was kind of taking questions from the air.

Aya frowned.

“You are right, I have never actually thought of it. Maybe I should ask around about them. Thing is – I heard that there are other two picked b Levin, but have never heard names, nor heard anything about them. It’s like that topic went taboo. Also, each time I ask Levin of other students he had – he changes subject at the speed of light. Not willing to talk about them.” – Aya was now getting at that queasy feeling closer, poking at it’s gut.

“Say, what if I do some digging for you. If the topic is quite as taboo as you say, then asking questions might be troublesome and giving the attention and worry that you do not need. So, gimme a day and tomorrow evening I’ll let you know what I find.” – The voice so calming and reassuring.

“Yeah, you’re right. I should not do something that troublesome. So I’ll leave the mystery solving to you.”

The rest of that chat was about the nights getting colder, as the autumn becomes diverse.

Then shower and bed time.

. . .

Aya was awoke at 6 in the morning with a knocking on the door.

She opened up to see Levin.

He gave a bouquet of flowers to Aya, along with some cakes. Said he’s off today and would like them to spend some time in the town.

Not only was it unexpected, but rather unusual.

The smiling face of Levin was really getting frustrating, as Aya began to more and more acquaint with the feeling that he’s trying to start relationship.

After asking for him to come in, then leaving him in the kitchen, as she walks over to her room, pushing the lock.

Even if this is just changing clothes, the sole knowing that the man who’s making her feel rather uneasy was really not in any way reassuring.

As she pulled the long skirt and the sweater out of the closet, she hear a knock on the door, accompanied with an attempt at opening it.

“Oh, apologies, I just wanted to know how long you’ll take.” – Levins voice on the other end of the door.

It felt as if he was breathing on the damn door. The shivers went down the spine.

“Just 5 minutes please.” – Aya replied in the nice tone and manner.

“You really are the control freak…” – She mumbled silently under her breath.

“Oh, alright.” – He said nonchalantly and went off.

Aya got dressed and went out.

Levin had prepared the “special” sort of small trip in town.

They took the bus to the old part of the Rene, it was bordering with the outskirts of the academic town. Mainly, the campuses ended around kilometre away from the start of old stone pavements and narrow passages.

They had walked to Levins favourite shop that sells dried flowers. He spoke to the owner for a while about the new types of chemicals that do a profound work at keeping flowers seem alive for longer, although they are fully dried.

Aya kept on smiling, looking around and paid not so much attention to the compound of the chemical structure that Levin and owner were on about.

This small shop was really intriguing. They even had few animals taxidermy exhibits. The two rabbits and a fox.

There was a frame with butterflies stuck on with needles and even dissected frog balsamated.

“Quite the taste in art…” – Thought Aya, as she checked these absolutely natural exhibits of still death.

Few more minutes later Levin snapped back to the living and apologised to Aya for taking so much time.

“Oh, Levin, is that your girlfriend?” – The shop owner smiled as he barked at them, when Aya was about to be out the doors.

Instead of proper reply Levin smiled and waved hand.

“This is absolutely not right. He’s showing me off.” – Aya thought to herself, but was unable to say anything to Levin.

Not because she was afraid for herself, but because the worries of a lifetime chance at learning from this magister was rare and really hard to acquire.

Then Levin took Aya to the old gelato place. The ice-cream and the frozen yogurt there were exceptionally tasty, but the cold weather was not really that welcoming and gave chills to anyone who consumed anything cold.

Levin told stories about how he was pacing here when he just arrived as a student with a referral. How he was absolutely swept off his feet when he saw the pace, when he enjoyed the food and drinks, but most of all one certain place.

They reached the hilltop with a great structure of artistic architecture piece on it – Cathedral of Mortem.

They stood outside it, as the whole construction was to be taken in slowly. The grandeur at what it was, the magnificent and majestic look, the ridiculous grande size of it – it was purely the art of the architecture world.

“Is it possible to view inside?” – Aya asked, as her interest was piqued.

“Oh my dear Aya, I wish.” – Levin sighed, then sat down at the bench nearby.- “This Cathedral was a great masterpiece once. The people walked in to pray and to cleanse their souls, to hide and to find salvation, to dream and admire the place. But the owner had died since very long ago. The place fell in hands of some businessmen that had built inside to fit film theatre, chapel and the restaurant. They supposedly even had art exhibits there. The place boomed with people and buzz. But that was more than 10 years ago. Now it is closed for all and any, as each business built inside – ceased to exist. The popularity had died off and nothing made this place get back to what it was. Now it belongs to the local municipality. They don’t have the funds to resurrect the place to its former glory. Restoration does cost a lot, you see.”

Aya listened to Levins words, but she had questions on how exactly this happened to flop i business if the place and the ideas were so great.

“Me and my wife were here, we met here. She loved the place and I loved watching her admire it. She’s still part of it.” – Levin spoke in a soft voice, filled with love and so much affection, that it hurt Aya.

“What happened to her?” – Aya asked.

“She died. No longer with us, but the memories she left are warming hearts of many.” – Levins smile was so sincere, it was remarkable to witness.

Then Levin stood up, saying that this cold weather sure gets to the bones and hurried them both to go back to the academy.

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