Berlin had been exhilarating she thought. She even began to hum as the solemn ritual of unpacking began. The suitcase containing most, if not all, of the worldly possessions any student would be proud to call their own, had to be emptied. A barrage of skirts, socks, underwear, jeans and shirts shrouded the light from the lamp in the corner. Those fated for the wash were flung into the hallway, while the others were thrown on a pile by the dresser. Each item had to undergo the sophisticated and rather infallible test of a nasal whiff or two before their fate was decided.

As the sorting continued she stumbled on a small leather bracelet. She paused. A smile began to draw its lines on the softness of her face. One thought engulfed her mind. Eugene. The name had singlehandedly transformed what would have been just another weekend getaway between exams into an unforgettable experience. She stood up and glided to the balcony where she lit a cigarette. She leaned on the railing and exhaled slowly. The view in front of her was spectacular; the sun was slowly sliding into its bottomless grave. Yet her mind was completely oblivious to it. The butterflies in her stomach were consuming her body and soul.

It had been her last night in the German capital. She had gotten separated from her friends in the overcrowded nightclub. In a last ditch attempt to find them she had stumbled into the smoking area. Still not being able to locate them she took out a cigarette but then realized she had lost her lighter. “You look like your missing something” she heard in perfect English. The voice belonged to a man who could not be described as anything other than the physical embodiment of the “tall, dark and handsome” stranger from any novel she held dear, and my God, those eyes. He could make her laugh; he could make her heartbeat race. It should then come as no surprise that when he asked her to dance she did not refuse. They must have danced for hours, because before she knew it, the lights of the establishment had turned on and the clock had struck seven.

They were jostled out of the club, her dark prince at her side. When they were outside he placed his hand on the right side of her face and tenderly kissed her. Whether or not one of her legs arched upwards is a debate to be had at a later date. Needless to say her senses were reeling. He then asked her to go home with him. He didn’t live far away he said. Every fiber of her being wanted to say yes, but her train left at nine and she still had to pick up her things from her friend’s house. So she insisted that he come with her. Upon hearing that she would not be alone he politely declined and after several minutes of small talk he called her a cab. He kissed her hand, and as he was taking it back through the taxi’s window something fell on the seat. By the time she noticed it, he had already vanished. It was a thin brown leather bracelet.

While musing over these thoughts she absentmindedly scratched her right cheek, it had begun to irritate her ever since the train this morning. Later on as she was preparing for bed and chanced a glance at the mirror. She noticed that her cheek was ever so slightly inflamed. She bore it no more thought and went to bed. She had an early class in the morning.

The next day, during the chaos of leaving her apartment on time, she saw that her right cheek was now fully inflamed. So as she made her way to her university she arranged a doctor’s appointment later on in the afternoon. The doctor told her he would have to run some tests but gave her a cream to counter the inflammation all the same.

Around a week later her doctor called her to tell her that the results from the tests had returned and that he would very much appreciate it if she could come to his office at her earliest convenience. Upon arriving she was greeted not just by the doctor but by two police officers. They asked her if she had encountered any unusual individuals during the past few weeks. It appeared, as the doctor later explained, that her rash was extremely rare. It could only be brought about by coming into contact with a human corpse

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