Jack was still gone with work, and the Gossip Girl marathon on the CW seemed like a good way to spend the evening. I sprawled out on the couch, still in my pajamas, but I’d only been awake for an hour or two, so it didn’t seem that bad.
Ezra walked into the room, carrying two thick books in his hands. He looked better than he had lately, meaning his hair had been brushed and his shirt looked pressed. He’d never gone through a sweat-pants-and-no-shaving-or-bathing phase, thank god, and he always managed to look good.
When he came over to the sofa, he glanced back at the TV and raised an eyebrow.
“What is this?” Ezra asked.
“That’s Chuck Bass.” I pointed at the screen to Ed Westwick.
“He’s wearing a bowtie. Is that a modern trend again?”
“Hell if I know,” I shrugged. “He’s Chuck Bass. He does what he wants.”
“Well, that’s enough of that.” Ezra grabbed the remote from off the couch next to me and clicked off the TV.
“What’d you do that for?” I asked, with feigned anger. “I was just about to find out if his womanizing ways would catch up with him.”
“Let’s just assume they will. You have reading to do.” With that, Ezra dropped the books on my stomach, and I made an oof sound as they pushed all the air out of my lungs.
“What the hell.” I lifted up the books and rubbed at my stomach, even though the pain had already disappeared. “What’d you do that for?”
“Because you were right. I need to stop moping about, and so do you.”
“I’m not moping about.” I sat up and looked down at the books. “A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present and Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. I’m assuming this isn’t about the TV show, since its several thousand pages long.”
“No, it’s not,” Ezra said, and I looked up at him. “You do absolutely nothing.”
“I don’t do ‘nothing,” I shook my head. “I mean, I don’t do much, but it’s not cause I’m not trying. I’ve been cleaning the house, and I even feed Bobby sometimes.”
“You do realize Bobby isn’t a pet, don’t you?” He crossed his arms over his chest, as if he really wasn’t convinced that I knew the difference.
“Yes, I do.” I rolled my eyes. “But the point is that I’m trying. I’ve been training with Olivia, and I have to go over to her place later tonight.”
“Training with Olivia is good, but it’s not enough,” he said. “Having a mastery of your body and strength means nothing if you’re incompetent. You need a good education behind it, and since you dropped out of high school, I’ll have to see to it that you get one.”
“Look, I’m not against learning things. I just…” I stared down at the textbooks, running my hands over the glossy covers. “I don’t know that I understand the point of anything. I already have everything. What more is there?”
“Yes, life is terribly rough for you,” Ezra said dryly.
“No, I didn’t mean that.” I sighed. “I thought all I wanted was to be with Jack, and then my life would be complete. We could live happily ever after. And I do love Jack, and I want to be with him. But now that I have this, and I’m realizing exactly how long happily ever after goes on for, and… I don’t know what to do.”
“You need a purpose,” Ezra said knowingly, and I looked up at him
“Yeah, I do,” I nodded. “How do you do it? When you have forever, how do you… fill it? Endless games of solitaire?”
“Your concept of time will change.” He sat down on the sofa next to me. “Eventually, it moves faster, and it tends to blur together, so years feel like weeks.”
“And that’s how you make it through?”
“Sometimes.” His mahogany eyes went far away for a moment, but he took a deep breath and it vanished. “But you have to learn to enjoy the moments you’re in, to treasure the things around you. It’s the fleetingness of life that gives it its value, and even though we’re here forever, nothing else is.”
“So you’re saying that I should relish the things that will die?” I asked. “That death equates happiness?”
“Not exactly.” He leaned back and exhaled. “The problem with giving someone the choice to become a vampire is that it isn’t really a choice. You don’t really understand what you’re agreeing to. You can’t possibly fathom what eternity feels like.”
“I’m not seeing much in the way of advice in that sentiment.”
“Loving another person, even several people, will make your life fuller.” Ezra looked at me, resting his deep eyes on mine. “But it will not make it complete. You have to do that. You must decide what you live for.”
“So… you brought me text books?” I held them up, and he gave a bemused chuckle.
“No, I gave you text books because I want you to have all the tools you need to do whatever it is you decide to do, and knowledge truly is the most powerful tool.”
“What are you doing?” Milo yawned and walked into the living room.
“Oh my gosh, you’re like the Pavlov’s dog of geeks,” I laughed. “I say the word text books, and you come running.”
“Are you going to school?” Milo’s eyes widened with excitement.
“Well, Ezra’s tutoring me, I guess, if that counts,” I said.
“Oh that’s fantastic!” Milo clapped his hands together and rushed over to the couch. “Let me see!” He snatched the books from my hands, not that I really put up a fight.
“Read the first three chapters in both books,” Ezra told me as Milo flipped through the books and gushed over it. “We’ll talk about them tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” I asked. “I have to train with Olivia tonight. I won’t have time.”
“Make time.” Ezra used that tone he did when he meant business. It wasn’t loud or gruff, but it was firm enough where I knew not to argue with it.
“Oh come on, Alice, it’ll be fun!” Milo said with far too much glee. “This’ll be so good for you. And you don’t even have to get up early. It’s way better than what I’m doing.”
“Good luck.” Ezra stood up and smiled down at me.