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And Then There Were Two
Love is such a curious thing. Other than it’s two functions- Happiness and heartbreak- It’s useless.
I repeated this to myself as I walked down the hallways towards the library.
Love is ridiculous.
I opened the doors, breathing in the dust I was so familiar with. Maybe I spent to much time here.
Late afternoon light filtered through the windows, casting a golden glow on the shelves.
I walked to the fiction section, sliding my backpack down my arm. I sat down on the carpet, smoothing down my skirt and folding my legs beneath me. I took out the book I had been reading, sighing as I unfolded the corner that marked my page. I was almost finished.
I mean, it’s not like he’d ever notice me. But I still waited. The creaks and groans of the floor boards beneath the carpet signaled walking, but I didn’t hear his footsteps. The light filtered through the thin, high windows, shadowing the isle where I sat in darkness. He sat behind me, unaware of my presence. I knew because this had been going on for weeks without a single word.
Page after page. I felt his back press against the books between us.
How can someone who seems so interesting be so silent?
I tip-toed through the isle next to the one she always sat in, the darkest one. Was she shy? It was a possibility. She always seemed so focused on the book she read, the shelf blocking most of the light coming through the windows. The glow from the ceiling lights were faded by the time they reached her, and I could never quite make out her features besides her amber hair and grey eyes. I moved as quietly as I could, not wanting to disturb her. Crouching down into a sitting position, I leaned against the books. I pulled out my own, a thin science fiction novel. I was nearly done with it, I only had a few more pages. I had my eye on another book I wanted to read, Twice Upon A Time, which was positioned on the shelf directly behind me. I could feel it’s spine pressing against my own. Although uncomfortable, it was worth it to be in the presence of such a thoughtful silence.
There weren’t any other copies of Twice Upon A Time, and I had been in impatient agony over it for a month.
I should wait for him to leave.
I didn’t want to disturb him as I thought about turning and snatching the book from the shelf. Would he notice? He might turn around and well… Eye contact. I would certainly make a fool of myself the second I looked into his perpetual brown eyes.
I flipped the last page of my book, breathing out a silent sigh. What and ending.
Done! I had finished. 507 pages. Worth it. The story was amazingly written.
I turned, as I had thought about again and again, reaching for Twice Upon A Time.
I positioned myself before the shelf, as one does, and felt the books cover as I reached out to grab it.
Him and Her:
It wouldn’t budge.
“Did you want to read it?”
“Well, you can first, I haven’t been waiting that long.”
“Oh, thank you. I’ve been waiting a few weeks.”
“Yeah… Uh, I’m Sophie.”
I looked though the slit that had formed by the removal of the book. She smiled at me.
I did my best to smile, hiding my nervousness.
I smiled back.
I glanced down at the 4 other copies of Twice Upon A Time, a gladness settling over me. So many variables. If I hadn’t seen them sit in the same spot every day, I wouldn’t have taken them off the shelf. If both of them hadn’t asked if we had the book a month ago, they never would have spoken a word to each other.
I cleared my throat as I scanned someones book in, handing it back to them. The two looked over, and I placed a finger over my lips, shushing them.
This was a library after all.