Friday, 1 September 2000 15:34

I wasn't supposed to be in the Main Stacks at all, actually. I was only there because class was cancelled, and I thought I'd get some research done.

I had just photocopied a small stack of journal articles, which would soon need to be dissected with bright yellow highlighter and pencilled notes. They were so crisp and warm now, and the text felt smooth and slightly raised when I slid my hand across the paper. I had stowed them away carefully in my backpack, awaiting review.

My footsteps echoed softly as I climbed the stairs. One more flight to go. As I came closer, I could see two young men descending the last staircase; friends, probably, heading down to do some research or studying together. The first gazed at each step intently as he walked, as if he were afraid they would disintegrate beneath him. The second...

His short, dark hair was thick and neatly trimmed; his face clean-shaven; his frame tall and fairly thin, clothed in a t-shirt from London. We locked eyes for only a moment, but it was long enough for me to notice the depth of his brown eyes and the slight smile that played upon his lips. I could have gazed at him forever.

But I didn't.

I could feel the color rushing to my cheeks, and I couldn't stop the grin that was forming on my face - a big, silly grin that most certainly betrayed the awestruck pleasure that was welling up in my chest. I couldn't help it.

I looked down, slightly embarrassed, and fixed my goofy smile on the ground. Without any encouragement from me, my feet kept walking up the stairs, and before I realized it I was leaving. It wasn't until I had passed the circulation desk that I finally found my voice, and my nerve returned from its hiding place. I sat down outside the library entrance, and waited for half an hour to no avail - he had vanished completely.


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