I’d meet in him in the library. I’d be sitting cross-legged on the floor, the bookcase towering over me in a way that was not overpowering but comfortable. My back would be pressed against the back of another bookcase, my long, gangly legs blocking the aisle. My hands would skim over the inside cover of a novel, and my lips would curve up into a smile, knowing the book will be brillian.
He’d be standing there awakwardly when I looked up, pushing myself into a semi-upright position, and then the sight of him would make me slump back against the shelf. He’s push up his glasses with a long, bony index finger. I’d push up mine. And then the fearful twitch of a smile would twist the left side of his mouth and he’d reach down his hand to help me.
I would take his hand and it would be big and warm against mine, warm on this cold winter day, the kind of day that wants to bite your soul, the kind of day even a library can’t fix, but maybe he can. I would stand up, and then lean down and grab my book from the ground, clutching it to my chest possessively.
He’d nod towards the book and say in a soft, deep voice, “It’s incredible.” His voice would be twinged with nerves but I’d smile and nod and agree.
“I’d expect it to be. The first page took my breath away.”
He’d glance toward a bookshelf a few feet over, longing in his eyes for those words, and then he’d glance back at me, longing in his eyes for me. He’d say, slowly and carefully, “Want to hit Starbucks?” and my heart would flutter and I’d nod. I can do little speaking because my words work on paper, not in spur-of-the-moment use of vocal chords.
We’d go to check out my book first, and he wouldn’t head to his car before we did so. He’d know what a book means. He’d know what a book can do.