Last year I walked into a library.
I had started reading general philosophy text and had wanted to get a jump off into Rationalism. Turning into the aisle there stood a man looking up into the stacks. His face had aged nineteen years, same as mine. His long legs were coated with slim fit, sky blue jeans leading up to his slender build hugged tightly by a black v-neck sweater. His brown eyes looked intently across the long lines of hardcovers, squinting in concentration. He had his hands on his hips. I took notice of the silver ring he had on his middle finger and the evenly trimmed nails. His lips puckered a little bit as he sighed. His eyes moved in my direction.
“Sorry, am I in your way?”
“No, no. This is my section.” I spat out quickly. I was mortified. He had noticed I was staring. He grinned faintly and his eyes returned to the rows of books.
I could feel my face blushing. I forced myself to look through the section, looking for anything specializing on Rationalism.
The rows seemed to go on forever, I was on the thirteenth row, growing pessimistic when the guy next to me scoffed loudly.
“Hey, what exactly are you looking for?” He asked.
He'd turned in my direction, his eyes somewhat pleading. When they met with mine, I could feel my speech halt.
“Uh...ummm....I'm looking for....”
I saw him fight to keep his eyebrow from cocking. I was sounding insane.
“I'm looking for books on Rationalism.” I spit out finally.
He breathed a laugh and smiled widely. “Yeah well, this is the section on Empiricism,” he pointed to the white sticker at the center of the rows that read in big bold black letters EMPIRICISM.
Oh fuck, I thought, but I didn't know if it was because I was in the wrong section or if I'd just looked like a complete idiot to this guy standing in front of me. All I could muster was a flat, embarrassed “Oh.”
He grinned slightly and turned back to the bookcase, his eyes moving up and down the rows. “This library seems to have whole lotta nothin',” He reached down and picked up a black messenger bag and slung it over his head, “maybe the bookstore will have something else.”
I wasn't sure whether that last part was him talking to himself or to me, but I still let out a meek “Yeah.”
He turned to walk in the opposite direction of where I came, “See ya.”
Along with his retreating footsteps a rattle occurred;something fell from his bag. I looked down to see a spinning black orb jump about the ground before settling at my feet. Bending over to pick it up, I saw it was a button with an E printed on it with a very familiar font.
I looked up as soon as he was leaving through the automatic doors, flashing a smile and waving goodbye to the librarian at the front desk.
My last thoughts were of me speedwalking after him.
“Strictly a fan of anything preceding 2004. Anything else sucks.”
As I had deduced from the button, he was an Evanescence fan. I'd accompanied him to the bookstore and found some books to my liking. Afterwards, he'd invited me to the coffee shop next door.
Before we could have any sips of our coffee we were passionately rapt in conversation. Anything from philosophy to politics to poetry soared in and out of our mouths, peppered with laughs and electric eye gazes.
“How come I don't ever see you on campus.”
I gave a sip of my cappuccino finally. “I don't walk around much. I go to the class. I go to the library. I go to bed. Pretty much my schedule in a nutshell.”
“Hmm....” He puckered his lips in thought before wrapping his lips around a smoking mug of espresso.
His Adam's apple bobbled up and down as he drank. The sensation made my face heat up, and I looked outside to keep from exposing myself. I heard him snicker out of sight.
“Jake you look so cute when you do that.”
Two months passed and Josh had been branded into my daily thoughts and activities. Throughout my classes I'd earmark things to talk about with him when I got out, and practically race to visit his apartment as soon as I done for the day. My nutshell schedule had been utterly dismantled.
We weren't boyfriends, but the body language proved otherwise. Some nights we'd lay on the hardwood floors of his studio apartment side by side. illuminated by the fireplace, staring at the ceiling, sharing deep thoughts in silence. We'd kiss fervidly into the night, our fingers snaking up and down our torsos in hungry desperation. Sometimes he'd go as far as to let a hand slide up my shirt, letting his lips keep my mouth from objecting. I'd adored his underhandedness.
While in the confines of my single and his studio my affections were completely realized, letting walls go up only past door-shaped passageways into the outside world. Josh went along with it, but didn't refrain from letting his gazes linger nor award me with special smiles while we were in public. The pleasures made me cringe.
“Hey, do you wanna go to the movies later?” He said while I had my nose buried in Borders' fiction section when we'd decided to venture to the outside world together one day.
“Yeah, sure. What do you want to see?” I took a copy of Wuthering Heights off the shelf. As I opened it a pair of arms took hold of my waist and breath tickled my right ear.
“Harry Potter and the Dirty Sanchez.” he whispered into my ear.
I burst out laughing, letting the Bronte novel drop to the floor. He laughed along, placing small pecks on my neck.
The sound of heels thumping on the carpeted floor sent me squirming out of his arms to pick up the discarded book. I opened it and pretended to read as I a forty-something blond woman with a headpiece walked over to us with a stack of books in her head. She smiled heartily at us before stacking her load at their appropriate places.
When her heels retreated I let out a sigh I didn't know I was holding in. I turned to a disappointed Josh staring blankly into the stacks.
“It's okay.” He blinked back to reality and glanced at my hands. “You gonna get that?”
I grinned slightly, my guilt not fully alleviated. “Yeah.”
We walked to the register in awkward silence.
I pulled out my debit card and handed it to the cashier with a giddy smile.
“Here you go sir, one shipment of Das Kapital.”
“Thank you so much.” I took the massive hardcover from her and made my way into the city streets. Josh is gonna love this.
Unable to keep walking, I burst into a happy jog, anxious to see the look on his face when he saw his new gift. I ran up the concrete walkway to dorms in the center of campus where he was sitting on a bench waiting for me.
As usual, a white baseball cap covered his head, a few brown strands of hair freely blowing in the wind. He was finger drumming on his Evanescence button to his ipod, his lips moving rapidly. I grinned and I slowed into a powerwalk as I got closer.
He lit up at the sight of me and practically leaped off the bench. “Hey!”
I bit my lip and broke eye contact. His smile was so adorable. I mentally kicked myself when I felt my face blushing.
Josh breathed a laugh. “There's my favorite face from one of my favorite people.”
I looked around us. I'd noticed no people. It was just me and him. Alone.
“I got you something.” I lifted the bound boulder from my bookbag with effort. As soon as his eyes grasped the bold letters of the title his mouth shot open in melodious delectation. I laughed as he burst into a happy dance with the book stuffed tightly under his arm. He couldn't keep from smiling.
He skipped to the bench and put the book inside his bag. He rose back up, his eyes centerted on me. They urged me forward, and I felt our bodies gravitate closer.
“Thank you Jake,” He whispered as his arms grabbed hold of me.
I turned into his smooth forearm and breathed him in. “You're welcome.”