“Seeing myself well lost once more, I sighed,
"Where, where in Heaven am I? But don't tell me!
O opening clouds, by opening on me wide.
Let's let my heavenly lostness overwhelm me."
She recognised the lost when she saw them. Pacing the gaps between the shelves, eyes ahead, trying not to panic, trying to look mature, trying to pretend that they knew what they were doing.
This boy was different, however. Not panicking at the thought of never leaving this place, this place of beautiful methodical madness. He seemed to be in an almost dreamlike state, reading the spines of the books in languages he understood, his finger tracing inches from the lettering of those he didn’t. She felt a smile creep up on her face. Even here, it was so rare to find someone so in love with books. So much like her. But she couldn’t remember the last time she had just browsed, just looked, just felt the books. He must be so young.
And before she knew it she was next to him, and about to walk on, the book of ancient poetry she had found clutched to her chest. But then he moved.
And accidentally head-butted the massive tome, causing her to lose her grip.
“Oh frak, sorry ma’am.” They awkwardly manoeuvred it back into her hands.
“Nonsense. It was my fault. But are you ok? These are powerful poems, and from what I can tell, this wouldn’t be the first time the affected someone’s head. Well, it would be without them even being spoken.” she smiled at him, and he smiled back, bemused.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I do however seemed to have quite possibly misplaced the door. I don’t suppose you could…”
“Show you the way out?” he grinned and nodded, embarrassed. She shrugged “I’d be lying if I said I’d never been lost in here. I think most people would be. You, however, did not seem worried in the slightest. Are you certain you want me to?”
“I think so… what’s the time?” she showed him an old ornate pocket watch on a chain. He balked.
“I take that as you are late?”
“Ah. Well, follow me then,
she turned and gestured for him to follow her. He joined her.
“It’s a library. I’m surrounded by books. How could anyone ever really be worried?” he was honestly curious. A boy after her own heart.
“Well, not everyone is like me. Us. You. What I mean is, not everyone loves books, perplexingly enough.”
“You certainly look like you do” he nodded at her hands, subconsciously stroking the books cover, some form of purple material that he couldn’t name. She smiled again.
“More along the lines of what they hold…” they continued like this until they reached the door. He was just opening the door for her when she hissed through her teeth
“Oh merda.” She jerked her hands, almost dropping the book again
“Merda. It’s a dirty word in Italian.”
“Good to know. But why?” she jiggled the book.
“Sorrows will end me if I leave with this and don’t tell her” the boy nodded, then stuck out his hand.
“Niall Montblanc, at you service” she took it, and smiled.
“Venice Rain, at yours” they shook, and he left. She smiled again, and shook her head, bemused at herself. She couldn’t remember the last time someone had made her smile so.