By Sara Celi
“Sure.” She bit her cherry-red lip, and watching her do it almost made me fall out of the chair. Still, she made no move to take a seat. “I wasn’t going to come over and talk to you—but, well, I just wanted to say that—well,” she broke off. “Never mind.”
“Seriously, do you want to sit down?” I asked again.
“Yeah.” She looked over her shoulder. “I just don’t want to be alone right now.”
As I hurried to move my school stuff out of the way, she slid into the metal chair and tossed her own book bag on the floor. Then I just stared at her, because I didn’t know what to say, and I couldn’t figure out why she’d sat down next to me. It just didn’t make much sense. The library had plenty of open tables, and even more computer desks. Hell, she could have had a whole section to herself if she wanted it.
So why me? Why me? WHY ME?
“Have you started the paper?” I asked when the awkwardness became too much for me to bear.
She nodded. “Yeah, last week. I’m about three quarters of the way done with the outline.”
“Yeah. I like English literature a lot, especially that time period.”
I sat back, surprised. No one liked Langston’s class. No one. Right? And she didn’t seem like the English type, since she never talked much in that class. I had assumed she got in just because of who she was in school and the magic spell she seemed to have over everyone—even the teachers. “So, you’re telling me you like AP English?”
She gave me a blank look, as if I shouldn’t be surprised about this.
“Well, that’s awesome. I can’t get into it. At least, not that stuff we’re learning right now.”
“It’s not that bad, Geoff. Some of it is kinda romantic.” She disappeared underneath the table and came back a few seconds later with a thick green binder, a blue pen, and her own iPad. She opened up the binder and pulled the iPad out of the case as a small smirk danced on her face.
“Wait. Are you going to study here?” I paused. “With me?”
“Sure I am. This is a library.” Laine winked. “You do know how these work, right?”
“But I mean—”
“And you look so—I don’t know—lonely sitting here all alone.”
“So you just thought you’d plop down and study with me?”
“What? Don’t you want me to?” She tilted her head and frowned, as if she didn’t understand why I’d asked the question. “That’s what people do in a library. They study. Sometimes together. Of course, I could always go study with one of the freshmen.”
But even as she said this, she made no move to get up from the table we shared. Meanwhile, all the attention in the room had turned to her. Everyone in the library stared, transfixed. She was like that ring from The Lord of the Rings. My precious.
Good fucking grief. Of course I would make that kind of lame analogy.
2014 © Sara Celi