Today isn’t my usual day. Today is the beginning of something new. It’s a sunny Friday, and I have my usual weekly round trip to the library to complete. I always look forward to the library trip. The smell of old, dusty books mixed with the smell of wood and damp from the condensation around the windows, all homed in a place of silence and wisdom. Something about the library felt like home. My local library is one of a kind. It’s never busy, with two floors of magic. There are a lot of dark corners and hidden places for me to kick off my shoes, spread out on the floor and eat my picnic, which is against the rules. However, I’m sure not to touch the books with my food greased hands. I may be a rebel, but at least I’m a clean one.
I thought today would be the day for my short red floral summer dress, it has the cutest daisies printed on it, suited with a crop denim jacket and white slip-on sandals, which I could easily kick off later. I brush my long blonde hair back and tie it into a messy bun and add mascara to make my blue eyes pop, with a rose blush on to my pale skin. “Underwear or no underwear?” I thought “No underwear, no one will notice”.
It is the end of June, and the summer season is already blessing us. The sun is gracing us with its warm embrace. The smell of lavender is present as I make my way on foot to the library. I live in a small village called Elven. It’s full of old cobble buildings that are painted with history. Elven is surrounded by countryside, with plenty of walking trails and waterfalls to lose yourself in. It’s home to about 300 people. Everyone is polite and happy. A village of mystery but where everyone knows each other and help is always available. I’m extremely lucky to have grown up here. It isn’t big, but it’s home. I’d read in my stories about the main character leaving small villages in search of adventure, but that is never me. You see, I have so much adventure in me and I travel place to place. But nowhere felt quite like Elven. When you find your home, you can just feel it in your bones, and Elven is my home.
I arrive at the library and hand over my old books. I know the clerk, Thea, from my year at school. We never really spoke but always exchange a smile, as if we are familiar. I am hoping she will overlook the fact that one of the books is overdue. “Thank you, anything else?” asks Thea with a cheeky grin. “Not for now, I may have more to check out later, thank you.” I’m in the mood for a classic fairy-tale and, although there are thousands of books here that I have not read, I chose one of my all-time favourites. Alice in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll truly blessed this world with his writings. I could truly relate to Alice. I feel like I have been down the rabbit hole many times during my mediations. I’d read something familiar whilst I’m in the library, as most of my time is spent eating, so I can’t full commit to reading. I grab Alice in Wonderland and head to the map’s sections. Why the maps, you ask? Well, in all my years visiting libraries, I always found the maps to be the quietest section. I guess it’s because people use digital maps and the maps section in this library has such a hidden corner with added dust, which only heightens the aroma. No-one ever interrupts me here either, no cameras, no security, and no-one to tell me that I can’t eat and drink here. It is a win all around.
I follow the turns of the shelves and arrive in my heaven. The aisle had one small entry and which is closed in by the surrounding book shelves, with hard wooden panel walls at both ends of the aisle for me to lean against. I always chose the right end of the aisle because it is a little bit brighter than the left. There is no window, just the right amount of light from the old orange lights above. The lights give it a very vintage feel, especially with all the cob webs surrounding them. I pull out my cheese salad and drink to begin my mad tea party. I barely ate three forks full of salad when a warm shiver melts in my core. I feel someone approaching. “Oh my,” I exclaim as I look up. Tall, dark and handsome, dressed casually in cargo shorts and a tight white tee that accentuates his perfect muscles, glancing at my still face with my mouth open and eyebrows raised as if it’s the first time I’m seeing a man. “Oh wow, stop staring, shake it off, just stop, what the fuck, blink already, move your head, oh wow, what a twat!” I thought. I quickly look down and blankly stare into my book, trying to process what is happening. I could sit in this corner for hours and not see or hear anyone, and Mr. Handsome has appeared this week. “I’ve read too many books,” I thought. “The name is Caspian,” he says with a husky voice, stretching his hand out to shake. I quickly stand to my feet, pulling my dress down and ensuring nothing is exposed in the sudden rush. “Astrid, it’s nice to meet you.” I took his hand in mine, and when our eyes met for the first time, the warmth rushes back to my core. I feel like I have known him forever. My body and soul recognises him. My knees begin to shake and the warmth rushes to my now blushing cheeks. Our eyes and souls unite in this moment, and I know he feels it too. There is a resistant frown that appears on his warm tanned skin, but his green eyes are transparent to what he desires. The electricity between us could have lit up the entire village, and the chemistry multiplies by the second. Time completely stops and there is no one in this space other than us. I feel him time and time again. I just didn’t know what that feeling was until now as our bodies and souls took over the moment. We are meant to be. With his hand at the back of my neck, he pulls me closer and our lips meet. He makes love to me with his lips alone and the shiver runs throughout my entire being. I’m unsure how long we are in this embrace; I’m completely lost in another time and space with this stranger. He wraps his free arm around me and picks me up, holding our lips together. My back pins against the wall. I belong to him and he to me. It isn’t like any books I’ve read. As our lips part and eyes opened, we hold each other’s gaze, and then, I don’t know why, I just put my head on his shoulder. Tears begin leaving my eyes. I’m in a state of confusion, was this a dream, I have no idea of what this means. This entire moment fills a hole inside me, but I’m left with so many questions. For the first time in my life, I just know I’ll be okay, I’m truly home.