Students lived and breathed for their alphabetically assigned day to visit the library instead of festering in the forced, unnatural quiet of the large study hall room. I never failed to use the permitted freedom. I could read magazines, flip through the local newspaper, stretch my legs amongst the stacks as I browsed at my leisure not looking for anything in particular, really, or socialize on the sly away from the uncaring librarian's disinterested gaze.
Mostly I was content to be alone at my favored table, the stacks to my back and the entire library in front of me, people watching through the glass walls that seperated the quiet bliss of the library from the low-traffic classtime hallways. Occasionally a bored student office worker would wander in to kill time. Some I knew and liked so they stayed to talk for awhile or we shared the current People magazine. Others I simply just knew, so we kept our distance and ignored each other.
I can't recall if I knowingly sought the delicate, beautiful, brunette out or merely responded to the Senior library assistant's friendly nature, but deep into my Junior year I was entrenched in an unusual friendship. We talked about music - his taste so different than mine but merging in a few places to strengthen our interest. He read me sonnets from Shakespeare - really, he knew his favorites by heart but used the book as a prop to look out from under his floppy bangs with his enbelievably large and long-lashed baby blues. And we talked sex. In round about ways - about girlfriends, boyfriends, accumulated knowledge of the opposite sex including successes and failures of, and duration since our last experiences.
Mine had been quite recent, having broken up for the last time with my first serious boyfriend. They knew of each other and moved on the outer edges of each other's social circles. In my small community, that was about as far away as you could get from someone. Not knowing a person was impossible.
His had been more than a year prior. Somehow that made him more attractive to me. If I first saw him as a challenge or as easy prey isn't clear to me still to this day, but with each and every innuendo, confession, flirtation, and smile I fell deeper and deeper into desire for the pretty boy with a voice like a soft Christian Slater. But poor choices and bad timing wouldn't let me have him just yet.
For months we built our flirty friendship around the entanglement I'd gotten myself into. I had agreed to go to prom with the best friend of my old boyfriend in the event we both hadn't found suitable replacements for our exes. I'd found a suitable replacement, sure...but he wasn't grabbing the bait. Pretty boy liked to play hard to get. He'd warm up to me with a slide of his palm along my thigh as we faced each other in close conversation, only to breeze past me the next time with a cool hello as he went about his library business. Some days he wasn't in the library at all, having convinced the librarian to let him wander the halls. All while I was stuck in the fishbowl room with nowhere to go. My frustration with him on those days only caused my heels to plant more firmly in determination to make him mine.
He'd tell me about the good times he had at the restaurant where he waited most evenings and about the parties he went to with his friends on the weekends. I was jealous at the life he had outside of me. We were strictly M-F during school hours. Navy boy was happily suited to our friendly arrangement. I was...not. Being denied isn't something I've ever been good at, nor have I ever wanted to be. Call me spoiled, but I knew I wanted him,
He gave me his phone number (along with a dirty joke about 69 being in there) so I called. Turned out he wasn't much for phone conversations. He was more of a chill out together in person kind of guy. So I found a way to be in person. An offered ride home afterschool was my ticket. I had a car. He did not. We started hanging out on his front steps and talking for hours. It was after I'd gotten home from Navy boy's house one early spring afternoon that I got the phone call. The one where he came clean about really liking me all this time and he hoped that we could be more. The one where he hoped we could have a real date. And he hoped we were still going to prom. Yes. Prom. Oooh. *cringe* I'd forgotten about that.......