This story is called “Lessons” for many reasons. It is deeply personal in a way, and writing it was very therapeutic. I simply post the first part, if you appreciate it I will post more. If not, I won’t bother you with it anymore.
If only I could transfer the feeling itself, perhaps then it would have a chance of succeeding. But I can’t, all I can offer you is my story. Please don’t let my attempt be in vain.
It was June, and it was warm, I remember that. An unexpected heat wave had hit the country and people were almost fighting for a piece of shadowed ground. I was in the town’s library, escaping the heat and looking for some easy reading. Pocket books and chick lit, the literary opium for the common people. The library was big and air-conditioned, and given the heat outside I was reluctant to leave it, even after finding what I had come for. Armed with my “easy reading” I wandered between the racks, letting my hand caress the rows of books. I loved books, I still do. Even their touch and smell works relaxing for my mind, as if simply stroking them enables me to absorb a bit of their content. Lost in thought I didn’t watch where I was going, and I bumped into someone. For a short moment I felt a warm body against mine… and I looked up.
He was without a doubt the most handsome man I had ever seen; yet I couldn’t quite define why. He had wondrous eyes, blue-green with small yellow speckles in them, and those observed me from behind elegant silver reading glasses. I almost didn’t dare to breathe, for some reason being only a few centimetres away from him paralysed me. He smiled softly, and put the book he was holding on top of my small and easy-to-read stack. Then he walked away, and I just stood there. Staring at him. Later, on the bus home, I finally dared to look at the book he had given me. It was fairly disappointing, since it was written in a foreign language I couldn’t even recognize, let alone understand. But the unexplainable… call it beauty of the man had awakened something inside me, that made me curious. If only… If only I had put away that book and forgot about it, the story would have ended here. But I didn’t, for I was curious. Instead I went back to the library the next day, with nothing but the incomprehensible book. If my intuition was right and that short moment of unexpected touching had indeed meant something, I was sure I would find that strange man where I had found him last time. And indeed.
He sat at a small table, hidden between the bookshelves. He was reading a book in the same language as the book he had given me, his long fingers slowly turning the pages while he slightly looked over his reading glasses. I coughed, and said with a tiny voice.
‘Err… excuse me sir… But I noticed you reading that book, and… I have a book in that language, but… err… I don’t understand it. I wondered… I wondered if perhaps you could… if you would like to… err… explain me something?’ And with that small and hesitant sentence I started it all. The man looked up, his beautiful eyes carefully taking me up, a smile slowly folding around his lips when he answered me. His voice was resonant and harmonious, slightly accented as if English wasn’t his native.
‘Please, have a seat. Let me see what you are working on, I would gladly be of help…’ I trembled when I took the other seat at the little table, for some reason having the man’s eyes on me was enough to make me shiver. He took the book from me and carefully opened it.
‘Do you have a basic knowledge of this language?’ I shook my head and he sighed. For a moment I feared he was going to say he couldn’t help me. He turned the book towards me and pointed with his finger at the first line.
‘Read this. Word by word, the way you see it.’