kindness

I no longer see Élodie in the library. Twice she ran into me, almost literally. She tried to bat her lashes at me, twice I told her that if she ever came anywhere near my brother I would have to show her that I might look harmless but I wasn’t. She stared at me funny, her eyes wide, she stumbled over an apology, I thanked her for her patronage, told her she could get lost and bid her good day. I’m a fine, confusing sort of soul, I know. It amuses me. She hasn’t been around since that second stumble and I’m glad for that. Sure it’s one less person in the library but I don’t think that’s what’ll change much.

The first time she ran into me, when she turned to walk away, she bumped into someone else. A guy who couldn’t be much older than me. His hair was bright purple that time and bright teal the next. He must have known her because he called her by name. She looked even more startled than she’d been with me and took off even more quickly.

He’s in the library often lately, I can’t complain. He doesn’t cause anyone any harm and he’s friendly. He’ll come in, one morning, find a book, settle somewhere and just read for a few hours before he takes note of his page and he actually puts the book back where it belongs. I don’t know why he doesn’t borrow it to finish reading it.

I think his name is Cyrille. I could be wrong but I think that’s what I heard Élodie mutter last time she stumbled into him. I’d be more certain if he had an account with the library but I don’t mind. It’s nice just being able to see him come and go. He changes his hair colour every so often, it’s interesting. I know Agni has noticed him too.

Hard not to, though, when one morning last week he actually came in with three danishes. I mean, I know we’re not supposed to eat in the library and I’m pretty sure he knows that but he had these three danishes, he came up to the desk and he dropped them here with a grin. Armin rolled his eyes at him but told him that his last book still was on the shelf and that no one had taken it out. I guess they know one another somewhat, I wonder where from.

I think he’s kind. I think it’s really cool that he just puts his book back where he took it. So many others just leave them on the table where they were reading them or looking for stuff in them. One day, a little while back, I saw him offer his seat to an older lady who’d been looking for a seat near one of the windows, it has better lighting. I can’t say I’ve seen that done often. The window seats are the ones that go first because the areas are bright, the table spots are last to go because, for one, they’re uncomfortable and two, the lights are honestly dim in there.

Right as I’m reaching up to put a book back where it belongs, the lights flicker and go dark. I can only freeze and close my eyes for a few moments. I count to ten, I open my eyes, still in the dark. I stay quiet, I strain and listen. I can hear Armin telling folks that the electricity has just up and died and that sadly it will more than likely not be back until the following morning. I can hear the distant rustle of clothes and books as some people decide to leave.

Agni was supposed to be with Armin at that point so I know before long he’ll come looking for me with the flashlight. The electricity cutting out this way has been happening more and more often. I’m a little worried about what it’s going to be like this winter. Or what happens if it cuts out but fire catches on somewhere because there’s a spark? I could get it under control but it doesn’t mean that I’m not afraid of what might happen, really.

From my left, I see a light bobbing though it looks to be a little higher held than Agni would. I blink but I carefully step down from my stool so as to not break my neck and I ease out from between the shelves and into the main path. The light shines on me for a moment but it still is too dark for me to make out features.

“Mira, right?” Definitely not my brother! Why does my heart suddenly decides to beat a mile a minute? I feel my cheeks warm and that too baffles me to no end, I don’t honestly know what to think!

I can only clear my throat for a moment before I manage a startled sort of laugh. “Yeah, I’m here.”

“It’s Cyrille, you know, the guy with the hair, Armin said your brother was getting the lights from the cupboard and asked if I minded taking a moment to get you from the back since it’s so dark.”

I laugh again, I can’t help it. ‘The guy with the hair’, that little statement alone amuses me more than anything else. As he steps closer to me, I can see the grin on his face and I roll my eyes. “Your hair is hard to miss but I think it looks nice.”

“Aww, thanks!” I’m blushing again but as I’m walking besides him, I’d rather want to hope he’s not going to notice it. He’s almost a head taller than me. Taller people used to scare the hell out of me, I guess it’s from that memory I only half remember of that man we stayed with when we were kids. I don’t remember much. I’m a bit more used to them now, between Alexis and Eoghan who are huge, in my opinion, Cy here seems to be in the middle.

“It’s nice to properly meet you.” I can’t believe how mumbly these come out of my mouth and I shake my head slightly. I don’t know why I’m reacting this way, really.

“Well, we’ve met before and to be honest, I heard Élodie talking on the phone with her friends about what she’d had in mind for you and your brother and I wanted to apologize on her behalf, my sister is a twit and she thinks she can get away with a lot.”

That might explain the hair colour, though I know I’m just assuming. I feel my shoulders tense and I hear him sigh besides me as we stop just at the edge of the shelves, just a few steps away from the main area, it’s still dark.

“I’m nothing like my sister, Mira. At least I want to believe I’m not. I don’t go after people because I think I might get a good romp out of it though I’m not against casual pleasure.” My cheeks flame again, deeply, at those words and he looks down at me with a sheepish sort of smile. “Sorry, details you might not be interested in. I’ll spare you. I just want to make sure that you don’t think I’d invite either one of you out and try to rope you into sexual favours, that’s all. If I did invite either one of you and honestly I’d rather invite you both, it’d be to a crowded place where we could just learn a bit more about one another.”

His words pause but we finally start walking again. His words echo left and right in my mind and I miss Agni almost running out way and hugging me. The action is so sudden that I stiffen before I’m hugging him back and laughing softly. “I’m all right, Agni. Didn’t fall off my stool this time.”

He looks so relieved that I can’t help the slight snicker that escapes me. “Cy found me just in time. Er, Cyrille, that is. Agni, this is Cyrille, Cyrille, my brother Agni.”

Cy holds out his hand and Agni shakes it, they share a smile. “You can call me Cy, I don’t mind. Now I also know that we’re not supposed to eat or drink in here but I’m pretty sure there’s only the four of us left, I thought I could head out and bring back some lunch sandwiches and some smoothies?”

The offer is tempting, I don’t see why we could refuse.

“I know what Armin might like but I have no idea what either one of you would like though. Maybe you could note it down on some paper?”

“I can go with you.”

I blink at Agni, my head tilting slightly to the side as we finally stop by the desk where Armin is putting up the last of the emergency lights. We still need to get those solar powered ones.

“Well, I guess we all three could go but I’d feel bad for leaving Armin alone.” Agni’s words are thoughtful as he leans lightly against the counter. He seems so open right now, it’s warming to know that Élodie hasn’t scared him off of strangers completely.

“I don’t mind being alone.” Armin’s answer is what I expected but it hardly means that like it.
“Well I mind so I’ll stay. Cy and Agni can go off and get some food and be sneaky-sneaky in bringing it back in.”

“We can eat outside on the steps, it’s still warm and sunny.”

“M’kay, we’ll wait for you guys out on the steps, then.”

And that was it. Agni and Cy were heading out to get some lunch while I waited for Armin to round the desk. We had a long glance out and about to make sure everyone was out and we finally stepped outside. I really hope Cyrille is nothing like his sister. I don’t want Agni to be hurt again and I certainly don’t want to be hurt either.

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