There were no words; my apartment was wrapped with silence. Nothing needed to be said. I stared at him as we lay covered only with sheets, taking in his exquisite features as candlelight bounced around us.
I ran my finger along his jawline, always surprised that I never drew blood with the sharpness that it exhibited. He caught my palm and kissed my finger tip, smiling at my repeated motion. I had a habit of doing that; I enjoyed his response. Especially as his tremendous eyes shimmered at me every single time I did it.
We were a couple of misfits. I guess we’d just got lucky in finding each other.
I worked at the city library; it was vast, both filled with truths and weaved with fictional tales. It was the only place I’d somewhat felt comfortable in, a place I could work and not feel so claustrophobic with bodies. The rare occasion that there were a few too many people, I could slip down aisle after aisle and when asked, I could easily lie and say that I was re-alphabetising.
There was an instance where I’d felt stifled and escaped, only to find him standing there, softly thumbing through a Tolstoy. I’d been far too taken aback to recall which of his works it was.
It felt instantaneous between us; I found him mesmerising to look at, I still had. We stood in silence, drinking one another in. He didn’t shift from my gaze, nor was he perturbed about my intrigue towards him.
The introductions took us a moment to get out. I felt uncomfortable in the simplest walks of life, let alone when I’d so openly studied a stranger for what felt as if hours had passed. Taking in his rich, sapphire eyes had dumbfounded me; I’d never seen such beauty in a man before.
He held out his hand once he’d introduced himself awkwardly, I felt a pull of reluctance, but grabbed it. An alien feat for myself as I rarely felt okay with being within two feet of someone, let alone even the gentlest of touches. That day, something was different.
For the next few weeks he came in every day as I worked, willingly helping me carry heavy encyclopaedias and towers of books, all to simply go back to their rightful homes. We talked about our favourite books and meandered through the aisles with comfortable silences.
A lot of ground was still to cover, yet I looked at him knowing that I could tell him my truths, my hang ups and anxieties.
We’d plucked up the courage to exchange numbers; I guess we’d grown tired of idly conversing over hardbacks. The same evening, my cell rang.
‘Uh hi,’ he paused. ‘It’s me.’ I knew from caller ID, but I would have known that deceptively deep voice from that sweet face, anywhere.
‘Hi,’ I smiled, waiting for more to follow.
‘I know it’s late, but do you want to grab a coffee or something?’
I knew it had taken him a lot to ask me that. Of course, I said yes; even past one in the morning. I remembered being up thinking about him anyway.
We slovenly walked around my neighbourhood, Styrofoam cups in hand, thumping at one another’s walls with lump hammers, hearing the bricks and mortar crumble with each step and utterance made. We kissed that same night, not regretting a typically ‘stupid’ decision thereafter as we fumbled to my apartment.
I smiled back in the present, revisiting those still-fresh memories whilst looking at the main content, a work of art. He captivated me.
‘What?’ He smiled, his voice breaking through an intended whisper.
He combatted my loneliness, my sadness and my vulnerability. Of course, I wasn’t fixed, yet he’d corked the things that affected me the most. The solitude most welcomed, I loathed. The buzz of silence was deafening to me, the thrum of a brain with constant whirrs of negativity now evaporated as I looked at him.
We were misfits to society. We were the people that made others feel uncomfortable for not slotting into their idea of acceptable.
We fit, however. We’d found the pieces that fit.