And tears rolled down.... He could do nothing to stop them. He rather loved seeing them soaking her cheeks. He thought those meant appreciation for what he had gone through in his life. He could not leave that moment let go like that. He tried to keep it safe with him. Thought he got something in his life worth living for.
He was in his early 20s doing his job as a librarian in a local library. It was a small library built by some local social workers. It had 3 rooms. One with newspapers to read and one with a big round table and some chair around it where the members used to discuss on some important matters which never bothered him. And the third room was for bulky books with his office in one corner where he used to sit all the day with some books in his hand. He loved that job as he used to get time to go through books. Though he was paid less he managed his mediocre requirement with that earning. He was with specs and was ignored by everybody visiting there. It seemed as if he had no reason to bring smile in his face. Every time his face was full of complains(?). He seemed to read books to console him by finding someone else more miserable than him until the day came when he found someone shedding tears for his sufferings.
One fine day, she came to visit that library. He as usual glanced and then again returned to the pages of some bulky books he was going through. She came near him and examined the librarian as if his not paying attention was like some humiliation to her. He didn't notice her scrutinizing him. She was shocked to find that. With deep sigh she slammed her hand over the register on the table. The librarian was startled. He corrected his posture and saw her with his brows going up.
"Can I help you?" he asked pushing up his glasses.
"No thanks! I would help myself?" she said mockingly and took away the register.
He could not move away his eyes for few seconds. Then he was back again with his book. But was seeing her time and again. It seemed as if he was waiting to see her doing something more screwed up like before. He waited for long but nothing happened like he expected. He then returned to his pages completely.
After a while he looked up and found her standing in front of him. He was a little bit shocked by this. But without bringing anything in his face he made another inquiry, "Well, can I help you miss?"
"Can you take off your glasses?" she said.
"Pardon me! I couldn't get you?" he was shocked again. He corrected his position and became alert.
"I asked, if you can off you glasses. I would like to see you without glasses." she added with crooked smile on her face.
He made no comments. Just saw her in dismay. Silence for a while.
"What would you like to read?" He asked to break the silence.
"The one in your hand..."she said mockingly. He closed the book which he was holding in his hand and took off his glass...and was about to burst but she interrupted.
"Now you look better! Did any one say to you that your eyes are wonderfully beautiful and you look so cute without specs!" She said.
"Actually I came up here with my sister. She is a bookish kind of girl. Let me say of your type. I thought to see some for myself. But I think no one has ever written any book of my type till now." She went on.
"...." , he said nothing. He couldn't think how to react and on what to react.
"Hope to see you some other day. For now I must go. Hope you will miss me." She said with some chuffed expression on her face.
He couldn't figure out what was happening. He was sort of distracted. He tried to get back to his book but could not stop him to come out of his counter and see for her. He came out and searched her out but couldn't find her trace.
Days passed weeks passed but she never returned. The librarian kept on waiting. Don't know why but he was missing her like hell. He used to ask himself, 'should he be missing her like that?' He was not sure of the answer though.
Then came a day when he saw her standing in front of him. He was busy in reading books as usual. So he didn't notice her entering. As she leaned herself towards him, he was shocked to see her in front of him after so long. She was smiling with her haloed face. This time she seemed more mesmerizing than before. He didn't bring anything on his face.
He was scared of not being accepted by her. He felt somewhat guilty to have possessive feelings towards her.
So with his usual faded face he asked, "Can I help you?"
She was little bit disappointed with this question she said, "I thought you missed me as I did."
She said this with same crooked smile as before which he couldn't see as his eyes were down. He became quite awkward and started having wrinkles on his forehead with his still down on the ground. He looked at her seriously. And she chuckled. "Oh! My god! Your face was worth looking ......!" She hid her face with her hands. She noticed him feeling blushed. She stopped.
There was a silence for long and then she said, "Can we be friends? Me and you?"
She was asking with her same smile which she had from the first day she met her. Her brows were raised high. This was not what he anticipated. "I guess no. I don't know much about you and as you suggested you are not of my type either." He took a deep sigh. "Would you excuse me now?" He went through his books again. This time he was not reading but was waiting for something to happen. He just wanted to show that she doesn't matter to him.
"You know this is what I like about you. I've never been disappointed by any one and you?" She seemed quite upset. He observed her while she was looking to the ground.
Just then she looked up and yelled, "See I caught you. You too like me, right?" She started making him reddened again.
"Let's shake our hands on this", she leaned toward him and caught his hand. ".... Ewe your hands are so rough! I would never touch them again."
Same happened. She never touched his hands again. He was worried whether his hands were abnormally rough or she just said it. He found them as usual. His knuckles were little bit bigger and fingers less slender. His skin too was not much fairer as compared to her. He tried to remember how her hands felt. They were soft and slender. He didn't remember much. He thought so.
This continued for long. She came some day and that day totally different for the librarian. It seemed as if he waited her to come. Some day he used to look for her keeping his books aside. He never did this before. His books were his only companion. He read some where that 'books tell their incredible stories at the time when you want to hear them. But when you're talking to people, they say some things that are so strange that you don't know how to continue the conversation.' He too had experienced this thing in his life. Even with the girl: Elisa. He found her name in his later encounter with her. He heard her sister calling her name. Her sister was different. She sometime apologized for Elisa's behaviour. But, he never disliked them.
He just said, "Oh! It's nothing." This used to bring same crooked smile in Elisa's face.
She even started coming alone. Just to have odd chats with the librarian. Without even letting her know, the librarian made some space within him for her. He even panicked when she used to disappear for long. Her presence was like a drug to him of which he became prone to. Later days he didn't even looked up when she came. It was the smell she used to bring with her in his gloomy room that made her noticeable without seeing. And when he noticed her arrival he used to act same as the first day except these days he brought some fishy expression in his face and a sly smile. He thought, 'Till the day they don't know each other, they would be interested on each other. She would love fooling around him and he would love ignoring her and sometime may be noticing her without even letting her know. But the day they would know each other thoroughly, we would find each of them to be an ordinary people; that day they would start ignoring each other. So he begged god to let them be that way for ever...'
Life is not as you wish it to be. She started telling her stuff and asking him to tell his. He couldn't deny her till long. So one day, he came up with a story:
'I have never known what love is. Love by parents, friends, teachers or anyone who could possible love an ordinary man in his life. My parents were poor enough to show their love. It's different that they cared for my desires and tried their best to fulfil my desire to acquire higher education. It was just my fate. I got some fits and became numb time and again during my high schools. Later it was discovered that I was suffering from epilepsy. I was never loved by my teachers as I was never tidy enough for them to keep me in their lap. Nor were my works tidy. And friends, you get them if you have something you can give them. I had none, except my diseased brain.
My wish for higher education blew with my first fit of epilepsy. I couldn't continue as those who knew my bane tried to keep distance with me or showed their mercy. I hated both. Ill-fated I was born, and same became my destiny for ever. I started loving solitude. I hated the way people wanted to know about why I left my study and what caused the fits. I hated to answer both. Then, one day I quit college. I got job here so I quit being with my friends too, if you can call them one. I thought why I shouldn't go through these books where I can tread without feeling like alien; where no one ever complains for me being epileptic. Why shouldn't I be bookish; when I find no where else to linger on? Only I can see in people's eye is sympathy or query for my ill-fated fits which I hate. I too need love and respect as you expect from people around you. Not the false sympathies or queries which they make so that they could be melodramatic for what I have been through." He sighed finally. It seemed as if he told his whole story in just one breath. His eyes were down while he told all this. And finally he turned his face away but still had smile on his face with watery eyes. It seemed he didn't want another melodramatic act to be played there. He turned toward her.
And a tear drop rolled down.... He could do nothing to stop them. He rather loved seeing it soak her cheeks. It was accompanied by some more. She didn't seem melodramatic to him. She still had her smile. It's just that crookedness was missing in that smile. It was innocent this time. A traceless smile: smile of which you could find no faults. He thought those meant appreciation for what he had gone through in his life. He could not leave that moment let go like that. He tried to keep it safe with him. Thought he got something in his life worth living for.
He didn't care how much long this will last. He just thought for the moment he found someone else shedding her tears when he was taking back his own tears because he didn't want anybody to be sympathetic or show false sympathy toward him. Its just till there he wanted her to be with him.
EPILOGUE: They both happily lived ever after as best friend would certainly be the expected ending. But sometimes things happen beyond our anticipations.
Although, the librarian's story made her dismal for some days, but how long could it occupy her mind? She slowly started being as usual except that she knew him whole. The librarian could never define his obsession for her but loved her company like hell. He started missing her which now showed in his face and could be figured out by anyone. He took off his glasses now and then and looked himself in the mirror and asked the same question many times: were his eyes really beautiful? He often had smiles on his face while reading book. He felt difficulty to keep his head unoccupied while reading as usual. He had to read same page again and again.
Nothing very good or very bad last for long. Same happened with his happiness. Their meeting in library went on becoming rare. She had her own personal life too. Although library was a part of his personal life but he felt it incomplete without her presence. He tried to call her. He did. But was never was successful in reaching her. Someday she was busy in celebrating with friends and other days with her family.
He once was walking in the street: strolling to keep him happy as he had promised to himself. He had smile on his face and every other people on the street felt that his smile was for them and they greeted him back. His smile grew more. He saw some girls coming toward him. It was not hard for him to see her in that mob. He greeted her with same smile. He waited her for smiling back in reply. Yes, she was smiling but with her friends and in their own stuffs. He was shocked. He felt if she took furtive glance on him and turned her head. He thought she too turned up like others were to him or like he had imagined her in his some remote and fearful thoughts.
She passed him. He turned his head toward her and watched her till she went out of his sight. He stopped there. He felt lump in his throat. His eye-sight blurred. He didn’t know what to do. He felt somewhat warm in his cheeks. Guess what! Tears rolled down…