Chapter Twenty Six

My plan was to make a plan, although, it seemed like I was going to improvise a lot. I doubled back to the ‘silent area’. Actually, I couldn’t believe that an old-fashioned looking library would have such an area! I had to give it credit for being air conditioned at least.

Sitting down, I pulled out my notepad again and started tapping on the page. There must be a way to do all this. My eyes wondered around the whole area. Certainly, they had lights, even lamps for each desk, but they decided to keep to the 1800s theme. The style of lamps, the shelves holding the books in place and the tables with the stiff chairs remained. It all seemed wooden, and constricted. It did have a strange feeling, it moved more towards hostile. Elitist, probably the best word to describe it.

I looked up at the ceiling, hoping for more history. Indeed there was a huge circle with I can only assume hand-crafted designs, but it was surrounded by lights. Assumptions come into the equation again. There must have either been a sort of glass dome or just a glass ceiling to cover the area within the circle. The lamps that held unlit candles were probably used during the evening. Closing my eyes, I imagined them being blown out, each and every one of them.

Looking back down on my pad, I realised that I had sketched bits of the library. This included the lamp. Light!

I knew what I had to do. I quickly packed my things and walked back to Derek. He was looking down at some paperwork. There were quills and an ink pot. That intrigued me. Did people still write with quills?

There was a stack of books by my elbow, which I bumped into. They landed with a loud thud, which echoed and bounced off all four, five or six walls. I was instantly on my knees, trying my utmost best not to embarrass myself any further.

At once, he was at my side. ‘Is everything alright, Kelly? Did you forget anything?’ He softly asked.

With such a soothing voice, how can one think ill of him? Then he had those beautiful hazel eyes. What was wrong with me? He was old enough to be my parent’s age.

Grabbing the books, I placed them roughly on the small table. I tried to smooth out the wrinkles on my dress.

‘I-well-I just-well,’ I could not help but stutter.

He nodded towards the chair. I slowly sat down.

‘Kelly, what is wrong? Did something just happen outside? I thought you had gone home.’

I could not take it anymore; I had to put my own glasses on. As much as I hated them, he just made wearing spectacles look professional. Either way, I needed to ask him something, it was the way to ask that agitated me slightly.

Taking a deep breath, I decided to take a risk. ‘I really am interested in the history of all this. As you know the history of his place,’ I gestured to the surrounding, ‘as you know the history, I was wondering whether you would like to come around to my house. Would you be free?’

He screwed his eyes slightly, as if he was trying to read me. As his face cleared, he passed on a slow nod. First step completed.

‘Let me get my diary. I usually give lectures at numerous events,’ sliding his drawer open, he said, ‘so I need to check when I’d be free.’

‘Oh yes of course. I cannot cook at all, so it will have to be a day when my mum is free,’ I muttered, more so to myself then to him.

‘Your mother?’ The sound of excitement in his tone made me jump.

I dropped my own diary and looked up at him. His eyes had gotten wider and there was a stretched smile. I picked up my diary and took a step back as he scrapped back his chair and stood up.

I did not know what to say, so I waited for him to proceed. To add anything to his question.

He must have noticed the shock on my face because he hid his emotion as quickly as they had initially appeared. Looking down, he pushed his spectacles up and started shuffling his papers.

I imitated his movement with my own glasses. ‘Yes, my mum. I need to make sure she’s in, or at least has something prepared.’ I did not think that this would catch his attention, but now I was smiling inside. Step two was nearly complete. I just needed him to say yes.

‘I should be free this Saturday, if you are,’ he said without looking at his diary.

That was when darkness dawned upon me, and engulfed me. I walked to the chair and slumped down.

My eyes were glazed and I felt the tears drop. The image of the little boy came back into my mind. The sound of the scream echoed in my ears. And the face of my mum, suddenly flashed through my eyes.

He did not notice the change of emotions that had taken over me. I felt as if someone was controlling it, yet I was fighting for control.

Sacrifices needed to be made if you wanted to achieve your goals.

I tried to clip up my fringe.

‘Your hair may be a different colour, but it’s exactly the same as your mother’s.’

‘How would you know? You have never met my mum,’ I raised my eyebrow at him.

‘I mean the picture. Let me rephrase it all. Your hair looks like your mother’s. Not to worry, I shall be meeting everyone soon,’ grinning, he stuck out his hand.

I stood up and shook his hand. Turning away, I needed to get back home as soon as possible. Step two was complete. Three, four, five, and how many more, I still had to achieve. I groaned at the idea of meeting all the neighbours but, it had to be done.

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