I got to the canteen earlier than Harry, so I went to get my food and sat down on a random table. With every forkful I look around to see if I saw Harry. He was nowhere to be seen. I repeated that action until I realised he wasn’t coming. Why would he? I mean, he was just using me earlier that day because he was lonely. I should have figured it out. He didn’t care about anything, not even if a teenage boy died, so why this?
I sighed, got up and left. I wasn’t feeling essentially sad, or disappointed. I should have known better.
As I walked out of the canteen, I spotted Mr Hansen hang up his snow-covered coat on a peg at the door of his office which was just down the corridor.
“Miss Daniels,” he called for me “Good evening.”
“Good evening Sir,” I politely responded, walking over to him.
“Are you enjoying the Winter holidays so far?”
“Do you want me to be honest?” I answered. The grown-up man laughed and placed his hand on my shoulder.
“Like father, like daughter,” he said. The mention of my father made my heart contract, but I didn’t show it.
“Can I ask you a question?” I asked and he nodded “I don’t mean to sound rude or anything, but don’t you have a better place to be than to stay here?” I asked. I just couldn’t help myself, I was genuinely curious.
“I don’t actually,” he said and the atmosphere immediately became heavier “And I have to control things around here so I like it this way... Have a good evening Daniels.”
“You too,” I replied and he walked to the canteen. Way to go Summer, I thought to myself.
I decided I didn’t want to go to bed just yet, since it was just nine-thirty. I dragged myself to the vacant library to search for something to read.
It was deadly silent and impossibly cold. I wrapped my arms around my body and moved forward between aisles and aisles of bookshelves.
Somebody was there with me. I looked around but I didn’t see anyone.
“Hello?” I called insecurely “Anyone there?”
Again another sound. I walked around, looked in every direction, but nothing.
Suddenly, a hand wrapped around my arm and I immediately turned around, a squeal escaping my lips. Harry’s eyes were penetrating and for a moment I thought I saw a ghost.
I pushed him away.
“What the hell Harry! What was that for?”
“Your expression was priceless!” he laughed as he leaned his head backwards, laughing at my expense, his dimples showing.
“Ha-ha, very funny,” I said, putting my hands on my hips. “Why didn’t you show up?” I didn’t need to elaborate more, he knew exactly what I meant.
“I wasn’t expecting that you would be waiting for me.”
“Why?” I asked as I walked behind him aimlessly. He didn’t answer, just stared at the floor. Deep down I knew he didn’t have anything at Hudson to look up to, so why would he expect someone to care? His behaviour was understandable, and it broke my heart just a tiny bit. I didn’t push him or asked for an explanation, he didn’t need to.
“What are you doing here?” He asked me, breaking the silence.
“I was just looking for a book,” I said “And you? You don’t look like the type of person that reads.”
“That’s correct,” he said with a chuckle “I was just exploring this part of the school. I was never here before.”
“You’re kidding me, right? This is the best part of this school.”
“Have you ever heard that saying: It doesn’t matter where you are but who you’re with?” he took a deep breath “Why would I came here if everyone who frequented it didn’t want me here?” I didn’t say anything. That broke my heart, again. “But I can see why people stay so much time in here, this place has its beauty.”
“So I guess it’s my duty to show you the place,” I said and stepped in front of him, leading the way.
I walked in front of him and made gestures with my hands indicating the different sections and areas of the library.
As we crossed the one of the famous bridges, the lights suddenly flickered.
“What was that?” I looked at him. Again, the lights flickered, but they didn’t turn on again. The huge place went completely dark. I could only see the outlines of the objects due to the light from the full moon that came through the massive windows.
“The light went out,” he said, “We should probably go.”
Just when we were going down the stairs, we heard the double doors of the library close, the sound of keys turning in the keyhole. We looked at each other and we ran.
Once we reached the door, we pushed and pull, but it didn’t move.
“Shit, we’re locked,” Harry cursed under his breath.
“What do we do now?” I asked him. He looked worried, and so was I.
“Check the windows,” he ordered.
We checked literally every window, even the ones from the upper floor, but they were all locked.
We looked at each other. No words were needed to explain what was happening.
“I guess we are going to spend the night here,” he said.
Defeated, I sat down on the floor leaning my back against the wall and wrapped my arms around my legs. “It’s freezing cold,” I mumbled.
Harry sat down next to me “We’ve been through fire and now cold,” he said “What’s next?”
We just sat there, staring into the distance, taking in the gloomy scenery we were trapped in.
“What time is it?” I asked him, breaking the silence.
Harry looked at his watch “Almost eleven.”
“The temperature is going to drop even more,” I stated, looking at the frosted windows “See, this is why summer is the best season.”
The giant library was extremely cold. To make it worse, I was wearing a skirt which was part of the uniform, and the only thing I had to warm myself was the blazer I was wearing, which wasn’t providing much heat after all. It felt like I was inside a freezer or covered in snow.
We stayed in silence for a few seconds before Harry inched his way closer to me. He didn’t need to tell me what he was doing, I understood. Body temperature could save a life in desperate situations, and this was one of them. He wrapped his arms around me and we intertwined our legs. I immediately felt warmer as soon as his body touched mine.
“They will find out we are gone sooner or later,” he assured “Of if they don’t, we will be out of here in the morning.”
No more words needed to be said. Soon enough, I fell asleep in his warm arms.
The sound of the turning of keys echoed in the empty room making me jump. The first thing I noticed was the clarity in the room, the brightness that shone through the large windows and I blinked a couple of times adjust to it. Then I noticed how warm it was compared to last night (but it was still cold though), and then Summer. She was peacefully sleeping with her head resting on my shoulder and an arm securely tight around my torso, her legs brought up close to her chest.
Once the door was unlocked, a petite figure entered the library. Once she saw us both there, her face went pale. Oh shit.
“What are you doing here?!” The woman whispered-shouted, her eyes almost out of her sockets. Summer immediately woke up, startled, and in a second she was on her feet. I copied her actions.
“Aunt Marge, I can explain-” she said frantically.
“Do you know what this looks like?!” Oh shit “If anyone else rather than me had found you two in here you would be in a lot of trouble!”
Summer and I exchanged looks. I could tell she was terrified.
“Now get out of here before anyone find out you were missing,” she said in a rushed tone.
As we walked out, Summer whispered a ‘thank you’ to the elder lady.
“Go to your dorm and act as if you stayed there all night,” I instructed her “Nobody can see us together at this time in the morning.”
She nodded and we parted our ways. I managed to get to my dorm without anybody seeing me and the first thing I did was wrap myself in jackets so I could gain more body temperature.
As I sat down on my bed I started to process the events that happened. Summer and I just spent a night together in a freezing library and we used our bodies to keep ourselves warm.
That didn’t sound right, at all. Kind of interesting though.
I had so many questions to ask Summer. For example, why didn’t that lady denounce us? And why didn’t she ask questions? But I had to wait for breakfast to ask her all of that, and even so we had to be careful not to show off too much. There weren’t many kids there, and surely they wouldn’t even talk about us, but they would remember, and they would tell what they saw to the rest of the students when they came back from holidays.
But it was a risk I was willing to take to talk to her.