It was a cool afternoon at Kings College. She was sitting beside the building of Maughan Library, on the old wooden bench beside the building entrance. The students were preparing for their finals and so was she, writing her final drafts for a final paper. Entering the left hand side of the building, she would have headed in, turn, and walk on the swirling stairs that goes up into the shelves with latin literature collections.
It was not the books themselves that fascinated her the most, but the scent of the ancientness that the books give out when she sat down amongst them, her back facing the wall of books on Arthurian and medieval literature.
Her mind would unwind as she, looking far off into the narrow road where she entered the building, would see the sunset right there beside her, fuming into the walls and inviting themselves in through the window glasses and land on her books, enshrouding them with a fumoir of the golden age.
It was not the deep red autobuses and the loud commercing tourist spots that fascinated her, but the ancientness of the city, in the accent of the different classes of people that she sensed, the little smirks among the different skin tones she met, and the tall white buildings in its unmovable glory of the past that fascinated her.
It was her working day, from ten in the morning to early afternoon, she would sit there, at times reading books of her own interests, other times, those concerning her studies in culture and performance, sometimes, she just sat amidst the shelves and zoomed out. No words are needed during those moments of satisfaction.
It was a different day though, as she sat on the bench taking out her computer. The coolness of the mist came in through her coat. She had to find a place to stay for the rest of the day, for she had forgotten that it was not a library opening day. Students from other colleges like her, are not allowed to enter the library.
A pigeon landed, pecked the floor, and flew away. A young man came out of the building and sat on the bench beside her, holding a cup of hot coffee, with his legs spread open and an arm extending the bench, seemingly to be enjoying himself. A few minutes later, some students entering the college gate greeted him.
“You know what I like the most for non-opening days? No students from other colleges would gather here or use the library, just Kings.” He smirked with a raised tone in his voice. The other students replied hastily, with an awkward politeness “oh, yeah?”
They quickly walked away, as the young man took another sip of the coffee.
The story ended there. Whether she left for the next library, or headed home for a few groceries, she has forgotten.
The day headed on, and she handed in her final paper on time, probably with the company of her favorite shrimp salad at Prets. This little moment stayed, leaving no changes in her on-going life. It was just an ordinary day with the sun gently shining through the mist of the early spring London, in the year 2019.