They met in the ways that people meet sometimes: a bit by design, a lot by luck.
The Teacher was out on one of a rare walks outside the walls of the Library. She wore her customary 1920’s three-piece suit, all brown and striped and clean lines. Her short black hair cut straight right above her chin. There were ink stains on her fingers.
She saw her smoking cigarettes on the park bench by the West entrance. Her trousers’ legs rolled up beneath her knees, as were her shirt sleeves to her elbows. The red of her hair in the sunlight was blinding. She knew a surprising amount about 19th century poetry and all the lyrics to all of David Bowie’s songs.
The Teacher took her back to her room, in the fifth floor of the tower rising above the Library. She showed her the dissertations she was working on and, for the first tie in her life, babbled more than explained about Greek architecture and the inherent values of knowing how to brew a good cup of coffee.
They made love over the clean white sheets.
I go and visit them sometimes, if they’re not working down in the Library. You need a mask to go there. A mask to hide your features, because it should never matter what you look like, only the knowledge that you have and the one that you aspire to acquire or impart has any importance. I haven’t got a mask yet.
But I go to their room and lunge around the carpet in warm patches of sunlight, the light coming through the large windows bouncing merrily on the cold stone walls and illuminating all the books and tapestries and weird collections scattered around the room. Mostly I like that they always have a bowl of blackberries on the small table on the balcony. I lay on my back and look at the crystal-splintered lights on the ceiling as I eat them and squashed them and stain my fingers and face with the juices, listening to them discuss philosophy, literature, or if they should have strawberry scones for dinner.