Dorian instantly felt light headed when he stepped into the library. It was strange. Possibly, it had to do with the air around the books. Why was he suddenly thinking of science?
He looked out of the corner of his eye and saw Quinn at the children's desk. Heart failure. Kind of. He took a deep breath. He had not seen her since...the break up. She worked at the library? That was news.
He looked to the right of him at the circulation counter. There was Henry. He thought he might pass out. Suddenly, he felt as if he were wading into the deep end. His legs could hardly move, ready to buckle. This felt like a nightmare. He felt faint. Maybe his eyes were beginning to water. Or it was just sweat.
"Uh, yeah." Dorian winced not sure if he should sit, but Eli was sitting there with a spiral notebook.
"Sit." Eli pulled out a chair for him. It was a bit more intimate than Dorian expected. He thought they might sit across from each other, but Eli sat next to him. He opened up his notebook. Immediately his hand was on the back of Dorian's chair.
"I wanted to show you, something." His words were softer than usual. Usually, he was quite demanding in the lab setting. But then again, maybe it was the timing. It was a calm Saturday afternoon at the library.
Dorian looked back at Eli's arm and where it was, but he didn't want to think this was anything other than Eli needing him to get him a library book.
"I write poetry," Eli said as if it might be a secret.
"I see." Dorian looked down at the hand written pages. They were filled to epic proportions. Dorian cleared his throat.
"Do you think its any good?" Eli searched Dorian for an immediate answer.
"Uh, I'd..I'd have to ..read it, first." Dorian didn't mean to put him off. So many mixed signals. It was hard to ignore.
"But would you?" He wanted to know.
Dorian nodded. Eli closed the notebook and pushed it toward Dorian to take.
"Are you sure?" Dorian would hate to lose the notebook.
"Take it as long as you need." Eli's smile was open.
"Well, shouldn't we... find that book?" Dorian was doing his best to remember why he was here.
"What book?" Eli almost laughed.
"The book, you, said you wanted." Dorian looked at him serious.
"Yeah, I need that book." Eli was suddenly back on track. "All they have at the University are old text books and classics." He sounded as if he didn't like the fact of being on campus.
Dorian reminded him of all the opportunities at the University. The art building. Getting into free comedy shows and plays, even if they were students who performed, mostly. They went to look for the book that Eli wanted, Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray.
"You, are kidding me?" Dorian knew this must be a joke, yet he felt Eli's warm breath from behind him. Dorian backed into him, almost falling. For a moment, he was sure Eli would catch him, like he would always be there for him.
"This is the graphic novel version." Eli's arm came over Dorian's shoulder as he pointed to the book.
"Of course." Dorian was being cynical, but he was pretty sure Eli was oblivious to that fact. Did Eli like him? Or was Dorian's imagination just getting the best of him?
Once they got out of the stacks, Dorian realized he was suddenly alone. No Eli. Where did he go?
It was as if a wave of romance didn't exist. Perhaps, it never did. Dorian went to the counter. There was only Henry to wait on him, which he guessed was better than seeing Quinn.
"So, taking a break from studying?" Henry said ever so casual as if they could possibly have a conversation.
"Kind of." Dorian gritted a grin, but then he saw that Henry noticed the title. "Oscar Wilde fan."
"I thought maybe you were just a Dorian Gray fan." Henry shrugged a smile as he gave the book back and told him the due date.
Dorian turned to see Quinn standing beside him as if he'd came to see her and no one else.
She was all smiles as if he was the long lost puppy she thought she might never see again. Instantly, she gave him a hug. She told him she'd heard about the alcohol poisoning. It was a stifling hug. He knew she meant well, but it made him feel all the more miserable.