I was sitting in the library at one of the wide wooden writing desks. I pulled open my bag and gathered three things: a box of pens, a plain white card, and an envelope. I sketched out a
grey shape with my pencil, then sketched another, more confidently. Then I traced the vague lines with a thick, black pen. The rain outside transformed the library into a sanctuary – a warm space within grey stone walls and grey stone streets.
I took an eraser and dissolved the grey shapes on the paper. I was in York for an anniversary, and there was only an hour to go until the exchange of cards and kisses. I peppered the paper with dots of pink and orange. My mind moved out of the room, over the desks and through the stacks of records and histories, down over the banisters and through the atrium, past shelves where we once giggled over the contrived names of romantic novels, to the wet streets beyond.
We stood outside on a cold day, whipped by wind, debating the acceptability of eating sandwiches in a public space. We could at least ask, she reasoned. But we might get a no, I pointed out. We might get a yes, though. Eventually we chose a relatively dry bench under a tree to eat at.
I picked a particularly bright crimson and shaded one of the last white spaces, until the paper was covered with blocks of ink from edge to edge. I sealed the envelope, emptied the desk and filled my bag. Past the creaking desks and through the stacks of records and histories, I went out into the city of warmth and cold, to find another warm space, to be Rained In With A Lover.