" Oliver, you can have this. It's a perfect guide- book to teach you all about relationships".- said Mr. Harry Warry.
He handed me a sizeable novel, titled "in the spirit of romance", written by a French writer ( a name I brutally murdered while pronouncing).
"honueé d' orfeee'". When Its real pronounciation is "Hon- o -re d' ur-fe" as in "Honore d' urfe".
He had carefully selected it from one of the high wooden book shelves (the third to be precise) in the library.
Earlier on, he had approached me, where I sat at a corner of the huge library lost in thoughts .
"What's the problem, my boy??".- he had asked.
I wasn't all too good to discuss it with anyone, but since it was Mr. Harry, It felt more easier to let him know.
"Mr. Harry"- I mentioned his name as he sat before me, barricaded by a round brown polished table on which I rested my hands, while he carefully placed a glass of coffee close to me.
" How can a guy know when he's loved by a girl and how can he best express his feelings for her"- I asked.
Mr. Harry, being who he has always been to me (my adviser and a second father to me), took a deep breath and said in the advising words of a parent.
"My son (he always calls me), any girl that loves you should count herself very lucky, and if you have feeling for her ,I will advise that you approach her and let out your feelings without being scared. Afterall, you are now very matured to be in a relationship. Also try putting up a funny act so to amuse her a little".- he said.
"It's not as easy as you say it Harry, it's just so difficult to open up to her."- I said to him.
" Come let me give you something that will help. "- he said, holding my both hand close to his. He stood up, still holding on to my hands while we both journeyed down the long silent path to the place of the shelves. He stood in front of a shelf and searched through the pile of books neatly and orderly arranged vertically according to their sizes. He shifted books upon books and upon books again in search of a particular one(I hadn't known about), but then seemed not to find what he was looking for. We moved to the next shelf and he searched thoroughly again like he did in the first shelf. But still, didn't find what he wanted. We approached the third shelf, and he began the search again. This time, I looked at him briefly and was able to see some whitened set of teeth and a wild smile that spelt out "finally" on his already wrinkled face. He brought out a medium sized book, that was hard covered, on both the front and back of the book. It was coloured red, and had some color of gold used to boldly engrave the word "in the spirit of romance", on the cover paper.
I collected the book from him and looked at it briefly, silently pronouncing the words on the cover page ( the title and authors name), before facing him again to watch as he struggles to deal with arranging the pile of other scattered books back on the shelf.
" Thanks Mr. Harry"- I said giving him a thight hug before leaving the library.
Mr. Harry Warry was a librarian extraordinaire- I would proudly call him that. Since I made contact with him, about five years ago. My life has always been well lived and enjoyed based on his advice and counselings. Mr. Harry Warry was a man of 60years by age. He had worked as a librarian for fifteen years now and was still ever active in his duties- he once revealed to me. He was always neatly and smartly dressed in his white shirt and black pants uniform, with a black shiny shoe to help finish up the perfect match. He revealed to me that he had divorced his wife two years prior, but still lives happily with his three kids in their new apartment.
He always calls me his son, and I call him my father too because of our close relationship. Often times, I visited the library just few blocks away from my house to spend time with him. He would always welcome me like his own son. First off, with a hug and kiss on my forehead, then, an offer of a seat at my favorite spot in the library (located just close to his counter), and then a glass of hot chocolate coffee, before ending the day with lot and lot of gisting and laughing (an act that's against the rules of the library, but still we broke it). Sometimes, I helped him attend to customers at the shelf.
This very day didnt go well with me. I was in a bad mood because I think I just did something really really stupid which I now greatly regret. I had turned down Tina's request to be her date in our schools prom night at the very first opportunity of my wanting to be close to her. I had dreadfully awaited this day to come. Tina and I admired each other from eighth grade up until our twelfth grade together, And we both knew this all along. All we could do best whenever we clashed into eachother was to cross eyes, and give a sharp nod, as we walked past each other in the school hall way or on the playground or anywhere I think we have seen before.
And now, with this opportunity presented before me, I just couldn't man up enough to accept this lovely offer from the girl of my dreams, due to some crazy fright of expressing myself right before her.
"This is ridiculous. I',m so stupid! Stupid! stupid for turning down Tina's request. O my God!. What will I do now??- I said. cursing myself, fidgeting and still feeling that stupid.
Mr. Harry warry was the only option I could think of at the moment. So quickly, I picked up my woolly coat and put it on, and headed for the library inside the showers of rain that had just begun shortly after I stepped out of the house. I got to the library, drenched a little from the drizzle, and stayed at a different corner unlike, in my usual spot close to Mr. Harry's counter. There was no hugging, no " Goodday, Mr. Harry", like I used to say before we hugged, or even asking for a glass of coffee like I used to. He had noticed my face and mood from his counter. Still lost in deep thoughts, I had not noticed when he came close to me, but only became aware of his presence when I saw a glass of coffee slowly dragged towards my direction. I looked up to see who it was, happily it was he, my other father, my adviser and guide, a best friend indeed if I must say, Mr. Harry Warry who came to my rescue. With his advice and book recommendation, I got back home. Changed into new clothes, made coffee before drowning myself into the novel.
I opened the first page, and read through. A phrase called my attention from the authors preface. It was a quote from an anonymous person.
"Love is courage" was written in deep inks to make it over visible.
"Love is courage"-i said aloud.
After reading the entire novel, I was able to understand that the writer's intention was to teach silent admirers how to be bold enough to best express themselves, like in the characters of Louis and Marie in the novel, who were secret admirers but later as the play progresses, louis picked up courage to express his feelings for Marie in a house party organised by one of his friends. He had used the words.
"It's my utmost pleasure, speaking to a priceless jewel that you are. I'm Anthony"- he introducted himself, stretching out his right hand for a shake.
This first word was what caught her emotions, and she smiled warmly. Before responding nicely to him.
"With pleasure too, Marie is my name".- she said, giving out her hand in exchange.
I had practiced this line daily, every minute and every hour. "I have offended Tina, and I needed to make amends as soon as possible". - I said.
Two day later, I met Tina in the school hallway going for lectures. Hurriedly but a little bit nervous, I went to her to apologise for rudely turning down her request.
"I'm very very sorry for what I said".
" No, it's Ok. I understand"-she replied.
I immediately remembered the story in the novel and the lines of Louis professing his love for Marie.
"Tina, I have something to say to you".
"It's has been my utmost pleasure speaking to a priceless jewel like you, I only ask, if you will give me a second opportunity to be your date at prom night".- I shyly said.
" Yes, why not."- she replied instantly with a wide and cute smile.
"Thanks so much"- I said, opening my both hands in a gesture to hug. She seemed to have understood the message, and was happy to return the gesture.
On the night of our prom. I met Tina in the hall where all students have gathered. she was looking stunning in her purple blouse dress. I walked up to her at the drink stand where she wnted to order a drink.
" Can I have two cocktails please".- I told the bartender. He slid the two drinks to my side. I offered Tina a glass.
"You can have this one. Bill is on me".- I said boastfully.
" Oh.. thanks so much"- she appreciated.
We began talking, and just then, she asked me for a dance.
" Alright, i'm in".- I replied. We walked to the center stage and danced so close to each other that I could inhale her exhale, touching her body at sensitive areas before I took so much courage to ask her to be my lover.
" Yes! yes!. I will".- she smiled widely. I couldn't believe it at first that she would immediately accept my request. But not minding, the deed is done. I can now live the dreams, and not just wish for it anymore. All thanks to the novel for inspiring me. Tina and I entered into a long-understanding relationship till the second year of college when she had moved to Virginia in her new family apartment, but still never failed to call. I can happily say that our relationship was a success, built on the lessons of the book recommended by Mr. Harry Warry. My guide.