Forbidden Knowledge

Alice was a librarian. Her large, round glasses started to fog up every time her favorite customer came by. He did not even look like a bookworm, but she was noticing his presence becoming more frequent. He moved with such purpose that she questioned if he was aware of it or not. He suddenly turned and raised his eyebrows with a slight grin as he noticed her watching him intently. He seemed to be flustered: taken aback by her attention. She wasn’t sure if he was flattered or nervous, perhaps both…

Alice soon became desperate. Every cell in her body wanted to get closer to him but every cell in her brain gave her reasons not to. She decided to lean on the one thing she always turned to for help — books. Working at a library had its pluses, one of them being able to spend an entire day dedicated to reading. She devoted herself to the “romance” section. Every love novel she nosed through seemed to be full of clichés and unrealistic expectations. She decided to forgo the fiction.

Focusing instead on nonfiction, she found an endless supply of magazines full of “love tips” and “beauty secrets,” but everything lacked substance. She learned about appealing perfumes she could wear, types of clothing that flattered her body, and even a few pickup lines she could try out. However, she felt like she was dealing with something so much deeper than that, so she continued searching the library for something that would call out to her.

Alice browsed every genre: art, education, medical, history, science, self-help, and so-on. It was hopeless. She was not sure exactly what she was looking for, she only knew that once she found it — she would know. And then it hit her: the attic. There were always whispers and gossip among co-workers about “the secret attic,” full of forbidden books that have been untouched for decades. It could give her the answers she needed. Normally she would never be foolish enough to risk breaking into the attic, but lately her mind had been tugging on itself, desperately nagging at her to do something, but what?

The next morning, Alice arrived to work much earlier than usual, before anyone else. She ran straight towards the upstairs and climbed a latter that lead her to a small door. Cautiously placing her hand on the knob, she let out a heavy sigh to learn it was locked. Determined, she searched the area for a key and immediately found one conveniently hanging right above the door. She unlocked it, slipped the key in her pocket, and then locked the door shut behind her — just in case.

Trapped in darkness, she had to use her phone as a flashlight just to see anything. Luckily she found a light switch right away. Flicking it on, her eyes widened at the extensive collection of dusty books that clearly came from a time before hers. Her curious heart pounded at the thought of uncovering ancient knowledge that had become forbidden to most of the modern world. Feeling overwhelmed, she didn’t know where to start. There were so many shelves. She slowly strolled down the aisles until she noticed a small chest. Opening it up, she discovered a letter written in script. The paper was crinkly and the ink was faded, so it must be quite old. She read the letter in her head.

My dearest,

I am hoping you receive this message, although I am unsure if you will. I need your advice. I need your assurance. I need you.

You told me to move on, yet you were so upset when I tried moving forward. Perhaps it’s because you could see me internally moving backwards.

It took me too long to see what I really needed. Why couldn’t you have directly told me what I needed to do, instead of acting out and waiting for me to read between the lines? Perhaps it’s because you knew it was something I needed to come to terms with on my own. You know that the heaviness of a person’s choice should never be placed on the shoulders of someone else.

Will you give me a chance? If I cannot spend forever with you, let me spend a day with you. If I cannot spend a day with you, let me spend a night with you. If I cannot spend a night with you, let me have a dance with you. And if I cannot have a dance with you, let me hold you for just a second.

Would you ever let me be yours? If I cannot be your partner, have me as your sidekick. If you do not want me as a sidekick, let me be your obedient. If you do not want me as your obedient, let me be your friend. And if I cannot be your friend, please have one dance with me and hold me in your arms for just a second.

Love always, xoxo.

“Wow,” Alice thought to herself, “this is nuts.” She began to see what else was hiding in the chest until suddenly she heard a noise. It sounded like someone was unlocking the door. Panicked, Alice threw the chest back where she found it and ran to the corner and hid behind a large bookshelf. Her heart was racing as she heard footsteps coming closer. She dreaded the thought of getting caught. And then the footsteps stopped.

Alice peered through the hole of the tall bookshelf to see who it was. She could not believe her eyes when she saw it was him, that guy she keeps noticing.

To be continued…


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