Chapter Forty Three: After the Library.
Once the pair got into the library, Francesca ran over to the bookshelves and scanned through the titles. She didn't find what she was looking for on the first pass, nor on the second pass.
"Miss, may I know where the literature and history guides are kept?" Francesca asked the librarian, after she just couldn't find the books she wanted.
The librarian pointed upstairs. "Go up two flights of stairs, they're in the reading attic," she said.
Francesca then went upstairs, and Attie followed moments later, curious about her cousin's plan.
She saw her cousin open the attic door and enter. Attie slipped in after her. The attic looked quite comfortable, with some sofas, cushions, and piles of books. "Looks like your idea of heaven," Attie said.
"Yep," Francesca said. "You should know that I like books by now."
"I'd be blind if I didn't know it, not after so long," Attie purred. She leaned close to her cousin and kissed her on the cheek.
|Attie kissed her cousin on the cheek.|
"I understand. We don't have the same taste. So, I'll leave you alone for now."
"Good, because I want to read in peace. Leave me alone to think."
Attie was hurt by her cousin's curt remark, so she took out the sports magazine and sat on the sofa to read it.
By the time Francesca decided on what sort of books to borrow, it was past sundown, and a bit too late for dinner at home.
So the two young women bought hamburgers from a nearby stand and ate them, sitting at the library's doorstep. Francesca savored the taste of her beef burger while Attie picked at her own, grumbling about the extremely spicy sauce.
When the two of them finished their burgers, Attie stood up and headed to the gym. Francesca followed her. "What do you want now?" asked Francesca, after they got into the gym's changing room.
"Come, let's do a night run," Attie said, after changing into her sports clothes. "It's late. We'd better get home."
|They ran down the road.|
When they got back, it was late at night. Isabel had already gone to bed. Hera had just returned from work at the computer club and was having a quick wash upstairs. Attie slipped up to sleep in the master bedroom herself. Francesca sat down and opened one of the books she borrowed.
"Hey yourself," Francesca replied. "I got a literature textbook and some superpower novels. Might come in handy for when I draft the story of our superhero personae."
"I'm sure you'll do fine," Hera said. "Was Attie any trouble at all?"
"She wasn't," replied Francesca, and that was all she would say on the matter of her cousin.
Hera tapped her foot. "Well?" she asked. "What about the story? I won't start programming without a story in mind, just to avoid a tangled plot."
"I think I'll make up an ending where our characters retrieved the lost artifact, since the admins never said what happened to it."
"They gave up before tying up the loose ends. Not worth the resources, they said. Better devote ourselves to the cabaret, they said," Hera remarked, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "Your story will be a great closure only because nobody else wants to try."
"I don't expect it to be a great decision-changer, but it would be nice if the Mechanical Armageddon embarrassed the admins enough to revise their ideas. Much like the time I almost thought of discarding Sinopia."
"See? You've got a title already," Hera said with a smile, then yawned widely. "I'm going to bed though. You should too."
Francesca continued reading the textbook into the wee hours of the morning, then went to sleep herself.
Next chapter: Wisdom and Toothache.