Reminiscence
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You move your leg, the gash on your thigh brushing against the leg of your favorite reading table, and curse under your breath at the sudden pain as your thick lavender blood sticks to the wood. You hadn’t realized the blood had already soaked through your black leggings. You try to wipe the furniture clean with the sleeve of your fresh white shirt, but you only end up staining the fabric as well.
When you take it off to sleep, you’ll wake up to find it washed, ironed, and folded on the side of the pile of blankets and pillows you rest in. You’re not sure if its this place that just mimics the process of cleaning with magic or if there’s a variety of Librarian that you don’t see who does maintenance work. It’s likely the former, but you always whisper "thank you" when you find yourself taken care of.

The Library is kind to those who are kind to it. You whisper an apology for the stain. Even if there isn’t some specific entity responsible for cleaning up after your messes, the Library itself is practically alive— one vast organism that appropriates threats into its own immune system. Some here chose to worship it as a god. You’re not one of them, but you understand why they do.

It is old and it is vast and it is kind to those who are kind to it.

There is so much knowledge here. You could spend an eternity exploring the shelves and never even begin to understand it. Sometimes that’s overwhelming, but other times, it feels perfectly natural. More so than the “non-anomalous” world.

The Library defies explanation and easy categorization. It is the opposite of the tight and clinical world you were trapped in before. The walls here are never that sterile white, and the lights are not turned up one notch too bright, blinding your sensitive eyes. You’ve only lived here for two months (one week, three days, and seventeen hours), but you love it already. You turn the page of your book. It’s a short slender volume with pale pink binding. You found it slid just in between two massive tomes, nearly invisible. Every book you’ve carefully slid off a shelf has seemed perfectly tailored to your interests. Sometimes, when you cry from fear and loneliness, you’ll find a piece of paper by your side, and its words are promises and reassurance, originally directed to someone from a different world or in a different time but nonetheless what you needed to hear.

Again, you’re not sure whether the Library rearranges itself to show you what you need or if it deliberately draws you to where they already were. It doesn’t matter, you think. These books you love are books you love.

The spindly handwriting looks old, though you’re not sure from what perspective. Time and these books is always hard to gauge. Some things are as modern, to you, as the entire literal archive of our own, while others have content that should have withered away or doesn’t exist yet. These words are in what you believe to be Ancient Greek, but you can read it anyway, with as ease as you read from the printed copy of Love Letters in Digital Ink. It’s dozens of love poems, constructed with dizzying nuance and subtle similes. The cadence isn’t lost on you, despite the language gap, and you find yourself whispering the words with their original pronunciation. There are translucent lavender tears in your hazel eyes.

It is only once you’ve lost yourself in this poet’s sweeping exaltations of Aphrodite that you realize you’ve read some of these passages before. Only a dozen or so, interspersed seemingly randomly throughout these pages of spellbinding verses, but they stand out to you. Long ago, before the violet flames, before the Jailers, and before the Serpent's Hand, outstretched, brought you into the light, these lines were what you came home to.

They were a legacy.

Perhaps you should’ve recognized the verses sooner. The you-that-used-to-be would've picked up on Sappho's distinctive style almost instantly. But, you suppose, you haven't been that nervous teenager hiding your girlish poems under your covers in a long time now. You've changed.

For now, you read and pretend the still sticky wound on your leg doesn’t bother you. For now, you drift through fragments of what you used to be, contextualized with ancient truth and new understanding.

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