Chapter 37

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The previously anticipated "bad thing" that I had thought was bound to happen, didn't actually happen. Well, not yet anyway. It was lingering there, dangling just out of sight. Somewhere within my mind I knew it was coming, that this was just the calm before the storm. Our happiness was always short-lived and our luck ran out fast. I had learned by now not to get used to any comfort or hope, as it would be obliterated the second it was believed in. So I didn't relish too much in the fact that we had been granted a few peaceful days.

But I did take advantage of them to the best of my abilities. Because my guard seemed to be perfectly ordinary, not really speaking much but taking me where I needed to go. Ms. Hellman's evil was at bay for now, and James, Kevin, and even Norman had kept their distances. There was a lack of the usual afflictions that were thrust upon us.

And not to mention, Harry's paradise that he talked about was often clouded by thunderous storms of dread, making it hard to believe that it would ever exist. But he always seemed to come up with ways to find it once more. Whether it was sneaking in supply closets, waiting until the room was empty to steal a kiss, or even resting a hand on my knee under the table at lunch, there was always a way to dispense some form of happiness. Of course we couldn't be with each other fully in the way that we both so desperately wanted and needed. But there were still ways to just slightly satisfy our hunger. Harry always conjured up a scheme to get past the guards' strict vigilance; and he did this pretty often, too, seeing as I never had to go too many hours without his touch. Especially over the past few days when once, maybe twice a day we would find ourselves with hair tangled between fingers and lips upon lips somewhere out of sight.

You could string our mischievous moments together and add some music to make it into something of a montage from a teen romance movie. Each time seemed more exciting and fulfilling as the last.

Yesterday had been my favorite of these moments.

It started with Mikayla and her anonymous book. She was sitting there when I walked into lunch, leaning back contently in her plastic chair. Her tan forearms rested on the edge of the table. But there was something with her that she held in both her hands, something I greatly missed from when I was at my apartment and actually had some freedom.

"Where'd you get that?" I asked her, intrigued.

"This?" she wondered, holding up the book.

"Yeah. Did you bring it with you when you came to the institution?"

"No," she replied, as Harry watched our conversation from his seat across the table. "I got it from the library."

"What library?" I pushed. A book sounded like a perfect way to see into a different world that wasn't this confused, grueling one I was in now.

"The one here," she said in a "duh," kind of way. As if it were obvious.

"Woah, woah, wait," Harry cut in. "This place has a library?"

"Yeah . . . you didn't know that?"

"No," he said, almost appalled that he hadn't been informed. "Since when?"

"I don't know," Mikayla said in a monotone voice. "It looks kinda new, probably just a few years ago."

"How'd you find out about it?" I wondered.

"Woah, slow down guys," she said, dramatically putting her hands up in defense. "I just asked my guard if there were any books around here and he brought me to the library."

Harry's eyes were wide in surprised excitement. "Holy shit, I'm going there right now."

"Wait until after lunch," I said, not able to suppress a smile. "I wanna go too." I pulled out a chair of my own and took a seat right next to Harry.

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